Building a website is only the initial step. Grasping its maintenance is an entirely new responsibility.
Whether you’ve recently had a WordPress website built or are in the initial stages, understanding the right maintenance procedures is incredibly important to the success of your website’s performance. WordPress maintenance goes beyond content updates. It involves regularly scheduled tasks like updates, backups, and security measures. By following these tasks, you can ensure your website consistently delivers optimal performance, unattackable security, and an overall satisfied user experience.
In this blog, we’ll explore WordPress maintenance, highlighting its purpose and the essential tasks it involves. We’ll also address whether outsourcing WordPress maintenance is necessary for your specific needs.
What is WordPress Maintenance?
WordPress maintenance involves consistently performing tasks to ensure the proper functioning, security, and up-to-date status of a WordPress website. Despite the perception of being time-consuming, routine upkeep actually requires minimal time investment. These tasks include activities like updating the WordPress core, plugins, and themes, actively managing security protocols such as firewalls and backups, optimizing website speed and responsiveness, and confirming the seamless operation of all features.
By proactively tending to these activities, website owners can avert potential issues such as security breaches, diminished user engagement, and low SEO rankings.
Five Important Maintenance Tasks in WordPress
- Software Updates: WordPress comes with a built-in system to manage updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes. Assuming your web server is running the latest version of PHP, you should always update WordPress to use the latest version. Don’t forget to periodically update your plugins and themes to enhance your website.
- Security Checks and Monitoring: Conduct regular security audits, scans, and activity monitoring to prevent and address any potential threats. You can stay ahead of any security risks by changing your passwords and reviewing your site’s error logs to spot any unusual activity on your site.
- Backup and Restore: Out of all of the essential WordPress plugins, a backup plugin stands out as one of the most vital. You need to back up your website’s data, encompassing content, media, and databases. This backup will come in handy should you encounter data loss or other malfunctions.
- Broken Link and Error Monitoring: Be sure to consistently check for broken links, missing images, and other errors. This vigilance guarantees a seamless user experience. This task becomes particularly crucial if you own an older website – one that has existed for more than five years. Take a moment to assess your past articles that link to external websites. Some of those external links may no longer exist, potentially leading users to error pages.
- User Management: To ensure the utmost security and privacy, effectively manage user accounts, permissions, and access rights. It’s prudent to remove individuals who are no longer associated with your company or website. This way, former users can’t access your WordPress account information.
While it’s possible to perform all the tasks mentioned above, remember that they could lose their impact if your website’s content remains unchanged. In addition to prioritizing updates, backups, and security checks, don’t overlook the significance of refreshing your website’s content. Outdated content won’t fare well with search engine optimization (SEO). Your goal is to maintain a positive online presence by keeping the content current and engaging for users.
For more details on how you can improve your WordPress maintenance routine, check out the YouTube below for a great tutorial and checklist!
How Frequently Should You Do WordPress Maintenance
Maintaining your WordPress website is a task that directly impacts its performance, security, and user experience. But how often should you roll up your sleeves and dive into these maintenance activities? Well, the answer actually depends on your type of website and its level of activity. Here’s a breakdown of the ideal maintenance frequencies and the tasks associated with each:
- Every Day: While the majority of tasks will not require daily attention, there are a few that should be on your radar for keeping your website secure and high functioning. From monitoring security threats and unusual activity to checking for broken links and reviewing comments for spam, these tasks can be checked easily as they come.
- Every Week: Throughout the week, focus on creating new content and the performance of the website. Aside from adding blogs, you can update your plugins, themes, and WordPress core if there are new releases. Additionally, perform a complete backup to safeguard your content. Towards the end of the week, you can review your site’s speed and performance metrics to see if there are any slowdowns to address.
- Every Month: At the month mark, you will want to take a closer look at your website’s data and analytics. By analyzing your website’s analytics to track traffic patterns, user behavior, and other SEO metrics, you can figure out how to optimize your website. You can improve your optimization by cleaning up unused media files and verifying that your contact forms and other interactive features are working as expected.
- Every Quarter (3 Months): For high-traffic websites, quarterly maintenance is vital. You will want to take a comprehensive review of your website’s security measures, including updating security keys and assessing firewall settings. Make sure to update any old content so that it’s relevant and contains accurate information. You can even consider conducting a user experience analysis to identify any other potential improvements.
