WordPress Maintenance: An Easy 6 Step Guide

This is a chore that simply cannot be ignored. Think about it, unwanted and abandoned content can take up unnecessary space which can in turn slow down your site. Take action before it all begins to pile up and become an overwhelming task. Here are a list of tips for those hump day afternoons when some downtime is required for sanity’s sake.

1. Say No to Murphy’s Law.

Always expect the worst. Even though you might be an absolute wizard with your WordPress Admin site, make sure you have a back up prior to making any changes. Life has taught us that most things tend to go wrong when we least expect it — make sure you have a ‘backup of a backup’ (we hope you remembered that from last week) prior to undergoing any further tips in this list.

2. Update Everything. 

Last week we wrote an article on ‘7 Easy Steps to Avoid Website Hacks’ in which we discussed continuously updating your website to prevent it from any hacks. A lack of security can cause a multitude of severe issues: from hackers using your site to commit fraud, to spreading viruses or any other kind of bugs. If you feel like you’ve protected your website to your best extent but are wanting to check how secure it really is, don’t hesitate to contact us— we’ll conduct an audit for you.

What should your updating include? Everything. From plugins, to themes and core files. You shouldn’t be missing any opportunities.

3. Go into Maintenance Mode

Use the native maintenance mode in WordPress when updating or ‘cleaning out’ your site. This will prevent your users from having a negative experience or witnessing any changes that are taking place. You want to maintain the perception of your sites’ professionalism by continuing to provide a seamless journey — especially one that is free from mistakes and ill-prepared content.

4. Bam the Spam

You will probably have noticed the amount of spam comments on your WordPress site by now. They’ll usually come with links in order to provide the commenter with some short term SEO gains. If you’re not using tools such as Akismet, make sure that you’ve got some anti spam techniques on hand. These usually consist of: stopping the ability to comment after a certain number of days, deleting all comments (sure you can do this manually, but we recommend installing a plugin — it’ll save you so much pain, trust us), turning off commenting if it is unnecessary, or enabling a spam management system.

5. Delete the Unused

We’ve all done it — gotten excited by certain WordPress themes or plugins only to realise that they didn’t really suit the functionality and aesthetic of our site. These failed experiments are probably still sitting abandoned — until now. Inactive and unused plugins can cause conflicts or make it difficult to diagnose the source behind an issue plaguing your site. Furthermore, by keeping your WordPress disorganised you are increasing the vulnerability of your site to hackers AND possibly overlooking something important at the same time.

Is it worth it? Nah.

6. Spot the Suss 

Test, test, test. Use those hawk-like eyes to scan for any errors. See whether all your URLs are working, spot any 404 errors and fix them if you come across it. Sure you can do this manually but there are agencies that will do the hard yakka for you — (hint: us). Make sure you test your forms, check your navigation, and heck, even measure your page speeds. If you spot an issue take note and contact your administrator or take steps to solve them yourself.

We usually like to check on the WordPress sites that we’re administering by pretending to be customer’s ourselves. By completing various objectives we can ensure that a seamless experience is continuously provided to any of the users.

Maintenance might not sound like fun. We get it. But it’s one of those ‘must-dos’ that we’ve got to deal with in life. Rip the band aid off and get started on it today — not tomorrow! And if it’s still down your priority list feel free to contact us — we’ll do the heavy lifting for you.

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