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WordPress Website Upkeep: Checklist of Sixteen Steps of Vital Tasks

If you want your website to last a long time, you have to maintain it well. This lets you see problems early and then you can repair them so your site stays operating well and is advantageous.

Follow this checklist so you can fruitfully maintain your WordPress website.

There’s a lot of factors involved in creating a website. Having a successful one is dependent on several reasons. However, there’s one feature that some people forget that is vital for your website to succeed —  proper upkeep. 

All WordPress websites need minimum maintenance if you want them to function well and stay secure. Additionally, whilst some work has to get done, You don’t need to make it complicated. You just need to understand precisely what must be done and the way to do that.

To assist you in doing this, we have put together a checklist for the upkeep of your WordPress site. This will help you to know how to make sure your WordPress site stays up to date, runs smoothly and stays secure. 

Whilst that might seem impossible at first, do not worry! We have separated the 16 tasks based on how often they need to be done. It ranges from weekly, monthly and annual frequency.  

Hence, let us begin to learn how to keep a website properly maintained.

Download the Website Upkeep Checklist

Why Your WordPress Site Should be Maintained

A WordPress site is somewhat like a vehicle. If its treated properly, it is going to do its job for years into the future. However, if  you don’t do any maintenance, problems may begin to add up, and if there is a long time before you do any maintenance, your site could actually crash.

WordPress changes all the time. The basic team always seems to add new elements, as well as repairing bugs, working in patches for security problems they find, and more. This is likewise true when it comes to plug-ins and the entire Internet.

Websites additionally change all the time. You likely are adding brand-new content, as well as modifying your design, adding a new element from time to time, etc.

Add all those up and you have a very high possibility of some sort of issue occurring that could crash your site.

That all may sound daunting, however it does not need to be that way. The majority of the time, these many changes happen seamlessly. However, to avert the uncommon circumstances when something bad happens as well as remain ahead of any trending factors, it is vital to keep doing proper maintenance.

WordPress Website Upkeep Checklist

Weekly WordPress Upkeep Tasks

1. Visit Your Website

This task appears to be easy – however, merely visiting the front end of your website and browsing inside several main webpages is a fantastic method of catching any probable problems. So, it is simple to forget all about doing it and stay within the WordPress dashboard. Therefore, once every week, you should merely go to your website and take a look at several of the main pages to ensure it is all working as well as you think it should.

2. Moderate Site Comments

If your site allows people to leave comments, you will have to take a bit of time to moderate them every week. You need to ensure you approve only the real comments, and get rid of any SPAM.

To assist you in saving time while moderating comments, you might want to try a special plugin to help get rid of SPAM called Akismet. Then, you merely have to check once weekly so you can approve the real comments and ensure Akismet doesn’t delete any comment by a real person by mistake.

3. Back up Your Website

Doing recent backups is vital if you want your website content to be secure. If your web hosting company doesn’t do backups for your WordPress site, you have to do it on your own. Most of the time dong this weekly is fine.

If you’ve got a website that stays static and doesn’t ever change, i.e. there’s not any comments or blog postings, it might be ok to do the backups once a month. Your website’s optimum backup timeframe actually is dependent on the amount of time you make changes as well as add things to your database.

4. Utilize Site Updates (Core, Plugins, and the Theme)

If you desire to keep your site secure and functioning well, you need to apply any updates promptly. Each week, it is necessary to check for possible WordPress updates for your theme, core and plugins.

If any updates are needed, they must be done promptly. If  you are concerned regarding their compatibility, it’s possible to test the updates via a staging site prior to adding them to a live site. Otherwise, the website could be put in a maintenance mode whilst the updates are installed.

For a few more tips, be sure to take a look at our guide showing you how to update WordPress correctly.

5. Test the Key Forms and other Features

If you’ve got vital forms or elements such as a checkout procedure, it is vital to test these on a regular basis. There is not a thing more horrid than speculating the reason you did not make any leads or sales in the previous ten days just to find out it’s due to a form that doesn’t work anymore. 

For several websites, you may need to do this once a month instead of once a week. It actually is dependent on how important the forms/elements are to your company. For mission-essential forms where any sort of problem means you lose money or patrons, it is a great idea to do the tests once a week.

And if you have some elements that are extremely critical for your business, you may wish to establish some kind of automatic monitoring system. For instance, Pingdom provides monitoring for transactions so you can test crucial elements every day or even every hour.

6. Check out the Google Search Console

Should Google encounter any problems with your website’s SEO or its mobile optimization, then it shares alerts withing the Google Search Console. Therefore, it is vital that you check there frequently to find out if they have flagged any problems within your website.

You will fast be able to view all problems via clicking onto the warning bell seen in the top-right corner:

WordPress Website Upkeep: Checklist of Sixteen Steps of Vital Tasks

It is also possible to browse all the additional reports to find out any possible trends or changes.

WordPress Upkeep Tasks to do Monthly

7. Do Performance Tests

The speed your website loads performs a crucial job when it comes to your user’s experience as well as your rate of conversion. It also has somewhat of an effect on your SEO. 

Whenever you built your website, you possibly optimized the site for performance. Nevertheless, that does not necessarily mean the website is going to remain optimized, therefore it is vital to still regularly evaluate your website’s operation to find an possible problems. 

