*This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions represented here are my own.
You’ve purchased your domain and hosting, you’ve set up your theme, customized all of your colors and fonts, and placed your content on each page of your website. You’re officially set up and ready to go! All of the hard work is over, right?
Well… not quite yet.
How do you go about maintaining your WordPress website?
Think of your website like a car: buying it is only the first step to getting where you’re going. Just like a car, a website needs regular care and maintenance to keep it running in top shape.
It’s up to you to carve out time into your schedule to keep your site in good condition – I have a list of weekly tasks, and the website maintenance checklist that I’m about to show you is on that list every week.
It’s not always fun. In fact, most weeks it feels more like a pain-in-the-you-know-what than anything. But let’s face it: a few minutes spent each week taking care of my site is so much less of a headache than having my site crash and losing years of content and hard work in one auto-update because I was too lazy to maintain my site and prevent problems before they happened.
Ready to get your stuff together?
Here’s a list of steps that need to be taken regularly to maintain your WordPress website:
1. Make Regular Backups
As you add more content to your site, you’ll need to make new backups. Even if you’re not regularly publishing new material, it’s still a good idea to make regular backups just in case. This should be the first step before you do any other maintenance on your site! I recommending using the WP-Updraft plugin to schedule regular backups that can be uploaded to any of your Cloud storage platforms or simply emailed to you. Automating this step makes the rest of the list so much easier!
2. Perform Regular Updates
You’ll need to download any WordPress or theme updates as well as plugin updates as they’re published. To view available WordPress and theme updates, click on Dashboard -> Updates on your dashboard console. To view available plugin updates, click on Plugins on your console. MAKE SURE you’ve made a backup of your site before you do this step!
3. Optimize Database
To keep your site speed and SEO scores up, you’ll want to regularly optimize your database. When you optimize your database, you clear out any files you’re not using: post and page revisions, spam comments, trashed posts, auto-drafts, etc. None of these files will ever cross your mind on a daily basis, but they all slow down your site speed if not cleared. I recommend using the WP-Optimizer plugin to clear all of these waste files at once!
4. Delete Unused Plugins
Just like those unused files, plugins that sit installed but unused are slowing your site down. Make it a point to regularly review the plugins that you have installed and decide if they need to remain active, be deactivated, or be deleted altogether.
5. Check Site Speed
We’ve already talked a lot about site speed in this post, but why is it so important? Common sense tells us that a slow site is less likely to retain visitors and convert sales. More than that though, slow sites have a lower SEO index, meaning they are less likely to show up in search engine results and therefore less likely to get organic traffic through search engines like Google. Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to get your rating: anything over 70 is acceptable. Follow the suggestions that the Insight tool gives you to boost your speed and improve your SEO rankings.
I know that doing these things every week or every other week can seem like quite a chore, but by regularly following these steps, you ensure that your website will remain a profitable investment for years to come!
Want to know more about securing your WordPress website? Check out this post!
Looking for a fabulous WordPress theme for your blog or website? Head this way for a comprehensive list of the best paid and free feminine WordPress themes!