WordPress is the preferred CMS choice of businesses all over the world as it offers unrivalled flexibility and ease-of use.
However, if your business relies on peak performance of your WordPress website – and let’s be honest, a website is one of your most important assets in today’s highly competitive world – you need to show it some love regularly.
Why is WordPress website maintenance necessary?
Routine maintenance is necessary for several reasons.
You can’t simply set and forget a website. It’s actually like a living entity which needs ongoing attention to ward off threats and to ensure that it flourishes.
A number of elements in a WordPress website are updated on a regular basis such as plugins and themes and it’s imperative to keep abreast of these changes to maintain your website’s core functionality.
And while regular maintenance is not difficult or onerous, it is absolutely essential in order to ensure your website continues to deliver the goods to your users, to the search engines and to your bottom-line.
Ongoing maintenance is also important for ensuring robust security.
Here are some key tasks for ensuring the smooth running and peak performance of your WordPress site:
- Schedule regular, automatic back-ups. Don’t rely on your web host to do this job for you – rather use a plugin which backs-up to a cloud service such as Dropbox. It’s a good idea to run a test on this every now and then to make sure it’s working properly.
- Update plugins and themes. Outdated plugins and themes can affect your page loading times and can also compromise your security. Check these regularly and delete any obsolete software to keep your database clean and optimised.
- Keep an eye on your security settings. Use strong passwords and keep them safe. Also be mindful of who has access to your website and never use ‘admin’ as a username (you’d be surprised how many website owners do!). It’s also a good idea to use a security plugin or third-party security service and run regular scans for potential threats and malicious activity.
- Fix broken links. In Google’s eyes, dead or broken links such as 404 errors compromise the user experience. If you have too many of these on your website, your search engine rankings will be negatively affected, so remember to scan regularly for broken links (and fix them!)
- Check your website’s overall functionality regularly. Do regular tasks like updating WordPress (if required), checking how your website is performing on different browsers and devices and ensuring that any forms on your website are functioning. You should also check that any links are redirecting to the appropriate page.
How often should WordPress website maintenance be done?
Regular maintenance isn’t difficult, but it is imperative. The key actions outlined above should be done once every 10 days to two weeks to minimise the likelihood of any damage from slow speeds, broken links etc.
There are also additional steps you should take to ensure optimum functionality and watertight security. For example, your choice of website host has a major impact on your website performance – and remember, cheap is not necessarily cheerful. Choose a host that is optimised for WordPress, which has fast loading times and average uptime of over 99.9% and which offers comprehensive customer support.
Your WordPress website is the engine which can drive your business success. And it needs looking after. Routine maintenance tasks don’t require too much time or effort, but they will ensure that your website site is safe, secure and running smoothly.