By far, one of the biggest selling points when it comes to choosing WordPress over other CMS platforms is the plugins.
With literally thousands of options to choose from, you can enhance the look and performance of your website with just a few clicks. What’s more? All of these plugins are readily available for download directly from your WordPress dashboard.
While there are plenty of plugins out there for those who want to add cool features and boost the aesthetic of their websites, there are a variety of WordPress maintenance plugins that can make your site run quicker (which is imperative for SEO) and give you added security as well.
Here are the top 7 WordPress maintenance plugins you should download right now.
1. UpdraftPlus – WordPress Backup Plugin
UpDraftPlus is touted as the world’s highest-ranked backup plugin for WordPress — and for good reason. The plugin allows you to easily backup and restore all of your important website files to the cloud with just one click.
If you’re not convinced you need to backup your site, then think again. According to Forbes, 30,000 new websites are hacked every day. If your site becomes hacked, the likelihood you’ll be able to retrieve your website files is slim to none.
Additionally, website crashes — which can occur for a multitude of reasons, including a sudden spike in traffic — can also put you at risk for losing recently updated web pages, blog posts, and more.
The old method of backing up websites required time-consuming manual uploads to backup drives, disks, and cloud-based systems. Fortunately, with UpDraftPlus, backing up your entire site can all be done effortlessly.
2. WP-Optimize – Clean, Compress, Cache
We tend to accrue a lot of clutter on our desktops, smartphones, and tablets, especially those of us who use our devices for a high volume of tasks.
The websites we maintain are no different. Luckily, WP- Optimize can keep your WordPress website running smoothly by allowing you to regularly:
- Clean out your database
- Compress your images
- Cache your site.
This is an all-in-one plugin that not only keeps your site clean and tidy, but enhances your page-load times to keep users on your site longer; thereby decreasing your bounce rate and improving your site’s ability to convert.
You can use WP-Optimize on your desktop, but it’s also mobile-friendly, so you can rest assured knowing your site will always be organized and running at optimal speed.
3. Smart Maintenance Mode
Designing a new website and enhancing an existing one takes a significant amount of time. While your users wait, it’s common practice to have a splash page notifying them that your site is undergoing maintenance or is in development.
You may have come across pages like this in the past, with verbiage like “Coming Soon” or “Pardon Our Dust”. Some sites even include a timer so users can anticipate the precise date and time the website will be up and running.
With Smart Maintenance Mode, you can easily set up these types of pages — and automatically redirect traffic — letting users know your site is being worked on.
The best part about this plugin is that it allows you to define specific IP ranges for who can and cannot see the maintenance splash page you set up. This makes it easy for your web design or maintenance team to continue working on the site.
4. Sucuri Scanner Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner, and Security Enhancing
It goes without saying, but protecting your site from malware, hackers, and unwanted traffic is crucial if you want to keep it running smoothly and avoid potentially detrimental issues in the future — such as your data (or your user’s data) being stolen or losing your site altogether.
With plugins like Sucuri Scanner Security, monitoring your website and keeping it safe from common threats is simple. Here’s a run-down of what this free plugin provides:
- Security Activity Auditing
- Remote Malware Scanning
- Effective Security Hardening
- Security Notifications
- Blacklist Monitoring
- File Integrity Monitoring
5. Broken Link Checker
If you read our last blog post, you know how common broken links are — especially if you use ‘outbound’ links from other websites on your web pages and in your blog posts.
Oftentimes, sites will randomly change the URL destination of a post or web page, or remove them altogether. When this happens, the original link you placed on your website will no longer work.
It’s important to stay on top of broken links to avoid SEO issues, which is exactly what a plugin — like Broken Link Checker — does.
Instead of manually going through your site, Broken Link Checker can automatically crawl all of your web pages and posts for broken, missing, or incorrect links. If/when any are found, the plugin will notify you (via email and through your dashboard) so you can promptly fix them.
This maintains the professionalism of your site and ensures that every external link leads to the right place.
6. Redirection Plugin
When a URL destination is changed or no longer exists, if you don’t set up the proper redirects, this will result in what’s called a ‘404 error’.
Essentially, a user may click on a link for one of your web pages or blog posts, only to be taken to a 404 error page instead.
This can cause you to lose ranking for certain keywords on search engines and increases your bounce rate (or the rate a user visits and then leaves your site).
With this in mind, you’ll want to set up ‘301 redirects’, which is easy to do with the Redirection plugin.
Not only can you manually set up multiple redirects directly from your WordPress dashboard, but Redirection will also scan and monitor your site to let you know a permalink has changed so you can set up the proper redirect immediately.
7. Uptime Robot
If you want to ensure your site is always up and running and avoid any lapses in productivity, then we recommend using Uptime Robot.
This free service can regularly track and monitor your site and will notify you if your website is down or your SSL certificate isn’t up to date.
Additionally, Uptime Robot offers advanced features such as keyword monitoring, custom HTTP requests, and allows you to set up maintenance pages while your support team works on your site.
Download These WordPress Maintenance Plugins Now
As you can see, maintaining your WordPress website is much easier when you take advantage of the maintenance plugins listed above.
At WP Expert, we believe WordPress maintenance should be effortless so you can focus on the more important aspects of your website and business. If you still need help, we offer a range of services including professional WordPress maintenance plans in addition to free eBooks and online tools!