Why WordPress maintenance website is so important ?
After building and going live with your website your thoughts should turn to its future. Like in old age, you would not consider leaving it hosted somewhere (server) without due care and attention. WordPress needs technical maintenance for 2 mains reasons. To allow your website to run smoothly and offering the best experience to your visitors in terms of speed, it is necessary for instance to update the theme, plugins and the WordPress version. This punctual and recurrent work is also the best way to secure your website against bugs and hacking.
A new WordPress version is released every two months on average and the rhythm of plugin updates could be similar as they could have to follow the WordPress upgrades to keep working. These new releases target bugs, issues, security and / or introduce new features. It is not a big challenge to update WordPress version or plugins, however it requires some essential precautions: for instance checking the compatibility between Theme and WordPress, or of a new release with PHP and MySQL versions on the server. Some plugins may reveal new bugs after updating a WordPress version.
To keep your website performing at its best and running safely, we can list the main tasks which have to be done regularly in this way:
1. Upgrading your website
As we say, keep your WordPress, Theme, plugin updated to benefit from new features and ensure security and bugs fixes.
2. Doing a backup
As a precaution to restore after hacking or other accident, do a backup regularly. Some plugins for this task exist – ‘Duplicator‘ has been recommended to me. Personally, after a bad experience with a plugin which didn’t work and to feel completely safe, I prefer doing a manual disciplined database and files backup (administration panel and FTP).
3. Keeping the database optimised
Your database keeps all the contents of your website such as posts, pages, settings and also old post revisions, post drafts and spam comments. These contents continue to grow over time, slowing down your website performance step-by-step. Some plugins can do the optimisation job for you such as ‘wp DB manager‘, ‘wp-optimze‘, ‘wp-clean-up‘.
4. Monitoring your website performance
The speed of a website is an important factor to offer the best experience to your visitor and also, importantly, helps Google ranking. ‘Google PageSpeed Insights‘ for instance is a good tool for this monitoring job and offers some good tips to optimise the loading speed.
5. Removing unused plugins
Because it is likely that you will have replaced some plugins by other ones you consider more efficient, you might have unused plugins or inactive plugins on your WordPress site. It could appear harmless but it is not! Having a bunch of plugins slows down the speed of your website, harming your user experience and google ranking. So do a regularly a check and remove them.
6. Fixing broken / dead links
Broken and dead links wreak havoc with your website and company image, giving the impression you don’t care a lot about your website. This will deter visitors from returning and damage business or contact opportunities…So check and fix them.
These tasks are fundamental, sometimes easy – sometimes not. They do require knowledge and time. So it makes perfect sense, if you don’t have the ability or time to complete them regularly, to outsource this maintenance. Webmastering is a professional job, it is not by accident 🙂