Many website owners have found out the hard way that if you don’t maintain WordPress, you will be placing your website at risk. Since its release in 2003, WordPress became one of the best content management system (CMS) available. Many of the top sites on the Internet, the WordPress CMS.
While setting up a WordPress site is fairly easy, you cannot just create your site and disappear. If you want your website to do well, you need the right WordPress maintenance tips.
In reality, the work of running a WordPress website never really ends. By using the following tips, you can improve your WordPress site and boost your online presence.
Maintaining Your WordPress Website
1. Always Update Your Themes and Plugins
Your WordPress website is like any software program or mobile device. It must be regularly updated. Some updates are required to install security patches. While other plugin updates prevent hackers from accessing your website. Sometimes, you have to fix WordPress plugins and themes because the old version contains a bug.
Plugins are programs you install in WordPress to give your website more functionality. Outdated plugins can slow your website’s load time and overall speed. In addition, they can hog your database space. If you do not need a plugin anymore, delete it.
Themes are the templates that make your WordPress installation look and feel like website. You use themes to change the appearance of your site. Changing a WordPress theme will affect the underlying code of your WordPress site.
2. Create a Backup
Building a website is a lot of work. The last thing you want is to have your entire website disappear overnight. To maintain WordPress pages, you need to set up automatic backups.
Fortunately, this is fairly easy to do. All you have to do is choose a backup system. Then, you need to regularly test it out to make sure it is actually backing up your website.
The following premium backup plugins are some of the best options available today:
The premium plugins listed above are the better, but they also cost money as in not free. If you are looking for free options, there are a few others you can check out:
The plugins below are reasonably good plugins that you can use for free. Bottom line, it’s not which plugin you use, but that you have a backup for your WordPress site.
3. Monitor Your Website Speed
If you want your customers to have a great experience, your website needs to load quickly. In addition, Google uses loading time to determine your search engine ranking. Boosting your loading speed is one of the most important things you can do to fix WordPress pages.
You should regularly monitor your loading speed to see if it changes over time. If you notice a sudden drop, then you should investigate and figure out the problem. Slow pages, outdated links and spam comments can slow down your website. In addition, you should remove unnecessary media files and get rid of broken images.
4. Improve Your Security
Unfortunately, small businesses are frequently targeted by online criminals and hackers. Criminals know that small businesses do not have the resources to invest in full tech departments. Because of this, they deliberately target small businesses through malicious viruses and malware.
To avoid becoming a victim, you should scan your website. You need to fix any security loopholes. Scanning should become a frequent WordPress maintenance activity. Even if you are new to WordPress, the following security solutions are fairly easy to perform.
- Install a security plugin for WordPress.
- Use HTTPS to encrypt your website’s data.
- Back up your website each day.
- Set up web application firewall (WAF).
A free easy to use security plugin is “Loginizer“. It is designed to help keep bad people out of your website. You can download Loginizer by going to the WordPress.org website
5. Optimize Your Images
Images are fairly large files. If your media files and images are not optimized, it can slow down your site’s speed. To maintain WordPress images, you can reduce the file size and fill in the image’s caption. By filling out the image name, description and alt text, you can also improve your search engine ranking. There are a couple of very good WordPress plugins that can be used to manage image size. A free one that is easy to use is called “reSmush.it Image Optimizer”
6. Remove Broken Links
Unfortunately, website links do not last forever. Linking to authoritative sites can boost your search engine ranking and show the search engines that your site is authoritative as well. Unfortunately, these links can eventually break.
Other sites may remove the page or change the page’s address. When this happens, you will end up with broken links and dead links. If you have an excessive number of dead links, Google and other search engines will penalize your website.
You can prevent this from happening by using Broken Link Checker or a similar plugin to fix WordPress links. The plugin automatically scans your website and looks for broken links. Then, you can replace the link, remove it or let the plugin automatically re-direct users to a different page. You can download the free version of Screaming Frog and use it to check for broken links.
7. Boost Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Over time, you should focus more and more on improving your website’s SEO. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. Keywords, meta descriptions and headers are all examples of on-page SEO elements.
Google and other search engines use these elements to determine the topic and quality of your website. Then, they transform this information into your website ranking. If your site has terrible SEO, it will end up with a poor search engine ranking as well.
WordPress maintenance does not have to be difficult. There are a number of plugins you can use to automate your maintenance work. From improving your SEO techniques to performing automatic backups, you can quickly optimize your company’s website. If you need help or want to learn more, call us today.