Your home, office, and car require regular maintenance, what about your website? Well, if you have a WordPress website, then it is important to perform regular maintenance so that your site has great functionality.
There are so many new updates for your installed plugins, themes and widgets. Unless you update your site, there will be a problem with functioning. Regular maintenance of the site ensures a site works well and of course, this will get you more traffic as well.
Why Regular WordPress Maintenance Is Important?
WordPress works on a CMS platform. An open-source platform works on several third-party plugins and tools. When you create a WordPress website, it is made of several parts that include software’s, free WordPress themes, tools, and plugins. You also add your text, videos, and content on a daily basis. With so many features, you need to ensure that your website works at a good speed and performance is optimal.
The ultimate goal is to reach maximum people and get great traffic to your WordPress website. Regular maintenance helps improve the functioning and help to optimize your WordPress website. It also helps improve the ranking of your site.
Important WordPress Website Maintenance Tasks:
1. Update Your WordPress Site and Plugins
There is an update feature in WordPress for the site and plugins you install that lets you update to optimize your site’s performance. You can update the plugins, core application, themes and even the framework of your site. WordPress developers are constantly working on the security and safety features of WordPress.
With every new update, you secure your site even more. There is an update section in the main admin area of the site. You can manually check for updates or set it on auto update feature. The update is important for premium themes and plugins as well. Make sure all your plugins are working on the latest version to optimize your site.
2. Optimize Your Site’s Database
WordPress database contains all your comments, content, data and settings information. Over time, it collates a lot of data that is irrelevant or unnecessary. This causes a kind of clutter in the system that needs to be removed. This also affects the downloading and uploading speed along with backups.
When you optimize your database, it helps you to clean up unwanted clutter from your site’s database system. Get rid of temporary media files as it can affect the space of your website. If you manually remove a plugin from your site, then do clear the database table to improve the speed. Also, to avoid any errors, it is best to make use of a plugin like WP-Optimize that’ll help speed up the optimization process.
3. Run Performance Tests
WordPress is open-sourced and well-coded. But, adding images, content, plugins and media files can affect the performance of the site. If you only pay heed to layout, look, and content, then you need to focus your attention on performance too. If your site speed is slow or the performance is not that great, it’ll affect your site traffic.
User engagement of a website is based on its performance. Marketing your site is important, but optimizing your site is equally important. You must periodically run tests for your site to ensure that your site works well.
Use different available tools for your performance test. You can test for page loading speed using Pingdom Tools. Check your site’s exit rate and bounce rate through plugins that are available. By improving your WordPress site’s speed, you will not only improve ranking but also user engagement. You can run performance tests every three months to optimize your site.
4. Fix Broken Links
This is important for the overall performance of your website. When you add new content to your site, the old external links may not work. Some move to a new location and some change the address. Poor formatting, broken images or misspelled links to your site also cause broken links.
This not only leads to a higher bounce rate but also affects your site’s ranking. It’s important that you check your website for all the broken links and external links that do not work. You can check for broken links through the Broken link checker plugin. Find, edit or fix the links for increasing the speed of your website.
5. Perform Content Audit
An in-depth review of your content is also an important part of your performance task. Your content is directly linked to Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google Analytics gives you comprehensive coverage of your site’s user engagement and location of visitors. It also lets you search the keywords for ranking.
You can sort the keywords according to rank and update your content accordingly. With the Yoast SEO plugin, you can set some keywords as focus keywords for higher Google ranking. Even if your SEO score is good, you can update your site with new content, images and site linking. Perform content audits at regular intervals for better optimization.
6. Optimize the Images
The images that you upload with content may take longer to load. Well, this can decrease the page loading time of your site and also the user engagement. You need to pay special heed to the image size on your site. Compressed format of images is perfect for your site. There are special plugins and tools available that help you to compress the images according to your site.
WP Smush is the best plugin that helps you to optimize your image according to the content and media of your site. Perfect image size cuts backloading time and improves your site’s speed and performance.
7. Fix 404 Errors on Your Site
404 errors can be caused by various reasons. On WordPress, a misspelled URL, caching problem or issue with domain name server can cause it. Even when the web page is not available, it can cause this problem. You can fix this error by examining the points of 404 errors on your website.
This will help you show users a personalized message or redirect them to another web page. Track the changes to fix 404 errors on your site. You can do this after every four months as a part of your WordPress maintenance task.
8. Pay Attention to Safety and Security
As WordPress is an open-source platform, its vulnerable to malware and hack attacks. Along with good content and theme optimization, it’s important to pay attention to safety too. Even if you install security plugins or change your password often, your site is vulnerable to attacks. You can also manually look for errors or unusual activity on your site.
Install firewall safety for your website to prevent hack attacks. Sucuri Security is a great plugin that provides overall security to your website. It’s important that you take a backup on a regular basis to keep your site safe. If there is a problem with hacking, you can restore your site to previous settings.
9. Perform a Full Maintenance Routine
It’s best to perform a full maintenance routine of your site after every six months. This will not only improve your site’s overall performance but also optimize it in the best possible way. You can perform this task by putting your website in the maintenance mode. But, do this when your site traffic is the lowest.
Most people perform comprehensive WordPress website maintenance tasks in the night so that there is no inconvenience to the visitors of the site. You can start by testing the page speed along with the broken links. Check all the spams from the comment section and remove them. Remove all the unused plugins or tools that you don’t use.
Run a browser and device compatibility of your website. Check for all the downloaded and social media links of the site. Compress your images accordingly and check the header banner of your website.
Change your WordPress login details along with the WordPress password. Get rid of all the unwanted drafts and post revisions. Review your on-page SEO. Scan for malware and run your site through WP check. Review your complete web hosting statistics.
To sum up,
Every website needs maintenance and performing a check for your WordPress site is not so difficult. You can take time out and schedule a check for your website. Performing a maintenance task after every four months can keep your site in a good shape.
It’ll help to improve the speed and overall functioning of your WordPress website. It’s important to fix errors with a maintenance task. If you have time constraints, you can also run a quick check for your WordPress site. The idea is to optimize your site so that it gets a higher rank and good traffic.