4 steps to successfully maintain your WordPress website

Are you maintaining your WordPress site yourself? Do you want to make sure you’re doing it correctly? Here’s a short a summary of the 4 main bases you need to cover.

1. Take regular backups of your website

Your website data is not dissimilar to the data you’ve got on your home or office computer. And like the data on your home or office computer, you want to be sure you can recover it in emergencies.

It’s possible that your site becomes compromised with malware, modified by mistake, or deleted from the server (yes, even hosting companies have accidentally done this). In those instances, having a backup means your data is safe after the event.

While most hosting companies provide at least one weekly backup, it is possible you may want to revert back to a previous version. Or, if you made changes to your site recently, the last weekly backup taken by the hosting company may not have the latest changes.

We recommend several daily, weekly and monthly backups to ensure you have a choice of which backup to revert to, and don’t risk losing any important data.

Our preferred free plugin for taking backups is UpdraftPlus. Once you install the plugin to your WordPress site, you can set it to automatically schedule backups for you and link it to a cloud account such as Dropbox, Google Drive etc. It’s best to save your backups away from the server where the website is hosted so in an extreme emergency, if something happens to the server, you could still easily get your website up and running on another server.

2. Update WordPress, plugins & themes

WordPress websites, along with all content management systems, have regular updates to their platforms to improve security, performance & fix bugs. At the very least, these should be performed on a monthly basis.

In addition, certain features can stop working over time, or become incompatible with updates to the software, browser or device. Regular maintenance can help spot these issues before they become live, so they never develop into real headaches for you.

Here is a thorough guide to follow when carrying out updates

3. Scan for security issues

No site is completely safe from being hacked but you can take preventive measures, and be proactive about finding issues before they affect your website. There are many WordPress plugins, free and paid, that can actively scan your site on a regular basis to ensure your security hasn’t been breached.

We recommend  WordFence, Sucuri, & Anti-Malware Security & Firewall. All plugins are free, but for added protection, you can upgrade to the premium versions.

4. Check the site for performance

Broken links, contact forms that no longer work and browser compatibility issues are some of the reasons visitors will leave your site and visit your competitors. Checking your site for issues regularly can stop that happening, and ensure optimum performance.

Make time to ensure your forms are working, your site load speed is fast enough, and all links are working as you expected.

Our care plans are the perfect solution for website owners that don’t have the time or inclination to maintain their sites. If that’s you, contact us to learn how we can keep your site in proper working order.

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