WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist

WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist (2)

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Are you maintaining your WordPress website regularly? Regular maintenance is essential for any website and WordPress is no exception. Keeping your WordPress website up-to-date and running smoothly requires a lot of work. To help you stay on top of it all, and make sure you don’t miss any important steps, we’ve created this WordPress website maintenance checklist. It’ll help you identify and address any issues that may arise, while also helping to keep your website optimized and running smoothly. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Check for broken links

Broken links are one of the most common issues that can affect a WordPress website. These links can be caused by a variety of things, including typos, incorrect HTML coding, or links to pages that have since been deleted or moved. 

To ensure that none of your website’s links are broken, it is essential to regularly check for and fix any issues. Having a WordPress website maintenance checklist is the best way to ensure that you are regularly checking for broken links and other issues. 

The first step in checking for broken links is to use a tool like Screaming Frog or Xenu Link Sleuth to scan your website and identify any broken links. After you have identified the broken links, you can then make any necessary updates to repair them. 

This can be as simple as correcting a typo or as complex as recoding a link to an existing page. Once the broken links have been fixed, you can then check them again to make sure the problem is fixed. 

It is also important to regularly monitor for any new broken links. This can be done by setting up a regular schedule to check for broken links or by using a tool like Google Search Console to identify any new problems. 

If you find any new broken links, you should address them immediately to ensure that your website is functioning properly. By regularly monitoring for broken links and addressing any issues, you can ensure that your WordPress website is always working as it should.

Update website software and plugins

Ensuring that the software and plugins of a WordPress website remain up to date is a critical part of WordPress website maintenance. Outdated software and plugins can lead to security vulnerabilities and website malfunctions.

To maintain the software and plugins of a WordPress website, the first step is to regularly check for available updates. This can be done directly from the WordPress dashboard. To access the updates, users must navigate to the “Plugin” section in the WordPress admin interface:

wordpress plugin update

Here, any available updates and patches in the form of WordPress core, themes, and plugins will be listed. Additionally, users can check for available updates for third-party plugins and themes in the WordPress plugin and theme directories, respectively.

Once the updates have been identified, it is important to back up the website’s database and content prior to proceeding with any software updates. After the data has been backed up, the updates can be applied. 

When updating the WordPress core, you will be prompted to select a new version to update to. For themes and plugins, they must simply click the “Update” button. It is also important to delete any plugins or themes that are no longer in use. Doing so can reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities.

Perform backups

Performing backups is an essential part of WordPress website maintenance. A backup is a copy of all of your site’s files and databases that can be restored in the event of a problem. 

wordpress website backupsWithout a backup, data loss is a risk. No matter how secure a website is, there is always the potential for data to be compromised in some way. Regular backups are an important part of WordPress website maintenance as they provide a way to restore the site should something catastrophic happen.

Creating regular backups with a WordPress plugin is a highly recommended part of any WordPress website maintenance checklist. There are a variety of WordPress plugins available to help automate the process so that new backups can be created on a regular basis. 

It is also important to periodically download and store the backups on an offsite server in order to provide an additional layer of protection in the event of a data breach or other problem.

Periodically checking the backups to make sure they are working properly is also an important part of WordPress website maintenance. It is also a good idea to check the backups every so often to make sure that the data is up-to-date and complete. 

This will ensure that the data can be restored quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the backups are stored in a secure location such as the cloud to further protect your data.

Monitor website performance

Monitoring the performance of a WordPress website is essential for ensuring that it is running optimally and providing users with an enjoyable experience. There are a few key things to keep an eye on when it comes to website performance.

  1. Monitor your website’s loading speed. A slow loading website can greatly reduce user satisfaction and negatively affect your search engine rankings. Regularly test your website with a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix to measure its loading speed and assess how quickly the content is being delivered. Additionally, keep an eye on your server performance to make sure that the resources are not being overburdened.
  2. Monitor your website’s uptime. Uptime is the percentage of time that a website is available and running. A website with a poor uptime rating could result in lost visitors and customers. Uptime and speed monitoring tools are available to keep track of your website’s availability and alert you when it goes down.

Review security settings

Security settings are an important part of WordPress website maintenance, and it is important to make sure they are regularly reviewed. It is important to make sure that the login credentials are kept secure and that an appropriate level of encryption is used when transferring sensitive information.

https vs http website security

Additionally, HTTPS is often recommended, as it adds an extra layer of encryption to the website. It is important to regularly review the available plugins and themes to ensure that they are up to date, as older versions are more prone to security vulnerabilities. It is also wise to set up two-factor authentication to provide additional security against brute-force attacks. 

You should also review the access logs periodically to make sure that there are no suspicious activity attempts. It is important to make sure that the content is regularly backed up in case of an attack. 

This can be done manually or with a plugin. You should consider using a security plugin or service to help protect your website from malicious traffic and threats. There are many options for this, such as Sucuri or Wordfence. 

