How to Maintain a Website: A Complete WordPress Guide

Last Updated on August 4, 2020 by Sunny Staff

WordPress powers an incredible one-third of all active websites worldwide!

And with good reason, WordPress is one of the easiest website platforms to use, making it perfect for both new and experienced developers.

Are you currently running a WordPress website but need help maintaining it?

This article will cover how to maintain a website run on WordPress and tips for creating a well-designed layout your visitors will love.

How to maintain a website
Planned Maintenance man hand on table Business, coffee, Split tone

Perform Routine Updates

Everything needs an update once in a while. From your smartphone and laptop to the interior of your home, updates keep things looking fresh and working properly.

Your WordPress website is no different.

Website maintenance isn’t a “set it and forget it” operation. Just because you launch a beautiful, clean, and professional website on day one doesn’t mean it’ll look that way a few months down the road. Not unless you perform routine maintenance and updates.

Stay up-to-date on plugin and theme updates that offer additional features and designs. 

But updates aren’t just about the appearance of your site. Updates help protect your site from hackers and protect visitors.

Knowing when to update couldn’t be easier. WordPress plugins and themes will alert you when they’re due for an update. All you need to do is click the button!

Clean up Your Database

The age of your WordPress website can impact how well it runs. Even the most well-maintained sites become overrun by “junk” over time—and at no fault of yours.

Common actions like post revisions, spam comments, and table overheads all add up and clutter your database. This can lead to slow page load times and sluggish performance.

The good news is there’s an easy way to keep your database crips, clean, and running well. An easy-to-install plugin like WP Sweep can help clean things up.

Just install, click “sweep,” and watch the magic happen. Just be careful not to click the “Sweep All” button unless there are no post drafts pending.

Have a Backup System in Place

You should never put all your eggs in one basket. Having a backup for your WordPress website is vital for protecting your data and hours of hard work.

Making sure your backup system works is equally as important as having one in place.

Add routine backups to your list of website maintenance tasks. Establish data backup in the cloud in addition to a local physical backup.

While it may seem like overkill, it’s not a bad idea to have backups for your backups. You’ll thank yourself later in the event of a website crash or data breach.

Check for False Spam Alerts

One of the main goals of any website developer is to gain traffic and interact directly with your target audience. The best way to do this is by monitoring and engaging with visitor comments.

A necessary evil of allowing comments on your website is that spam comments will sneak through. While these are usually harmless, they’re one of the things mentioned prior that can muddy-up your database.

Not only that, but valid comments are sometimes mistakenly marked as spam. It’s important to check these regularly to make sure you don’t miss a true customer comment or question.

The last thing you want is to get a reputation for ignoring your visitors.

Check for Broken Links

Broken links are a nuisance and a liability for your website. But they’re something you can monitor and handle with a little time and effort.

It’s important you monitor both internal and external broken links. Internal links are the ones embedded in your content that redirect readers to another page on your site. External links send readers to another, external reference webpage.

First, identify the cause of the broken link. The two most common causes are:

  • Renaming or moving a webpage and forgetting to change the URL
  • Linking to content or a third party site that no longer exists

As with most WordPress website issues, there’s a plugin for that! Any broken link checker can help scan your site, locate, and help you fix broken links.

This is good news for your site’s SEO since broken links can slow things down and make it tough for Google bots to crawl your page.

Set up Redirects

Broken pages and broken links are all a part of the website maintenance game. But how you handle them is a game-changer.

When visitors land on a page that no longer exists, they’ll face a 404 error page.

Monitoring broken links on your own website is half the battle. Unfortunately, you can’t control broken links on other sites. And it’s these broken links that might send visitors to missing pages.

Stay on top of 404 error pages and set up 301 redirects where necessary. This way, visitors will only experience a brief pause in their search inquiry rather than a dead end.

Another WordPress plugin called Redirection not only monitors your 404 pages but helps you create 301 redirects. 

Keep Things Speedy

We live in a fast-paced world with a desire for instant gratification. In other words, your website needs to be fast if it’s going to succeed.

Unnecessary plugins are one of the main causes of slowdowns on your WordPress site. As useful as plugins are for helping your site run smoothly, they can also bog things down.

Make sure the plugins you have in place are ones you actually use. Things like the broken link checker mentioned earlier should only be installed when you need it. Once you’re done running your check, uninstall it until you need it again.

Other changes outside your control can also affect page load times. To stay on top of things, try using a monitoring tool to test your page speed, and identify slowdowns. 

How to Maintain a Website Using an Expert

Sometimes, it’s just best to leave things to the pros. If you’re still struggling to figure out how to maintain a website using WordPress, you’re not alone.

There are numerous factors that affect your website performance. Why not hire an expert to handle it for you? So you can focus your time and attention on other things, like running your business.

Browse our many WordPress maintenance services and let us take the worry of website maintenance off your hands! 

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