WordPress websites offer web managers and users an interface that’s fairly intuitive and extremely customizable. Of course, to accomplish that, WordPress sites consist of many moving parts.
From themes to plugins to widgets, it takes all sorts of tools to produce a high-quality site. And those tools need to be updated in order to make sure the website runs smoothly for both administrators and visitors.
To optimize your website’s functionality, you absolutely must make WordPress maintenance a priority. Keeping the facets of your site up to date has numerous benefits, and it will help prevent issues down the line. Unfortunately, counting on yourself to update as necessary may not cut it.
Coming up with a WordPress maintenance plan for your site will give you a detailed, dependable way to keep track of things. Before we dive into creating your own maintenance plan, though, let’s look at some of the benefits of regular upkeep.
Optimizing the User Experience
If you’re hoping to attract users to your WordPress website, optimizing their experience is an important piece of that puzzle. Users are less likely to stay on your site — or return to it — if it runs slowly or has frequent errors.
Additionally, users want to feel like they’re spending time on safe and professional websites. Anything that may lead them to believe your site doesn’t meet those criteria could push them to exit and never return.
This is why WordPress maintenance experts recommend being vigilant about keeping your site up to date. Updating plugins and widgets will enable them to run smoothly, giving your site’s visitors the experience they deserve. If themes, plugins, and image assets aren’t maintained, the site can load slowly.
From a user viewpoint, that’s a big no-no. (Think about it: You wouldn’t want to sit on a slow, faulty website. Why would your audience?)
Improved Security and Protection
Making WordPress maintenance a priority won’t just make the user experience more enjoyable. It will also help protect your site against any security threats that might arise.
This benefits both you and your visitors. After all, visitors don’t want their data taken advantage of, and having such an occurrence could be a liability for your site or company. To avoid any security problems, it’s best to keep your site up to date with the latest protections.
When it comes to WordPress sites, there are actually plugins you can use to keep hackers out. Of course, backing up data and having malware protection on your computer also help with this endeavour. Read on to learn more about which protections you should account for.
Creating Your WordPress Maintenance Plan
Now that you understand why upkeeping your website is such a big deal, it’s time to work on your WordPress maintenance plan.
Outlining which updates you’ll need to track and how often will ensure your site is maintained even during busy periods. So, what areas should you focus on when it comes to maintaining your site?
1. Regular Updates
Make sure your maintenance plan includes regular updates for plugins and themes. These can sometimes be automated, but if you choose to go this route, make sure to test updates once they’re complete.
2. Remove Plugins You no Longer Use
Updating plugins and widgets you’re using is important. If you aren’t using certain tools, however, it’s best to just delete them. Having too many plugins active can impact your site’s functionality. The last thing you want is to have plugins you aren’t using slow down your website.
3. Backup Your Website
Apart from keeping things up to date, backing up your site is one of the most important aspects of maintaining it. This will prove useful if you’re ever the victim of a cyberattack. Having your data backed up means you won’t lose all of your information following a breach.
4. Optimize Security
WordPress sites have decent security, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the extra steps to protect your site. There are plenty of plugins designed specifically to keep hackers away from your website. Click here to check out the most effective ones you can use.
5. Track Your Site’s Speed
Your website’s speed plays a huge role in the user experience and its Google ranking. Luckily, you can track its speed using Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool can alert you to anything bogging your site down. Then you can fix your site before too many problems arise as a result.
6. Plan For Setbacks
Website managers may not be able to predict when they’ll need to troubleshoot problems. They can, however, figure out how they intend to deal with issues that arise. This will make necessary fixes quick and straightforward, keeping the impact of such problems to a minimum.
7. Consider Your Web Maintenance Team & Hosting Plan
If you have a team running your website, you’ll also want to clarify which members are responsible for which tasks. This plan is easier to see through with multiple hands on deck, but not if there aren’t clearly designated responsibilities.
Your website’s hosting company also plays a part in its maintenance, so make sure you’re using a dependable host. We are using WP Cloud for more than 3 years now and we highly recommend them. They are based in Canada, Ontario — click here (affiliate) to learn more.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
If there’s one thing you should take away from this, it’s to stay on top of your WordPress maintenance. Issues are inevitable but don’t wait until they arise to make upkeep a priority.
Web managers can severely limit the number of malfunctions a site experiences just by creating and implementing a WordPress maintenance plan. Taking preventative measures and being proactive will always pay off in the end. Waiting until there’s a crisis, however, will only create more stress down the line. (And problems may be more difficult to troubleshoot at that point.)
If you need assistance or don’t have the time to maintain your WordPress website, you should consider partnering with our team here at WP Expert. We offer monthly maintenance plans that include SSL and malware protection, daily backups, managed WordPress hosting, software updates, and more.