How to properly maintain your WordPress Website

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Before we jump into understanding the types of things you need to do in order to maintain your WordPress website lets just look at why you would want to spend time maintaining your website.

Why do I need to maintain my WordPress website?

The two main reasons for keeping your WordPress website well maintained are security and functionality.

Security should be a top priority for you especially if your website handles sensitive data. And the number one way to prevent your website from being hacked or infected with malicious software is by properly maintaining your website. Hackers are looking for out of date plugins and code within your website that they can exploit to their advantage.

Functionality. Most of the issues that you will have with your website will stem from lack of care in maintaining your website. Out of date plugins or code within your site can cause functionality issues that can lose you business and cost you in the long run. Your website needs to run smoothly at all times so that your users always have a good experience when visiting your website.

Here are what we consider as the core tasks to maintain your WordPress website.

Regular Updates

Keeping your plugins, theme, and WordPress CMS updated is the number one way you can keep your site secure and running smoothly. Hackers look for out of date WordPress websites in order to gain access to your accounts and customer data. So this must be performed on a regular basis to help prevent your site from being attacked.

Back up your website

Sometimes things do not go as planned. The only sure fire way to keep your website data safe is to make sure you back up your website regularly and store those backups offsite.

Security Monitoring

While regular updates are effective in keeping your website secure. It is recommended that you also perform regular security monitoring by scanning your website for malicious software and attacks.

Performance testing

After backing up your website and performing your regular updates it is good practice to test your website as part of your maintenance checks. Since WordPress websites often exist on top of a small ecosystem of plugins to achieve their required functionality. Major updates to your website can cause certain parts of your website to stop functioning properly.

I’ve often seen functionality issues arise because of updates. This just comes with the territory of keeping your WordPress site secure. So, It is important that you periodically test your various forms, plugins, payment systems, etc. on your website to make sure everything is running smoothly.

I would say that the four tasks above that we just went over are the bare minimum requirements in order to maintain your WordPress website. If you are not doing these four things then you should be. If you don’t have the time to do them because you have to run your business then let us do it for you. The Firebrand has a ‘Peace of Mind’ maintenance package designed just for that and we perform all the above tasks on your website and then some. It really does give you some ‘Peace of Mind’ and it’s only $12.00 a month.

Some other things to consider…

While not necessarily required. Here are some other things that you can do to help improve your websites overall usefulness and performance.

Check how your site looks on mobile devices

Sometimes updating your themes or plugins can have an effect on the appearance of your website. This is rare but over time it can happen. So I like to just check out my website on mobile screens to make sure nothing is looking wonky after some of my plugins have gone through some major updates over time.

SEO monitoring

Checking your websites meta titles, descriptions, tags etc. from time to time is good practice for keeping your site relevant. SEO has a lot of factors that go into it so after reviewing many of these factors you can usually find ways to optimize it a little better each time.

Speed Tests

This ties into SEO optimization. One of the things google will look at when ranking your website is speed. So checking on how your website is loading from time to time is recommended. And it’s not hard to check. The tricky part is finding ways to improve it if its performing poorly.

Analytics

This one might be a little off topic from ‘maintenance’ but I would say that staying informed on how people are interacting with your website is a great habit to get into. Understanding what pages and products are drawing the most attention and why can help you make better business decisions. Analytics empowers you to do this.

I Hope this helps give you an idea of what to expect when thinking about setting up your website or if your just wondering if you should be doing anything different with a website you have already set up.

Websites can really legitimize your business and become a powerful tool for your business to gain more influence and success. So take care of it and it will take care of you.

Marvin Brown

Marvin Brown

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Marvin Brown

Creator and Founder of The Firebrand. Marvin is an optimist. He is a creative. He is a writer. And he always looks for the good in people. Defying atrophy of thought and exposing the proclivity to rise above the dark is what he expresses. In thought, in word, in action, and in business.

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