10+ Maintenance Tasks That You Should Perform Regularly On Your WordPress Website
People know bits about maintaining their WordPress site. But, most users are not quite sure what these steps should be. A WordPress site does not come with a manual. Owners are often left to figure this out for ourselves when we delve into the wonderful world of WordPress.
Knowing this, we decided to put a post together that could help!
10 of the most crucial maintenance tasks that we believe should be performed regularly on any WordPress site.
The Basics: Understanding The Need For WordPress Maintenance
WordPress is a complex system that is made up of many different parts. WordPress hosting, plugins, the software itself, themes, your own content, text, images, etc. all of these elements make up your website. but in order to continue to work well, all of these different parts need at least some degree of regular maintenance.
As a general rule, you will want to run crucial maintenance tasks every 3 months if you run a low-traffic site or every 6 months on a high-traffic site.
With that being said, here are some of the most important tasks that you should make sure to complete at these regular intervals.
1 Always Create A New And Complete Backup Of Your Site
WordPress is great for a lot of reasons, and one of the reasons that it is so great is because it gives you the ability to completely backup your entire site without putting you through much trouble or hassle. Backing up your site regularly can save you so much time if something really unexpected.
Not only is it important to keep your backup up-to-date, but automatic backup plugins do not always work perfectly. so manually backing up your site is a necessity as a part of regular maintenance, just to make sure that you don’t end up losing stuff that you thought was safe.
2. Keep Your Site Updated
More a common-sense tip, but you would be amazed at how many people skip this crucial maintenance step. It is very important that you keep your WordPress release version updated. It is also important that you keep all of your plugins and themes updated as well.
You can find out what parts of your site need to be updated by going to the WordPress dashboard and Update pages. There, you can manually check all of your themes and plugins and can make sure that everything is running the latest and correct version.
3. Change All Of Your Passwords
This might seem like a pain. Remembering passwords.
Your password is the single most important defense your site has against unwanted intrusions and keeping all of your passwords strong, fresh, and changed can do a lot to protect all of your accounts.
4. Delete Spammy Comments or don’t allow comments on your site.
We all know what they look like. And we all know that they can be a nuisance. Well, they should be deleted.
If you deal with more than a few regular spam comments on your site on a daily basis, then it will probably do you a lot of good to use Akismet to help you block and mass-delete spammy comments. This will save you time and hassle. Just make sure that you check the spammy comments first before deleting, just to make sure that some legitimate comments didn’t get caught in the filter by accident.
Then, just delete them so that they are no longer taking up space. Simple as pie!
5. Alway Optimize Your Database
A lot of the data that gets saved on your site ends up in the WordPress database leading to bloating and sluggish websites, over time, this database can accumulate and gather a lot of needless, unnecessary data. This can really affect your site’s performance and can make restoring backups more difficult.
In order to fix this, you should optimize it on a regular basis. Optimizing allows you to clean it up, defrag it, and improve its performance. We use the How to Optimize Database for this. It’s a free download on WordPress.org, and does the job quite well!
6. Test Your Forms
Creating beautiful forms on your WordPress site is easy. Sometimes, they might stop working, due to a technical error. Most of the time, the reason for this lies in a mis-configuration on the server, or with the email service provider, or the form could be updated, when it does happen, you may stop receiving the emails from these forms.
So make sure to test all of your forms regularly, just to make sure that they are still working correctly. If you find a problem, you can then at least fix it before you lose traffic or visitors because of it.
7. Get Rid Of Errors
This is especially troublesome problem for WordPress sites because it can really affect the quality of your service and can create a lot of frustration for your user base. This basically happens when a user requests a page that doesn’t technically exist on your site.
They will get a 404 error page. Use Free Broken Link Checker to find all broken links.
These types of errors occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes they happen because a user types in the wrong web address, and there is nothing that you can do about that. But, they can also happen when a page is no longer available on your site.
Tracking these pages and fixing them is of value. We like to use the free Redirection plugin for this.
8. Check Your Site’s Performance Regularly
Optimise your WordPress site so that it runs smoothly is usually at the forefront of a developer’s mind when they first designs and launches it. This is sometimes forgotten.
As you install new plugins, add new content, and change your site, you may be gradually changing how well it runs as well.
To fix this, you should perform regular performance tests. Keeping your website fast and efficient will help you to maximize the benefits of your traffic and to provide the best experience for your users.
The best way to do this is to test not just your homepage, also all of your most popular content pages and important pages as well. Boosting your WordPress speed and performance will give you the best shot at building real, genumne traffic, it will really cut down on user frustration and will give your readers another reason to come back.
9. Fix Broken Links
This is a problem that will grow over time. Links to existing sites may fail if that site moves or goes offline. But even links that are not external can cause problems. Misspelled links will obviously take users nowhere, and poorly formatted links can also be problematic.
To maximize the site experience for your users, it is important to regularly check for (and fix) broken links. You should be doing this on a regular basis.
10. Check And Optimise Your Images
Images published in or with your content can be especially demanding on your site’s performance slowing down your pages.
Whenever you upload and publish photos, keep them within a standard size is important.
This is why it is important to regularly check your site for images that may be hurting its performance. Fixing these can do a lot to help speed it up and make your WordPress site better for visitors and users.
You can often accomplish this faster by going through your library and checking the sizes of new images that you didn’t check last time around. See google page speed for a list of possible optimisations