So you keep your WordPress in shape – the maintenance checklist

Whether you’re a freshman or seasoned webmaster, maintenance is an important factor in improving the quality of your WordPress site and making you sleep better.

Using WordPress as the engine of your website, it is not enough to create the website and then stop worrying about it. Your WordPress should be a well-oiled machine that always serves you well.

Especially if you want to live off your content, you should create a checklist to maintain your website. This article should help you with this.

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Wordpress Maintenance Checklist: You should pay attention to this
Do you care for your car, why not your WordPress?

Why maintenance is so important

If your site is to contribute to your income or even fully finance it, then you have to take care of it too. Much can happen quickly without us noticing.

Activation of a plugin may already partially destroy the design of your theme. In addition, you may become the target of a hacker attack. You can not simply ignore your site for a long time. Take care of it like your car, and it will serve you well.

If you have already implemented some of the points listed below, this is a good start! However, you will not have one or the other item on your list.

1 – Look at your website like any visitor

In most cases, we only see the admin section of our website, but we hardly ever see how the page is viewed by the visitors.

But that’s important, because then you can quickly determine if a plugin may be disrupting your design in some areas or not optimally integrated into the design of your website.

In addition, it could also be possible that the usability should be improved. If you find something in that direction, better fix it immediately. You do not entertain your website for you, but for your visitors.

2 – Create a child theme

Whenever you want to make significant changes to the design of your theme, or through thefunctions.phpto add a new feature, you should use a child theme for it. Because only then are your changes after a theme update still available.

Additional Information:

This is how it works: Webs Guide to WordPress Child Themes

3 – Ensure regular backups


VaultPress: Optimal backup solution for only $ 3.50 monthly.
VaultPress: Optimal backup solution for only $ 3.50 monthly.

A backup of your internet presence is extremely important! WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world and therefore the declared favorite of the hacker community. Every day WordPress sites are attacked, no matter how small or insignificant they may appear.

Therefore, make sure you have a functional backup of your page. Experience has shown that it is disadvantageous to save the backups on the server where the website is located.

I recommend you subscribe to VaultPress for this job. This way, even beginners get along well.

It costs currently$ 39 a year, Once backed up, you can restore the entire site with one click, or just individual files. I’ve been using this service for years and he has always served me well.

4 – Keep WordPress, Theme and Plugins up to date

The three worst WordPress vulnerabilities are WordPress, plugins and themes.

WordPress Core:With each new version, the vulnerabilities of the previous version are also known. Without a quick fix, you have a serious security problem and you should not be surprised if the friendly neighborhood hacker takes advantage of the loopholes.

plugins:The code quality of the plugins from the free directory of WordPress is usually not exhilarating, because there is no proper quality control for the inclusion of a plugin in the directory instead. Therefore, you should only choose the plugins that experience a regular update.

Danger:Even plugins that are not activated pose a significant security risk. You should delete these plugins.

Themes:Themes also need regular updates. So that your theme is still up-to-date with design changes, use a child theme. Themes that are not used should be deleted. They also pose a security risk.

Take care of all the updates regularly, and your website will stay safe. Delete unused themes and plugins.

5 – Optimize the loading time of your website

The load time of your website should be as low as possible. There are two reasons for the speed of the development of the speed: The faster your website loads, the better your posts are ranked in the Google search. If your website loads faster than a competitor’s, you will appear in the search results in front of it.

The second reason is increased usability. Earlier in the text I already noted that you do not have your website for you, but for your visitors. The average user lacks patience. If your WordPress page loads too slowly, it will leave the page and not come back.

Google likes to see a limit of 1.5 seconds to load. However, an average WordPress website will only build up in about 4 seconds. Eighty percent of this is the excessive use of plugins, the remaining twenty percent account for non-optimized images.

Delete all plugins that do not necessarily have to be. Game stuff like slider costs real speed and annoys the visitors. Optimize your images in terms of size and file size before using them in the articles. Get involved with the things that make your website faster.

