WordPress maintenance is an important part of keeping your site running smoothly. This includes the plugins, themes, and server-side configurations you use to build your site. While it's not the sexiest part of maintaining a website, it's a key component in making sure everything is working properly behind the scenes. If you're managing a WordPress site for your business, here are some tips on how to keep everything running smoothly.
1. Backup your site frequently.
One of the most important things you can do to improve the performance of your website is to back it up frequently. This way, if something happens to your site, you don’t lose all of your content. You can restore your site from your backup and be up and running again in minutes.
Make sure to regularly back up your site’s files. When you create a new WordPress install, you’ll automatically have a backup of your site’s files on your web server. These backup files include all of your stylesheets, scripts, and any other files you want to keep on your site.
To back up your site, connect your site to your web host’s web folder on your private web server. Then create a new folder on your desktop (sometimes called a virtual disc, or USB drive) and name it “backup.” Move files from your web server into the new backup folder.
In the event that the files on your web server get corrupted, you can restore your site from your backup and start again from scratch.
You may have heard the expression “one more log in the storm” before. This means that more is more when it comes to providing security for your website.
Sites may be scanned by hackers more frequently than they used to, which means you shouldn’t have to worry about getting hacked because of one mistake. One simple tool you can use to increase your security is static webpages, WordPress security plugins, and Secure FTP syncing. These can help keep your site safe by giving you additional protection and warning you if files get accessed that you shouldn’t.
If you’re not utilizing HTTPS everywhere you can be, you’re working against your website’s security. You can do a quick security audit of your site by running the automatic HTTPS Scanner plugin on WordPress, Google Chrome, or Firefox. Then visit your site and complete the following checklist:
If you found any advertisements from third-party sources on your site, you can get rid of these by adding these tags to your.
2. Stay on top of updates for your WordPress installation and themes/plugins you're using.
To keep your website safe, you should always keep all of your WordPress installations and themes and plugins up to date. This is especially important if you have an ecommerce site. If a hacker finds a security hole in outdated software, then you’re more likely to get hacked.
As a general rule of thumb, most websites have one major update cycle per year. WordPress supports a couple minor updates a year. If you need to update your themes or plugins more frequently, then it’s a good idea to start keeping them up to date.
Brad suggests keeping your plugins as up to date as possible through regular plugin installers and automatic updates. Don’t forget that external code libraries like theme standards or media queries need to be updated as well. This is especially important with WordPress v3 compatible plugins, and also is another reason why you should do a theme audit for your website.
You should also pay close attention to security alerts on your dashboard or in communications from the hosting provider. WordPress security alerts are important for keeping your site secure and can stop a potential threat before it even has a chance to do any harm.
Latest trends in malware and unwanted software mean that an outdated website may be putting your business at risk. For example, banking trojans may target WordPress or any CMS or content management system that’s hosted on WordPress. If you place your website’s security on the back burner while you figure things out and put your website into maintenance mode, this could be a sign of malicious activity on your site.
If you’re experiencing issues with your site, it may be a sign of a security issue. Look at things like themes not loading properly, WordPress login not working properly, or core functions not working properly.
This is just a short list of the frequently asked questions about maintaining and updating a WordPress website. It’s something that you may have to answer frequently as a part of your WordPress maintenance.
3. Disable plugins that are no longer in use.
One of the biggest problems with plugins is that they can be a security risk. You should disable plugins that you’re not using. You should disable all your plugins, then check each one to see if you really need it and if you do, enable it again.
If you have a theme, you need to disable that theme’s plugins, too. This means WordPress will disable some of its functions depending on the plugins you choose and disable certain settings in the admin. One of the best ways to prevent security risks with plugins is to use file-level variable values to customize each plugin. So if you enabled a plugin and you don’t need it anymore or it’s affecting other areas of your site, you can remove it and disable the other plugins disabled in its place. But if you need the plugin for something, you can still enable it. This way, all of the other plugins remain fully functional, and you aren’t conflicting with whatever theme you’re using.
Rules. They’re so easy to make your content read just fine — and that may be the reason why people will learn to type without using dictionaries. If you add each word you see in your text as a plugin variable, you can make your content look fancy and sophisticated. Just use the code on this page as an example. You’ll want to keep adding more and more technical stuff to plugins, like grammar rules that aren’t present text-wise but that give your plugins attention and a bit more power.
Setting keyboard shortcuts are also super handy. Handy for a lot of things like spellchecking or editing a PDF from your Gmail. In this case, include all the sections you’ll need — appending the the relevant code — in the WordPress plugin for that task.
A lazy-loading plugin is just a plugin that helps your sites load speedily.
4. Use a caching plugin to speed up the loading of your site.
To install a plugin to add a cache to your site, first, go to your WordPress plugins menu in your browser. Go to your Plugins page and click on Install a plugin.
Upon page load, a box will appear asking if you want to install the plugin. If you do, WordPress will detect that some files you added are relevant to the policy, and the plugin will provide an option to automatically add the files to your cache.
Caching can be slow on older hardware or with some plugin versions. While a plugin can usually speed up some aspects of the site when caching is enabled, you might also want to consider disabling it completely. To remove a plugin from your cache, follow the same process as removing a plugin from your WordPress database.
On your Settings Page, you’ll see the Do Not Allow Site Content page. This is where you can disable specific pages and plugins from being cached. Any pages you choose to disable will have a “DISABLE” link next to them.
By default, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as well as other “main” websites, will cache some images, as well as some blog posts. This means that they will remain visible on your website even if your site is not available, cached, or visited by disabled users. In addition, cached pages can still be accessed if you refresh the page from a page that was not cached- for example, if your encryption keys get compromised.
For more information on how to disable or delete cached pages, including instructions on how to do this on different websites, you can check out Google’s How to disable cached images and cached pages or The Answer to All Your Caching questions.
5. Optimize your database to keep everything running smoothly.
Keeping your database optimized is an important part of running your business. You’ll want to make sure that you’re always checking for duplicate records, empty fields, and outdated information. Errors can cause your customers to have a bad experience with your business, so it’s important that you’re keeping everything in order.Time templates are a great way to quickly see how long it will take to complete a task or meet a goal. It’s not necessarily something you should do for your business, but if you’re a seasoned WordPress plugin developer, this is a great time saver.
Some plugins will allow you to do this in the background while you’re using other plugins. Make sure you have a backup scheduler in place of this because it’s not a one-time fix. Deferring maintenance can also free up your time for other projects that need your attention.
Updates are taken very seriously by the WordPress team. When a critical security update is released, WordPress automatically blocks all updates until the update is installed. This is particularly important for sites running with Thematic Mode, which automatically updates your theme and allows you to ignore installing updates in the background. This is a great way to help give your site a fresh coat of paint and spare your staff from potential headaches.
There will also be scheduled updates, such as a scheduled content update that occurs when certain files are updated on your site. A few steps you can take to ensure timely updates are to use the wp auto-update feature to get these notifications while they’re happening, utilize a universal update scheduling module such as Better WP scheduled scheduled maintenance, and schedule updates via Google Chrome to the queue.
Once a system is set up, it’s a good idea to use a scheduled tech checkup to make sure you’ve not missed any critical security updates. Even when you’re not actively working on your site, it’s important to take a few minutes to do a full check to ensure no issues are being hidden underneath the hood.