WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist
Website maintenance is necessary just like maintaining your car or a bike. Without website maintenance your online business will not run for a long time of period, as your website need fresh content to manage its ranking and popularity in popular search engines, . But, are you taking your website maintenance seriously?
In this article we will discuss important points on how to maintain your WordPress Website. So you can increase your return on investment. Here’s a website maintenance checklist to get you started.
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WordPress Version Updates
After the creation of website on WordPress platform, updating WordPress to the latest and newest version is most important job. As soon as latest version of WordPress is released, users of WordPress receive an update message via email and as well as in your WordPress Admin Area. To update WordPress version, click the link in this message like shown in the picture below:
WordPress Plugins Updates
You can see WordPress Plugin update on the Dashboard screen, an alert on the Plugin’s menu title, and on the Plugin page. Click on update and Follow the instructions to update the Plugin.
In case, if updated WordPress Plugin is not compatible with your version of WordPress contact the Plugin author and share complete error details directly.
Check for Broken Links
There is lots of tools on internet which can find 404 errors (Broken Links), Xenu is one of them, it can find all broken images, CSS and JS files and 404 pages, keeping 404 error pages on your website is a huge SEO risk, because broken links frustrate users which cause them to leave your website and in a result your search engine rankings goes down.
301 Redirect for broken links
You can also use 301 redirect code in your .htaccess file for your 404 broken links, or you can also use Simple 301 Redirects (a WordPress plugin) to easily redirect all 404 errors to some other related pages.
Setting up WordPress security
Updating WordPress and its plugins is the part of WordPress security, but this is not enough to secure your website from hackers around the world. You should need to apply some more security features so that no one can hack your website easily.
Website Loading Time Optimization
Slow loading websites frustrates users and search engine as well, which causes decline in search engine rankings. You can analyze your website on GT Metrix and Google Speed Test and remove all possible issues you can, this will improve your website loading speed.
Keep your website loading time less 3 seconds, and remove all useless images, CSS and JS files from your website which causes high loading time.
Optimizing your database
Optimization and cleaning your WordPress website database can also increase your website loading time. WP-Optimize is the best plugin for this job with 500,000+ active installs, this plugin will clean up your database quickly and easily.
Create Website Backups
If it is not possible for you to create a backup of your website every 15 days then make it once in a month, creating backup is necessary because sometimes in a rush you delete your website files or it also possible that your website stop working due to WordPress update or any other unknown reason or it is also possible that someone hack your website and delete all files and mess around your website, in this case you can restore your website using backup files and database.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the basic part for running your business online, keep some good title and meta tags, add some fresh content and images weekly or on monthly basis regarding your services or products, and always keep an eye on your top competitors.
If you are not a complete technical in maintaining your website, do not worry. But at least took some basic knowledge of website maintenance and basic SEO, so that no one can make you fool. Hire some good organization which gives you good results.
Always keep an eye on your website, create a GA (Google Analytics) account. It helps you highlight the most important metrics for your website.
Also, signing up for Google Webmaster account gives you more details about your website, like Search Analytics, Links to Your Site and Crawl Errors are the most important features.
After trying all of the above website maintenance steps, take a look at your website functionality and design like filling out contact forms, HTML, CSS and jQuery styles and functionality.
Consider this website maintenance checklist as a starting point. You can surely dig deeper in any one of these areas for security and search engine rankings.