Test the loading time: The Pingdom tools

The Google Page Speed Tools are not the right tool for speed optimization, because they do not show you the loading time. Use the Pingdom tools for this. There you can see the real speed and the things you can improve. Enter your URL and select “Test from Stockholm, Sweden”.

An example:


The correct entry of URL and test location.
The correct entry of URL and test location.

The result of the speed test for my website.
The result of the speed test for my website.

The improvement potential of my website: the pictures.
The improvement potential of my website: the pictures.

Additional Information:

Dr Web Shop: E-Book: WordPress Performance

6 – Regularly check your links for functionality

You probably never checked the function of the links on your website. Comfort yourself, you are not alone. However, broken links are a real problem. Having broken links means losing important SEO points because Google also evaluates the usability of a website.

Your visitors also value the ease-of-use because no-one likes to click on a link that can not provide the information they want.

Check your links regularly. You can use a plugin for this job, I recommend the plugin Broken Link Checker.


Broken Link Checker Plugin
Automatic, good and useful: the Broken Link Checker Plugin

7 – Check and optimize your 404 error page

Users are currently getting the error page of a website relatively often. Either you have entered a wrong URL or a link has stopped working. Of course, the content could even have moved.

Just because the users get to see this page from time to time, the optimization is quite useful for you. Because this site decides whether you will lose the visitor or not.

Most themes offer a template for error output, it’s called404.php, This template can be opened and edited with an HTML editor. Get a translation, include a search function and list your best posts. A link to your sitemap should not be missing.

Additional Information:

Dr Web: Sitemap with WordPress: A table of contents for your readers

8 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This part is easily forgotten, and you can collect many points here. Several SEO plugins have already integrated this part; for example Yoast SEO. Below the writing editor in WordPress you will find the appropriate box.


Work on all the points in the SEO box and your posts are well prepared for Google.
Work on all the points in the SEO box and your posts are well prepared for Google.

9 – Post new posts regularly

The more posts you post, the more visitors you will get. Logical, because you then placed more articles in Google Search. To make Google visitors your loyal readers, you should regularly post new posts.

One contribution per week is regular. A post every fourteen days as well. However, it is important that you do it regularly and your readers can rely on it.

10 – SEO: Rework your posts regularly


SEO: Extra points through current content.
SEO: Extra points through current content.

If you have already written some posts, then you have a good foundation for additional SEO and user points. I urge you to regularly revise your old posts to keep them up-to-date.

The more recent posts your blog contains, the better you’ll be in the search results.

Backlinko’s Brian Dean writes only one post a month, but keeps all his articles up-to-date. This gives him top positions in the ranking for some keywords. Your visitors will be thrilled too, because you will only have current information ready for them.

Additional Information:

Dr Web: How to keep your content fresh

11 – Check your forms regularly

Almost every website now offers a contact form. However, some websites use significantly more forms for a variety of purposes. It would be extremely unfavorable for you if these forms do not work.

So check if your forms can send e-mails and if they end up in the spam folder of e-mail clients. Also update your admin email address on this occasion.

If the address is out of date, you will not be able to receive emails from your website. Plugins, such as Contact Form 7, use the admin e-mail as the recipient address.

12 – Mute your plugins

WordPress users install and try again and again like new plugins. Over time, something can come together. Not every plugin is needed, not every installed plugin is considered useful.

So go on and off your plugin list and uninstall any plugins you do not need. It’s also important for the security of your WordPress installation. Even non-activated plugins can be attacked from the outside. In addition, this will increase the speed of your installation.

Conclusion

Now you’ve gotten to know 12 points that are important for regular maintenance of your WordPress website. Work off the list and set some points for recurring editing on appointment.

Check for new updates twice a week, revise your posts once or twice a year, and reliably post new articles like clockwork. Then nothing stands in the way of the success of your website.