WordPress maintenance can get a bit tedious and boring after a while. But, you know what’s more painful? When the site gets hacked and all of your client’s data gets stolen. That’s what happens when WordPress doesn’t get updates and regular care.
A Successful Website Requires Ongoing Maintenance
The majority of the agency owners often overlook site maintenance. But in reality, it is one of the most critical aspects of running a successful web agency. As time goes by, the websites you manage will have many updates. Plugins will be installed and uninstalled, leaving a mess behind, which improves the chances for things to break. It is crucial to perform WordPress maintenance tasks consistently to prevent these situations.
Below I’ve worked out six tasks, I think everyone should be doing regularly to keep the WordPress websites up-to-date and secure.
- WordPress Updates
Updating WordPress core, plugins and themes are more vital than you think. This simple step will keep the website safe from vulnerabilities and give you some breathing room for new features and bug fixes. It will also address issues with how the site functions. Not updating the site means it is vulnerable to hackers or may not display or function correctly in newer browsers and operating systems.
The best way to update WordPress is by using the built-in automatic updater. If, for some reason, you can’t use this method, you can also download theme and plugin updates manually from your dashboard’s updates screen.
Every web admin knows that backing up the website is essential. Unfortunately, it’s easy to put off. A good backup strategy can save you from disaster if the site crashes, catches fire or is hacked. Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to quickly update from one version of WordPress to another without losing any data.
Backup strategies fall into two categories: manual and automated. Each has its pros and cons, but both are better than having no backups at all.
Almost all hosting companies offer automatic backups, but you can always use plugins like UpdraftPlus or BackWPup. These plugins come with a simple interface, and they are pretty user-friendly. Moreover, it will automatically backup your website and transmit it to a cloud-based service such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
We recommend doing backup as often as possible, preferably every week or at least whenever you deploy a significant update to the site.
- Testing Functionality
WordPress testing is not a glamorous task, but a few minutes of testing can save hours (if not days) of work and headaches down the road. Perform some basic tests on the site, such as logging in as an administrator and checking that everything works properly (Pages, forms, links, and content). Ensure the contact form, social media icons, and other widgets function correctly.
Furthermore, you can perform cross-browser testing with tools like LambdaTest. This allows you to check if a website works properly when accessed through different browsers and operating systems.
If you notice something isn’t working correctly, look around at what has changed recently and figure out why the problem may have started occurring. There might be an issue with the plugin, or maybe you’ve recently made some changes to the theme, affecting the site’s functionality.
We recommend that you test your client’s site for basic functionality once a month or at least before making an important announcement, like a sale or a new product line. Don’t forget to give the site a “test run” before making any big announcements.
- Uptime Monitoring
We all wish websites were always 100% up, but sadly the internet is not that reliable. The idea behind Uptime monitoring is straightforward. It involves sending an HTTP request to check the status of a website periodically. If the site cannot be reached, then it will be considered down.
The truth is that websites don’t need to be down for long to have an impact on your client’s business. In fact, if you lose even a few hours of availability over a few days. It can cause serious problems in terms of customer dissatisfaction, loss of search engine rankings, and revenue.
The site could be down due to poor hosting, network, or even a problem at WordPress.org. Sometimes it can take days to get to the bottom of an issue. Thus, it is crucial to ensure the website is always up without interruptions.
Uptime Robot is also an excellent tool for monitoring uptime. It will monitor the site’s status at regular intervals and notify you if there are any problems with it. Ideally, monitoring should be conducted every 15 minutes, preferably every 5 minutes.
- Security Scans
No one in the web industry can claim that their website is 100% secure, yet our responsibility is to mitigate the risks as much as we can.
Security Scan is an automated process that attempts to discover potential vulnerabilities on the site. Performing regular checks can prevent the site from being attacked by hackers who exploit vulnerabilities.
Various commercial plugins are available for WordPress websites that can handle these tasks, like Sucuri and WordFence. These plugins have great features such as:
- WordPress Firewall (WAF)
- Leaked Password Protection
- Security Scanner
- Repairing Files
- Malware Removal
The frequency of scans depends on how active you are with updates and publishing content. You should scan your client’s site every two weeks after updating everything.
- Performance Optimization
According to Google, the optimal load time for a website is two seconds and three seconds for mobile devices. Performance Optimization is not that hard, and it doesn’t require a lot of technical skills.
Speed optimization of a website can reduce the load time and improve core web vital score. Allowing your clients to rank higher, increase conversions, and decrease bounce rates. Another way to reduce bandwidth and speed up the website is to use image compression plugins such as Imagify.
You should test the website’s load speed every week using a tool like GTMetrix. These tools will also tell you more info about website load time and give you recommendations on how to improve its performance.
WordPress is powerful and flexible, but it is also very complex and can create vulnerabilities without regular care. The above-mentioned maintenance tasks can assist you in keeping your client’s website running smoothly. With any luck, they’ll prevent a lot of the nagging problems you might have, from updating WordPress to troubleshooting common issues.
Maintenance Of A Website Can Be Tough.
If you’re overwhelmed by the time-consuming maintenance tasks. Outsourcing your recurring site maintenance tasks to UnlimitedWP is the best way to keep your agency in top shape. With our WordPress Maintenance Site-Addon, we can handle all of the heavy lifting for you. So you can focus on driving sales, marketing, and customer service at your agency.