- Every Six Months: Smaller websites with lower traffic can space out their maintenance tasks to every six months. Along with the previously mentioned tasks, use this time to revisit your site’s design and layout. Ensure that your branding is consistent and that the user interface remains user-friendly.
Let’s say you’ve used Woocommerce to turn your website into. While this plugin is extraordinarily helpful for your website, its maintenance is also very important. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your Woocommerce is running smoothly:
Update All Software
When using Woocommerce, it’s incredibly important to maintain your website by consistently updating your software whenever a new version is released. If this becomes too much of a time-consuming task, Woocommerce also has the ability for automatic updates with Jetpack If you do enable automatic updates, then we suggest you also use Updraft to set up automatic website backups to a remote server, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. That way you can easily go back to a previous version of your website in the event that an auto-update fails or cause a website problem.
Backup your Site
The worst thing that can happen is for all your hard work to one day be gone because the information stored on the website vanished. Products, customers, and other vital information need to be saved should a hacker or website malfunction come in and erase those details. Make sure you’ve backed up your site regularly.
Consistently Check Inventory
It’s very important to make sure you’re always up-to-date not only with your website itself but also with your customers. Updating your customers on potential products, what they look like, what different models they may come in, and whether they’re in stock are just a few of the things your customers will care about. Making sure these products are renovated every so often is crucial to your Woocommerce site.
Always Check Extensions
If you’re running a business, it’s extremely key to make sure that your extensions are always up to date. Whether it’s payment options or a partnership with shipping companies, these extensions can make or break your website, especially if not properly maintained. Letting these extensions expire can create problems for your site, so always confirm that your extensions are upgraded and easy to use.
As mentioned previously with your regular WordPress website, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure that Woocommerce stays running smoothly. Managing your SEO optimization, looking out for potential security threats, and creating new content to talk about your products are just some of the things that you can do to ensure things are running as smoothly as possible.
Should You Hire Someone to Do WordPress Maintenance?
While certain website owners take on the responsibility of managing WordPress maintenance personally, others make the choice to enlist the expertise of professionals or utilize maintenance services. This strategic decision ensures the consistent and efficient execution of these essential tasks. Drawing from our extensive experience, we have encountered clients who initially attempted self-maintenance only to find themselves overwhelmed by its demands. This approach can inadvertently lead to increased workload and potential setbacks, especially when pre-existing issues come into play.
In light of this, we advocate for engaging a professional once your website has been established, regardless of whether you built it yourself or collaborated with a web developer. Collaborating with a skilled developer empowers you to establish an appropriate schedule and task list tailored to your website’s unique requirements. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to carefully assess the advantages and disadvantages when choosing whether to hire professional assistance. See below for some specifics to look out for:
- Expertise: Professionals bring extensive knowledge and experience to the table, ensuring meticulous task execution.
- Time Savings: Delegating maintenance frees you to focus on core business activities.
- Scheduled Updates: Professionals adhere to update schedules, keeping your WordPress framework optimized.
- Technical Support: Quick solutions for technical issues are readily available with experts on standby.
- Data Security: Automated backups and recovery plans prevent data loss effectively.
- Security: Professionals monitor and address security concerns to prevent breaches.
- SEO: Experts apply SEO best practices to boost search engine visibility.
- Scalability: Maintenance services adapt as your website evolves.
- Cost: Professional maintenance incurs expenses, crucial to consider on a budget.
- Control: Entrusting maintenance gives up some control to a third party.
- Service Variation: Quality among providers can differ, demanding careful selection.
Website Maintenance in Clearwater | Websults
Website updates are performed at an hourly rate for ad hoc updates or we can work with you to give you a fixed monthly price quote for a predetermined batch group of website change requests and updates. For ongoing updates, we can work off of an hourly rate or a flat monthly fee as long as the updates are consistent in terms of time required from month to month.
At Websults®, we believe in delivering web solutions that produce real bottom-line results for our clients. With experience in web development, SEO, web hosting, and website maintenance, we work closely with clients across a variety of industries to provide customized web solutions that meet their unique needs.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation and see how we can help you achieve your web development and website maintenance goals! There’s a good chance that our ongoing service will not only save you money but also provide you with better and faster service.