Once monthly is a decent frequency for the majority of sites, although you may wish to do that every week if your site is mission critical.

8. Examine Your Website’s Traffic

To recognize what is occurring on your website, you ought to use some kind of Internet analytics tool like Google Analytics.

If Internet marketing is a major component of your plan, you are almost certainly checking your website analytics daily already. The majority of webmasters do not have to check on them that frequently. However, it’s still a good idea to check it monthly so you are kept abreast of what is going on and can notice if there are any trending issues.

If SEO is a vital element of your plan, you additionally may wish to create some sort of monitoring system for your keywords so you can track your website’s Google rankings and check in each month.

9. Perform a Security Scan

Since WordPress is very popular, it is an appealing target for malevolent actors. To ensure the website does not end up being a victim, it is a good idea to perform security scans regularly so you can find any potential problems. 

The majority of WordPress security plugins consist of automated security scanning elements.

10. Optimize Your Website’s Database

Your website’s database is the thing that contains all the site content, as well as theme settings, settings for plugins, etc. As time goes on, it can produce lots of chaos via issues like revised posts, SPAM comments and transients, etc.

So, it is a great idea to regularly optimize your website’s database to get rid of all the junk.

It is also possible to use performance plugins such as WP Rocket. These kind of plugins additionally allow database optimization be scheduled and run automatically.

11. Look for 404 Errors or Broken Links 

Broken links or 404 errors are terrible for your users’ experiences on your website since they cause visitors to be unable to find whatever they are looking for.

Whilst these two issues are not the same thing, they are related to one another since broken links normally cause you to have 404 errors. If you don’t know what 404 errors are, they are what gets displayed if a visitor tries to go to a website address that does not exist.

To check out your website for any broken links, you may use a special plugin for this purpose.

To locate webpages visitors attempted to gain access to which caused a 404 error, you may search for things such as “Not Found” within Google Analytics, then click onto the listing (shown via the arrow in the below screenshot) to discover the precise URLs which caused the 404 error:

WordPress Website Upkeep: Checklist of Sixteen Steps of Vital Tasks

12. Validate Your Website Backups

Backups are only great if they work. So whilst you ought to do website backups every week, it is additionally vital to regularly confirm those backups really work. This can be done via restoring a sit backup to a staging site else utilizing a local WordPress development environment through a tool such as Local or DevKinsta.

Annual WordPress Upkeep Tasks

13. Contemplate if You Require New Hosting

As a website grows, it is simple to get so big that your existing hosting company is too small for you. That’s a great issue to have, however; it may require you to upgrade to a higher-tiered plan with your host or perhaps choosing a superior host.

If you have already gotten close to the limit allowed by your host, likely they have already proactively reached out to you. If not, it is still a great idea to do a check annually so you will know if your hose still meets your needs regarding features, reliability and performance.

14. Change Your Password for Your WordPress Sites

All these WordPress security tips do not mean a thing if a malevolent actor obtains your site’s username and password. So, it us a great idea to use good password rules and change up the admin password for your WordPress site yearly or even more often.

That, mixed with additional strategies such as restricting login tries, ought to protect your site from forceful attacks as well as additional threats to logins.

Ensure you pick a password that’s strong and unique. Password managers such as LastPass or Bitwarden  make it simple to store your WordPress site passwords safely.

15. Review Your Site Content

A content review is a fantastic method of improving your website’s SEO and your users’ experiences. With this, it is possible to double-down on your website’s highest-performing content as well as fix any weaker content. 

Basically, your objectives in doing a content review are to:

  1. Update as week as improve your highest-performing content so it maintains a high ranking and also assists you in getting it to do even better.
  2. Get rid of inefficient content. You can merge it with other site content or redirect it to other content

It additionally is going to assist you in understanding which content works the best for your website so you can concentrate on your tactics in the future.

16. Review Your Website Plugins

Each of the plugins you add to your website is a possible security weakness, as well as a possible hindrance to your website’s performance. This does not mean you should not use any plugins, although it does mean you ought to be cautious in making certain you are only utilizing essential plugins.

Therefore, it is a great idea to yearly think about if your website is still receiving benefits from your plugins. If not, then you should think about deactivating or getting rid of any plugin that is not worthwhile.

WordPress Website Upkeep: Checklist of Sixteen Steps of Vital Tasks

Keep Your Site Maintained and Remove Any Hampering Problems

This checklist isn’t permanent and you may wish to modify how often you do things on your website. For instance, if your site’s forms do not have a crucial role in your company, you undoubtedly do not have to check them weekly.

Nevertheless, we attempted to determine a good timeframe which is the best for the majority of sites. Therefore, this one is a good place to begin whenever you are creating your maintenance polices.  

If all this maintenance seems daunting, you may wish to think about a managed WordPress host, as they do some of the upkeep such as backups, updates, security scans and more. Or else, you can think about hiring a WordPress maintenance service which can do the upkeep for you.

Generally, however, once things get going regularly, maintenance tasks ought to merely take several minutes weekly. You may also require a little more time monthly or annually to do a few assorted maintenance tasks.

If maintenance and upkeep of your website is too daunting of a task, Web Welder offers plenty of services to assist you and keep your website optimized.