Last but not least, its important to make sure that users only have the necessary access privileges, and that passwords are regularly changed (random password generator). By taking all of these steps, you can make sure that your WordPress website is kept secure and is kept up to date with the latest security measures. 

Optimize images

Image optimization is an important factor when it comes to website maintenance and should be included in any WordPress website maintenance checklist. Making sure that all of your website images are optimized correctly helps to improve the user experience of your website by making your web pages load faster. 

smush-proIt can help improve your website’s search engine rankings because optimized images are easier for search engine bots to index. Optimizing images can be done through the use of image compression tools and plugins such as Smush, which can help reduce image size without compromising on quality.

Another important factor to include in your WordPress website maintenance checklist is setting up an image sitemap. An image sitemap makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index your website images, which can help increase your website’s search engine rankings. 

It can be beneficial for users who are browsing your website on mobile devices, as it will help ensure that your images are displayed in the optimal size and format for the user’s device. A WordPress plugin can be used to generate an image sitemap which can be submitted to search engines for indexing. A well know plugin that will auto generate a sitemap is called Yoast, an all round SEO plugin.

Its also important to ensure that your website images are properly labeled with relevant titles, descriptions, and alt tags. This will help search engine bots to understand what your images are depicting, which can help improve your website’s search engine rankings. 

Additionally, it can help make your website more accessible to users who are visually impaired and rely on screen readers to navigate websites. Properly labeling your images can be done manually or through the use of a WordPress plugin.

Test forms and user experience

Checking forms on your website is an important part of WordPress website maintenance. Forms are an important tool for collecting customer information and feedback, and any discrepancies or errors can affect how visitors interact with your website. 

When testing forms on your WordPress site, make sure to check for any broken links, incorrect forms, or fields that are not functioning properly. Additionally, it’s a good idea to test user experience by filling out the form yourself to see if the data is properly submitted and stored.

In order to properly test forms and user experience on a WordPress website, the website owner should examine each form to make sure that it is easy to understand and complete, and that all the necessary fields are included. 

As mentioned above, the website owner should test the forms to ensure that they are functioning properly and that the data entered is secure and is being handled appropriately. The website owner should also ensure that the form works properly with all browsers such as Firefox, all devices, and all operating systems.

Monitor traffic

Maintaining a WordPress website is essential to keeping it running smoothly, and this means monitoring the traffic it receives. Keeping track of the number of visitors, pageviews, and downloads as well as the source of this traffic, such as direct visits, organic search, social media referrals, and more, can help you understand how people are finding your website and how they are engaging with it.

wordpress website monitoringUsing the analytics provided by plugins like Google Analytics can help you track website performance and make sure your website remains accessible and fast. You can also use analytics to identify which pages and posts are the most popular, helping you redesign and optimize content for better engagement. 

Frequent monitoring of traffic sources can help you identify issues with external links or other sources that can be rectified so that visitors can find your website more easily.

Check for broken HTML

One of the most important things to check for is broken HTML. Broken HTML can cause webpages to not display properly and can lead to potential security vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to check for broken HTML on your WordPress website. 

You should:

Check for broken HTML is to review the source code on each of your webpages. This can be done by right-clicking and selecting “View Source” in your web browser. Once the source code is visible, look for any errors, such as missing tags, long lines of code, or improper formatting. If any errors are found, they should be corrected as soon as possible. 

View and test your website with a web debugging tool. These types of tools can check for errors in HTML code that may not be visible when viewing the website in a web browser. 

They can also check for broken links and report any other issues that may arise. It is also important to scan your website with a security plugin to ensure that it is secure and up-to-date. 

By taking the time to review your website’s source code and using a web debugging tool, you can help to ensure that your website is running smoothly and remains secure. This is an important part of any WordPress website maintenance checklist.

Optimize content

The first thing you should do when optimizing content on a WordPress website is to make sure that the content is clear and concise. This means editing and rewriting the content in a way that is easily understood by readers. Utilizing headings, subheadings, and bullet points can help to organize the content in a way that makes it easier to read. It is important to make sure that the content is updated regularly and includes new information when necessary. The content should also be optimized for search engine visibility, making sure to include relevant keywords throughout.

When optimizing content on a WordPress website, make sure that the content is organized in a neat and tidy manner. This includes making sure that content is categorized properly into pages and sections and that the navigation menu is easy to understand and use. This will help readers find the content they need more quickly, increasing the likelihood that they will explore the site and find the content they are looking for. Its also important to link internally between pages wherever possible, as this can increase the chances of readers finding more content on the site.

WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist: Conclusion

Overall, a comprehensive WordPress website maintenance checklist is essential to ensure that your website runs efficiently and security is maintained. Regular maintenance checks will keep your website running smoothly and prevent any problems from occurring. 

Keeping up with the latest WordPress updates and security protocols is a must for any website, particularly one that is being used for business. Keeping good backups of your website will ensure that you have something to fall back on should a problem arise. With a solid WordPress website maintenance checklist in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your website is in good hands.

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