There’s a reason why 28 percent of people use WordPress (WP) to manage their content online. First, WordPress has a beginner-friendly learning curve and allows you to make a website without too much knowledge in the field of IT. Still, user-friendly and beginner-friendly are not the same thing as self-sustainable. Sure, some updates and maintenance methods are automatic (or at least may be automated), whereas others require a bit more active maintenance on your part. Here are top six WP maintenance tasks you need to perform on a regular basis.
1. Regularly change your passwords
The first thing you need to understand is the importance of cyber-security when it comes to your website. If a malicious third party were to take control of your website, it would spell a disaster for your brand. Nevertheless, simply changing your WP password is not enough. You should also do so for your FTP accounts and your database. The problem with this exists on many different levels, seeing as how you might not even notice that your accounts are compromised for a while. In time, this could cause some serious damage, especially due to the lack of awareness there is a problem, to begin with.
2. Keep backups
Losing all your data is a horrifying notion, one that can be even worse than losing clients or resources. In order to avoid this, you need to keep backups on a regular basis. This can be automated through an adequate backup plugin, which will, later on, give you an option to set the terms of your backup (the date and time when the automation is taking place), as well as the terms under which this would all take place. In other words, you can set these backups on a daily basis (so that you never lose more than several hours of work) or on a weekly basis (so that you never lose more than several weeks of work).
3. Track page’s SEO
One of the most important factors for your WP website is its Google rank and factors that affect it. In other words, you need to pay a closer attention to your brand’s SEO, so, you might want to consider including plugins such as Yoast SEO in order to get an invaluable insight on metrics that are relevant to your brand’s image in the digital world. In order to improve something, you first need to be aware there is a problem. In other words, SEO needs to make it all the way up on the priority list.
4. Delete unnecessary plugins
Some plugins may be useful for a while, yet, later on, you encounter a plugin that does all that they’re capable of, plus being able to perform several additional functions. This would mean that the function performed by the plugin is now redundant. Moreover, some plugins are launched by companies that fail shortly after, which means that there are no more fixes, updates and patches and no more support. Needless to say, such plugins are deadweight for your brand and need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Failure to do so is also a security risk.
5. Update all the rest
As for the other plugins you have, while the update mechanism of most is automated, they still may need your approval before they start downloading these new files. While some website owners see this as yet another chore, there’s a method to this madness. Without it, the safety of your files would be compromised, which makes this additional nuisance into a preferable alternative. Moreover, this is a perfect opportunity for you to make a selection of plugins in use and check if there’s something you could seamlessly eliminate.
6. Look for broken links
Finally, broken links passively diminish your page’s rating and actively infuriate your audience. At very least, they cause a mild frustration that subconsciously gets associated with your brand. Needless to say, this is a horrible business practice to be avoided at all costs. There are numerous broken link checkers online, yet, what you need to focus on is the consistency of checking. A currently valid link can go rogue in just a couple of hours, yet, with the adequate plugin to check this, you’ll be able to spot, remove and replace it right away (before it makes any damage).
At the end of the day, we need to reflect once more on the keyword in the title of this post – regularly. Checking for links, making backups, tracking your SEO, maintenance and updates are irrelevant if they’re not regular. The key lies in consistency seeing as how your clients and search engines alike expect you to consistently deliver quality and reliability. All in all, with these six simple tips under your belt, maintaining a healthy WP website shouldn’t be a problem.