In the digital marketing ring, the talk of the town is centered around the importance of content and a UX-friendly website. But if you run a WordPress website and you want it to succeed, you need to think about other factors outside of content and design too.
For this reason, let’s talk about how important it is to maintain your WordPress site, and then discuss the tasks that you’ll need to take care of regularly to make sure your site’s in tiptop shape.
Why should you maintain your WordPress site?
WordPress, much like Google, constantly evolves and introduces new updates. Keeping up with these upgrades is a critical part of site maintenance, and in the long-run, it helps you rank on Google too. And plus, the longer you put off maintenance tasks, the faster and higher they accumulate.
Sites that aren’t maintained religiously lead to:
- Broken elements, like links, in the website
- Slow loading times
- Threats to security
- Poor SEO
Evidently, you want a website that functions healthily. And regular maintenance on your WordPress site keeps your website in top condition.
5 Things to Maintain for Your WordPress Site
It’s easy to worry about the big things in store because they’re far more exciting, like your site’s high potential for conversions. But let’s always remember that no conversions will ever take place if your site is dysfunctional in the first place.
After understanding the importance of WordPress maintenance, it’s time to prioritize the critical tasks and the elements you need to look after studiously.
#1 Site speed
Take more than 3 seconds to load, and your visitors’ user experience is ruined. This is especially true for mobile devices. They will leave a web page if it doesn’t load in a span of 3 seconds. That’s why you hear the experts talking about how important it is to check your site’s loading speed regularly. You can minimize bounce rates this way.
You can use tools like PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom to track your site speed and make the corresponding changes.
#2 Site security
The importance of backing up your site can’t be emphasized enough. Just as you wouldn’t want your personal documents lost, you wouldn’t want your website’s critical information lost either. In the event that your site crashes or somehow gets hacked, you need an offsite backup so you can restore your files easily.
This makes recovery far easier and smoother.
Creating backups are relatively simple and can be done manually via your web hosting account. Or you can use the popular UpdraftPlus, a plugin that automatically schedules backups.
After installing and activating it, you can find UpdraftPlus in Settings. Through it, you’ll be able to choose a backup schedule and a remote storage location too.
#3 Broken links
Your site is not supposed to have broken links. They impact user experience negatively, and also hurt your chances at ranking for search engine results pages. That’s why checking and fixing broken links should be a regular habit, and part of your WordPress maintenance priority.
Of course doing it manually is going to take up a lot of time. You can use a tool like Dead Link Checker to scan either your entire website or just a specific page for broken links. Afterward, you get a report that lets you know how many URLs are checked and which ones are working.
#4 Themes and plugins
We all know that plug-ins and themes enhance the user experience through the expanded functionality they provide. But if they’re outdated, this causes a lot of security issues, and then consequentially affect your site’s performance negatively.
So keep track of plugins and themes so you know when their developers release new versions. Because aside from additional features and functionalities, it also entails better security.
#5 Optimizing your WordPress database
The more content you have and the more you make changes to your WordPress site, the bigger your database becomes. And this can bog down your site. That’s why you need to optimize and clean your database to improve site performance and free up some storage space.
These maintenance tasks are more than just routine work, they’re for maintaining order, security, and performance for your WordPress website. It’s what pros (like Cornerstone Digital, etc) in the website design industry do to stay on top of their game.
So never fail at monitoring your site’s loading times, scheduling backups, optimizing your site database, fixing broken links, and updating your themes and plugins.