Crucial WordPress Maintenance Tasks you need to Perform On a Regular Basis
Do you want your WordPress site to perform well? Of course, you do. However, do you ensure you perform All WordPress maintenance tasks on a regular basis? There is a higher chance you are not. Unfortunately, many site owners do perform these crucial tasks. When they first start a blog or a Business website, they forget about it later on. Reason being, they get busy or their business grows. Nonetheless, it is not a must you do that. Starting a website is only the beginning of ongoing tasks of managing your site. Also, keeping it up-to-date, significant and protected is part of managing it.
Nonetheless, let us look at the things you need to do to manage your site well, and ensure its smooth running.
Keep Your WordPress Site Backed Up
Having a backup file of your WordPress is one thing that is going to help you avoid some major stress. More so, when restoring your site to a previous working version is the only workable option left. This is advisable for cases when someone hacks into your site. Or, even when you are not able to identify/correct the errors causing any harm.To help you with this, there are many useful WordPress backup plugins. For example, BackupBuddy, UpdraftPlus, BackWPUp. Besides, they even have the option of scheduling these backups at regular intervals. Furthermore, you can even store these files at a remote location of your choice. For example, Amazon, Google Drive, Dropbox etc.
Verify and Update all WordPress files and Plugins
Running on the latest version of WordPress will ensure your site is secure. More so, from latest security threats. All WordPress updates can happen automatic with a click of a button.However, significant and safe updates do need some extra work and testing beforehand. You need to ensure the new updates do not conflict with each other. Also, you should ensure everything works well on the front-end and back-end. Thus, a good Practicefollowed and recommended is to use a virtual development server. A good example is using Server-press.
Additionally, to fast resolve and know the cause of a conflict, if at all it arises. You need to run your updates one-by-one rather than upgrading everything at once.
Fix 404 errors and Broken links
Excessive errors on your site can be frustrating to your visitors. Also, they can affect the bounce rate of your site in a negative way. There are many WordPress plugins available that can get used to scan your site for broken links. However, this in fact, is the one case where we recommend you not to use a plugin. Because, broken link checking plugins are resource hogs that slow down your website. Besides, they use up all your hosting resources (especially if you use a shared hosting plan). Thus, in this case, using an external tool like Dead Link Checker to scan your site is recommendable.
To fix broken links, you can update the link to a new source. Or, you can update the URL to the archived version of the page. Besides, you can remove the links altogether if you do not want them at all. In case of deleting the links/pages entirely, you should keep in mind to use the Google Removal tool. The tool gets offered by Google webmaster. As a result, you will have ensured the link does not appear on Google search console. Also, there will be no 404-errors whatsoever.
Controlling the comments on your site consists of three simple tasks. Here are the three tasks, which you can perform on a daily basis:
- Responding to comments
- Approving pending comments
- Marking Spam comments
Responding to comments is common courtesy. Besides, it is a great way to increase engagements on your site. Ignoring questions and leaving spam comments on your posts is not good. It leaves a bad impression to the users. Also, it may seem to them that either you are not listening to your audience. Or, you have abandoned your blog altogether. It is wiser to disable comments completely than to ignore them.Generally, comments management is crucial to your site.
Optimize your Database
Database optimization is an essential task that often gets forgotten. All the information required to create and manage your site get stored in a MySQL database. Yet, MySQL needs some maintenance from time to time.
In due course, the database can end up holding onto a lot of information that is no longer needed. As a result, this leads to slowing down your site. Nonetheless, you can use good database cleaning and optimization plugins to speed the site. For example, WP-Optimize, WP-DB Manager, WP Clean Up etc.
To use WP-Optimizejust install and activate the plugin. Then, click on the new WP dashboard menu option “WP-Optimize” at the bottom. Nonetheless, you can use the default settings. To do so, click the big blue “Process” button to proceed and optimize your database. Remember to ensure that you have your database backed up in advance, just in case.
Check and optimize your site’s speed
Optimized site speed is great for user experience. Also, faster websites improve their performance on search engines. Thus, you should undertake a thorough performance review of your site on a regular basis. Many users forget about optimizing their WordPress performance after they first do it. This happens during the conception of their site.
Furthermore, you should run speed tests on your website regularly. Hence, you can check how fast it loads, and find out where you can make improvements to speed up your website. There tools you can use to run these speed tests. Among them are Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix and Pingdom.
Enhancing Your Website security
You may have worked hard creating the best website for yourself. But, if you do not take security seriously, then all your work will go downhill. Have you observed your site slowing down or its rankings lowering? Then, you should check your site for irregularities, and confirm it is not hacked.
Also, there are certain security measures that you can carry out on a regular basis. For example, improving your login information, being vigilant about plugin and theme usage. Besides, there are others like limiting login attempts and employing two-step authentication. Additionally, you should use security tools and plugins. These include Sucuri ,SiteCheck & Malware Protection, WordFence, and iThemes Security. These enablesyou to run regular security checkups. Thus, you can fix potential problems before they get big and pose a threat to your website.
Performing a thorough Content and SEO Audit
You should ensure people find your website in search engine with ease. However, the results need a lot of proactive work & A/B testing. Besides, the way your site gets builtmatters. Ensure it generates queries leads and potential customers. Thus, it is recommended you do regular Audit, update and optimize your content. Additionally, you should optimize the SEO settings for better quality traffic/audience.
A few basic tasks to consider would be adding internal/external links. Besides, checking/updating old posts and pages with their metadata. Furthermore, creating more user engagements. For example, different types of opt-in forms. Finally, understanding crucial insights from Google Analytics and search console