Maintaining a WordPress website is a routine task that’s very much underrated. In a frenzy of running a successful website, webmasters forget the importance of keeping their WordPress site maintained and optimized.
But here’s the thing; without maintaining your WordPress site, you’re going to face maintenance problems and even security flaws that can hinder your processes.
To counter these technical issues, we will be looking at the eight essential maintenance requirements for a website. Hopefully, when you’re finished with the article, you will better grasp what it takes to maintain a WordPress website.
Note: These eight essential steps are intended to be performed on a weekly basis. However, some tasks, like image optimization, can be performed on a need-to-do basis.
With this in mind, let’s begin.
The 8-step WordPress Maintenance Checklist
Check and Delete Spam Comments
The first maintenance task on our list is also the easiest.
Spam comments are a scourge of the internet. If they’re not regulated, they can cause serious harm to a website.
If you’re using WordPress, you don’t have to worry about spam comments with even spammier links appearing on your web pages. Akismet, the anti-spam WordPress plugin, comes built-in with every WordPress installation.
Now, you’re covered from getting spam directly on your WordPress pages. All you have to do now is moderate only to allow relevant comments to pass through.
Just visit the comments moderation section on your WordPress website to see which comment is relevant and which is not. We would advise you to approve the relevant ones first up and then bulk-delete the spam comments.
It’s not a maintenance task per se, but it’s an administrative task that helps keep your notifications tab clean. Also, it adds value to your content when you allow relevant comments.
Optimize Your WordPress Database
Your WordPress database is an essential part of your website. It’s got everything from content to comments, user settings, and more. For one reason or another, many webmasters aren’t too focused on this important aspect.
If you’ve been running a WordPress website for a while now, there is a high-probability that your backend contains a lot of junk data. It should be a cause for concern since when deregulated, such data can go and increase the size of your WordPress backups.
When you optimize your WordPress database, you’re keeping all the necessary files and deleting unnecessary files. Make sure to keep your database clean.
Run Performance Tests
The significant step towards WordPress maintenance is optimizing the performance of your WordPress website. While necessary, WordPress users do it first up and then ignore this crucial step.
Performance optimization matters a lot. You need a website that loads fast and effectively. If you don’t fulfill these requirements, you can see a decline in your list of customers because Google prefers websites optimized for performance.
Henceforth, auditing your website for performance is a regular maintenance task that you need to look at.
To start with, visit GTMetrix, and Google PageSpeed Insights to see the performance of your website and then improve upon the suggestions provided by these tools.
In addition to this, keep auditing your website for improvements and modifications. Focusing on every aspect of your website helps to make it more optimized for performance.
We like WPRocket for this as it’s a great all-in-one performance and speed optimization tool.
Optimize Images on Your WordPress Site
Following up on the previous step, let’s talk about the importance of image optimization in-depth.
Suppose you write one of the best content pieces you’ve ever written. You publish the content, but you don’t optimize your images. What will happen? Your web pages will load slower, and seeing how modern viewers don’t want to see a loading screen, failure to optimize can lead to performance issues and reduced viewership.
Large-size images consume too many resources and make the size of a web page larger. With such a large page query, your server takes more time to load resources. That time is reduced to a considerable degree if you’re using optimized images in your content.
Yes, while you can use various WordPress plugins to optimize images, not everyone in your team would be careful enough to use optimized images. If you’re a prominent publication, you should keep your readers informed on the importance of image optimization.
So, apart from optimizing the images you upload in the future, you should look at your already published images’ file sizes.
Perform a Thorough Content and SEO Audit
When optimizing your website, don’t limit yourself to just the elements on your website. It would help if you also focused on optimizing the content displayed on your website per SEO.
Here’s what you can do.
First of all, visit your Google Search Console and see which keywords you’re getting the most traffic from. If you haven’t set up search console just yet, it’s highly recommended that you should.
Analyzing the keywords is an essential aspect of your content optimization task. It helps you locate keywords that you are already ranking for. With those keywords in mind, you can alter your present and future content around those particular keywords.
The next thing that we need to do is to use Google Analytics. It’s one of the handiest free tools in the market and helps you see what kind of content is viewed more in some regions than others. By analyzing that data, we can see what sort of content is more popular. If you’re running an eCommerce website, it can help you analyze customers to improve your conversion rates.
On WordPress, you can optimize your content for SEO using a plugin like Yoast SEO. Using the plugin, you can add keywords, and the plugin shows the number of times the keyword is being used in the content.
Besides these activities, you can add more value to your content by writing informative content while also adding images, infographics, and embedded videos. Value-laden content can prove very beneficial in improving your readership.
Find and Fix Broken Links
As your website operations grow, you will encounter external links that don’t direct to the linked website. The website might have gone down, or they might have shut down. Whatever the case, your website has broken links that, if visited, can lead to an increase in bounce rates.
Broken link maintenance is the first step towards improving the website experience. To make sure your users get the best experience, you need to redirect them to high-quality and live websites.
Backup Your Website
Most modern websites are dynamic in that they publish content frequently. Because of these constant updates, it becomes essential for them to have a backup they can revert to when things go south.
When you keep a backup of your site, you are essentially making sure that you have a working copy of your website in case your website goes down, gets hacked, or something breaks. If you’re not backing up your website at the moment, then we would suggest you start creating backups.
Besides being a crucial part of maintenance, backups are an essential aspect of WordPress security.
On WordPress, you have several options for creating backups. You can upload a copy of your WordPress site to the cloud-ready to be used if something goes wrong. If you’re not looking to opt for a cloud solution for backups, then what you can do is create a backup using a WordPress plugin.
If your website is performing well, then you need to be vigilant. Don’t relax, thinking that crashes and downtimes would never arrive. They’re inevitable. But the silver lining is that when you have everything prepared, you will be well on your way to keep your site maintained.
Update Themes and Plugins
The final step towards keeping your website maintained is to keep your plugins and themes up-to-date.
On WordPress, choosing WordPress themes and plugin and updating them is very easy. The CMS notifies you whenever an update is available. We would advise you to update your plugins and themes at the moment, and an update is available.
Whenever WordPress theme and plugin developers roll out an update to their products, they release products that are free from bugs and vulnerabilities. This update helps make WordPress a lot more secure at the end of the day.
To review, WordPress maintenance is an ongoing task that you must perform diligently to keep your website operations smooth and error-free.
While there are plenty of other, more technical maintenance tasks, we feel that these eight steps would be sufficient to help you start.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article!
What else is on your WordPress maintenance list? Drop a comment in below to share what you do to keep your website at peak performance.