Websites need maintenance–there’s no denying in that. And WordPress is no exception: Every now and then, you may need to clean up your WordPress installation in order to keep your website fast and steady. And by maintenance, I mean staying up to date, cleaning up, backing up and being on top of everything.
In this article, I’m going to share three tips on maintaining WordPress websites, easily and effectively. Let’s go!
Tip #1: Staying Up to Date
One of the most important ways to maintaining WordPress websites is to keep your plugins, themes and core updated. And, thankfully, this is the easiest part. The core updates itself for every minor update; and as for themes, plugins and major core updates, you just have to check in every other day (preferably every day) or use a plugin like Advanced Automatic Updates.
Yet, even though this is the easiest part, many people forget to do so. And that can lead to serious problems.
Consider the Panama Papers leak: They first found out that Mossack Fonseca’s website was using an old version of WordPress, but then they found out that they were also using an old version of Slider Revolution which had a HUGE security vulnerability. Think about it: Using an old version of WordPress, or a WordPress plugin, or a WordPress theme could result in the biggest scandal in the history of the world.
In Mossack Fonseca’s case, it was a good thing (for the world) that they’ve been neglecting their website updates, but you need to take care of your website. Go on, check for updates right now before moving on with the next tip. I’ll wait.
Tip #2: Cleaning Up Periodically
You’re cleaning your house every now and then, right? You should do the same with your WordPress website, because guess what: It gathers dust too.
Spam comments, trashed posts and pages, old transients, unused terms, duplicate post meta, old plugins’ options that are still in your database… They all need to go. Luckily, we have plenty of plugins that could do the job, even automatically:
Maintaining WordPress with these plugins is easy as a pie!
Tip #3: Backing Up Regularly
This one’s a no-brainer, really: Back. Your. Website. Up.
Granted, backing up doesn’t really help keeping your website fresh and clean, but it does help if something goes wrong and you need to revert to a previous state. By the way, that’s why you have to back up regularly, not when you feel like it. I recommend daily backups for blogs and weekly backups for corporate websites (with infrequent content updates).
If you want to compare backup plugins, you can refer to one of my previous articles. Check it out!
You might think these tips are boring and everybody knows them… but they don’t. You’d be surprised how many clients I’ve came across had lots of outstanding updates and huge database clutter in their websites.
Seriously though: What do you think about these tips? Did you find them helpful, or do you have anything else to add on maintaining WordPress websites? Tell us what you think in the Comments section below. And, as always, thanks for reading!