So, you’ve set up your website, installed the latest themes and plugins, and published the latest content. It’s high time for a glass of wine or a bottle beer, right? Well, you might want to hold that off. You see, a blog, like any website, is never finished. It’s an ongoing process that needs your love and attention, which is why it’s important to regularly perform these WordPress maintenance tasks regardless.
While that might be a job in itself, ensuring that your blog’s machinery, so to speak, is well oiled can be the difference between growth and stagnancy. In actuality, it’s not just for the year 2019 you need to perform these WordPress maintenance tasks but forever. As long as your blog is active, the job is never done.
Thankfully, they’re a lot more manageable than say, making content. Certain plugins can help you and these tasks have varying degrees of frequency. Some you need to do every day while most you can get away with with weekly or even monthly checks. So here’s your WordPress maintenance tasks checklist, be religious in performing them.
This one you can automate since it can get rather tedious, especially if you want to do it daily. Make no mistake, you would want to do it as frequently as possible depending on how generous you are with content. Backing up your whole website is a surefire way to combat any predicament that might happen.
Because online technology is far from infallible and things will go wrong. So if you don’t already have a reliable plugin for this, make sure to do yourself a favor. Backing up daily can and will save your blog and its content. If you’re more paranoid, then you could even opt to back it up on your own hard drive for better insurance. Most of the time, that isn’t necessary.
Allow Pending Updates
Updates are inevitable, especially in WordPress’ case. You certainly don’t want to be left out or even miss out on some of the latest improvements in WordPress, do you? If so, then you might want to check in your pending updates tab for WordPress and do a quick research on what each of those updates do.
Some of them you might need while some (like Gutenberg) might be too drastic a change for your comfort. You’ll also want to install updates in a specific order for fewer chances of breaking something: WordPress core updates go first, theme updates go second, then finally, plugin updates. Of course, make sure you want to
It’s not enough to stay up to date if you want to be safe from the rest of the internet, you often have to resort to more advanced security measures. You might even need to periodically check your blog or even scan for malware and viruses. Manually checking your WordPress files for any mysterious or suspicious changes is also a good measure though it can get tedious and is best left to a backup plugin.
When in doubt, you can always check how well your current blog security plugin holds up. There might be newer ones on the market which hackers haven’t cracked yet or might be better. All in all, you definitely don’t want to leave website security up to chance. One small weakness is enough for some cybercriminals.
In conjunction with checking up your site’s security, you might also want to review your website’s comment section. Sometimes shady users can get away with spam links or cleverly masked promotions tucked away in your comment section. This can bring down your website’s SEO and make your website authority worse.
Apart from installing some nifty plugins to combat and reduce spam comments, you can also moderate the comments yourself. After all, there are legitimate users who just love to troll or fight or slander others in the comment section. Having a healthy comment section invites better discussion and engagement.
Over time, your WordPress website will surely get bulky especially with all the updates, the content, the themes, and even the plugins. The problem is, in order to maintain a steady growth, you need a consistent website speed, one that’s fast. Thus running some speed tests for your website can give you a good idea of what’s bogging down the site.
Of course, you’ll need to note down when your website is the fastest so you can compare it with future tests. This way, you can easily determine which new addition to your blog caused the slowdown. You might even want to do it after publishing a couple of content pieces or updates just to check. Website tools like these will surely help.
Delete unused add-ons
In addition to ensuring that your website is fast, you’ll also want to cull some of the themes and plugins you’ve forgotten. These can clutter up your website and you might not even know it especially if you install them too liberally. There’s really no reason for you to keep these unused or ignored themes plugins especially if your selection is robust enough.
Moreover, deleting these plugins as part of your WordPress maintenance tasks reduces some unnecessary strain on both the servers and your database. Overall, this can improve your website’s speed, even if only for the backend. Do remember to clean your WordPress cache after deleting or uninstalling the themes and plugins. This way, the site only loads what’s necessary.
Images are some of the biggest data hogs online and they can even be more damaging to your site’s speed than videos. That depends on how many images you use for your content. If it can’t be helped and your content needs those pictures, then you must do your best to optimize them so they take less space and resources.
You can install some useful plugins that allow you to optimize some images and lessen their size or resolution. This also does wonders for mobile versions of your website since smaller images with more flexible resolutions improve mobile performance. You might also have to do this for your old images as those can bog down your website as well. Once you get used to it, it becomes less of a maintenance task.
Search for broken links
Websites come and go on a regular basis on the internet. Content also gets deleted as we blink and breathe. That means some of your links tend to go bad or broken, leading to 404 errors or nowhere on the web. Links like these can be bad for your website as they can bring down your site authority.
So make it a habit to check some broken links every few months or a few years. You don’t even have to open them manually as plugins are available for checking broken links. Stick to doing these WordPress maintenance tasks regularly and we assure you that your website will look squeaky clean and good as new.