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How to Maintain a WordPress Website Like a Professional

WordPress websites are awesome, but complex and can be difficult to maintain. WordPress website maintenance tasks are many and take up valuable time. We put together a list of the 7 most important areas that will help you maintain your WordPress website. Most of this can be done easily with plugins.

1. Backup your site regularly
2. Keep WordPress core, your theme, and plugins up to date
3. Secure your site with a good plugin
4. Keep the database optimized
5. Cultivate your website content
6. Clean and or moderate comments
7. Optimize your website for speed

Smart backup Sunny HQ

1. Backup your site regularly

This is one of the easiest and the most important thing to do regularly. Although backing up doesn’t keep your site fresh and clean, it helps if anything goes wrong as you can revert to a previous version immediately.

I recommend you backup your WordPress site at least monthly. You should also consider backing up your blogs daily. If you run a corporate or eCommerce site, weekly or daily backups are essential. You can backup your site via your hosting provider or by downloading a local copy of your site through FTP.

WordPress offers some stunning plugins that will automatically backup your complete site. VaultPress is a nice WordPress plugin that offers the backup and restoration functionalities on the fly.

There are many options that let you easily manually back up and restore your site anytime.

2. Keep WordPress core, your theme, and plugins up to date

It is common for website owners to believe that once the website is built it can be left alone and only focus on the content.  If  you do not have a premium managed WordPress hosting plan then you must do this yourself. Make sure you do your research here. Most “Managed WordPress Hosts” do not take care of these updates and leave the task to you.

Why do I need to update my site?

WordPress is under constant development with new enhancements being added. Bugs and security issues are being fixed regularly. This means that the base WordPress code is constantly being updated. This is a good thing all the way around. Oh, and when WordPress is updated, all the other parts, including your theme and plugins, need to be updated too.

When should I update?

Whenever updates are made available for your site’s WordPress core, theme, or plugin, you should make that update. Security updates should be made as soon as possible to avoid exposing your site to damage. Security updates fix holes that can allow hackers to exploit your site and make your site strong against attacks.

Before making updates

If you update multiple components, there could be trouble. Sometimes plugins conflict with each other and cause your website to break. Sometimes developers ship updates with bugs in them, only to discover them later. Backup your website before making any updates. If something goes wrong, then you can simply restore the backed up version of your website and then investigate the cause of the problem.

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3. Secure your site with a good plugin

Most of the WordPress users overlook the security of their site. But it is one of the crucial factors that need to be considered. If you want to secure your site from hackers and other security threats, you need to install a reliable security plugin.

In fact, you should also use a Sucuri service to monitor your site. It will scan your site and detect the malware or virus from your installed themes, plugins or core WordPress. And if malware is found, it will immediately remove it from your site.

Recommended WordPress Security Plugins

If you are not using a good Managed WordPress Host, you will need a great plugin to ensure your site is safe from hackers. iThemes Security is a great option. This plugin does an overall security check of all your sites components and finds immediate resolvable issues.  Then it shows you how to fix them.

It is user friendly and highlights good security practices and helps you implement. An example of one of these is changing your login URL to something other than /wp-admin/ and disabling PHP code in uploads.  This keeps hackers from adding malicious code to your site.

Wordfence has a much simpler interface while still giving basic overall protection and includes a free Web Application Firewall. This adds a layer of protection for your website and prevents malicious attacks. It can be difficult to install if you’re not tech-savvy, but is worth it, so get some help from a developer.

More detailed security advice can be found at this post by our strategic hosting partner, WPengine.

Optimize Sunny HQ4. Keep the database optimized

Non-Geek Speak: keep the database WordPress uses clean of extra junk.

A database is a place where all your site content is stored. It includes blog posts, pages, images, videos, setting and much more. As your site grows, your database begins to get bloated, which in turn slow down the speed of your site.

If you want to improve the performance of your site, you need to optimize your database. With the help of WordPress plugins (such as WP-Optimize that will automatically optimize your database and clears records that are no longer required), you can optimize the database of your site and enhance its speed.

The WPBeginner team has a great article about how to keep your database clean.

Maintain content regularly Sunny-HQ

5. Cultivate your website content

No fancy plugins needed for this to maintain WordPress website. Just make sure you’re constantly refreshing your content and proactively maintaining it.  Delete all unused pages and posts and remove content  that’s no longer relevant. Review your old content and see if it could use some freshening up. This will ensure your message is always on point and that content stays relevant.

Make it work for you,  make it Evergreen Content!

Evergreen content is content that relevant to the reader no matter how old it is. For example, teaching visitors how to solve a problem is evergreen. Giving visitors a synopsis of time-based happening like an event, is not evergreen.

Years from now no one will care about an old event, but they will still want to learn that super efficient way you have for solving some problem or fixing some issue. Given this make sure your content is updated to stay with the times. Evergreen content is where it’s at!

Clean comments Sunny HQ

6. Clean and or moderate comments

If you allow comments on your posts, make sure the queue is updated often. Moderate all comments on a regular basis and make sure your queue is clear. Fully delete all unneeded comments and empty the trash.  WP-Sweep is a great tool to help get rid of deleted comments permanently.

And then there are always the dreaded spam comments. Be proactive here and put a system in place to keep spam comments under control. Rather than moderating these comments one at a time, you can use Akismet. This handy plugin automatically removes spam comments for you and does it with grace.

7. Optimize your website for speed

It is good to regularly run speed tests on your website to see how fast it loads. Speed test applications not only report on how you site is performing, but give you insights into how you can improve on it. Some improvements need to be made by a WordPress programmer or someone with the technical knowhow. But many non-technical changes you can make yourself to speed up your website without the help of a developer.

If you want to attract more visitors, you need to provide them fast loading pages. This means the speed of a site directly affect the ranking of your site on search engines. In fact, Google prefers fast loading sites. So, you should know the loading speed of your site.

Luckily, there is Google’s PageSpeed Insights that offers a tool to grade your site’s load time, and then offers tips to improve it. You can install this tool and improve the performance of your site within a few clicks. Page and server speed tests give out letter grades, just like in school (A for excellent and F for needs serious help) plus real recommendations for improvement. This is a great tip for maintain WordPress website.

Run speed tests at least once each quarter, and ensure that your WordPress website loads as quickly as possible. REMEMBER: Slow-loading websites = lost visitors = lost revenue.

In conclusion. Your maintain WordPress website

Website maintenance is absolutely necessary yet time consuming and difficult. Though it is possible for anyone to do you don’t have to be a tech guru to be successful. Setup a schedule and follow these great WordPress maintenance tips and you’ll always have a fresh, clean and updated site!

It seems obvious to maintain WordPress website. And that general website health depends on software updates, security, backups, and database maintenance. But remember good relevant content and fast search results are equally important. Keeping everything on your website up to date and relevant will bring new website visitors, turn them into customers and increase revenue.

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