Why Is WordPress Maintenance So Important?

When websites were simple, it was easier to update and maintain. Nowadays, most sites are on WordPress, a complex and highly useful machine for your online business. Because of its complexity, WordPress maintenance can take a lot of hard work. It may seem endless if you don’t know how to organize your WordPress maintenance tasks.

This article discusses the importance of WordPress maintenance. This will also guide you with what WordPress maintenance tasks you should prioritize, and you need to prioritize them. We also include some expert advice on how you can make these tasks easier to manage.

Tips before Doing a WordPress Maintenance

When you don’t maintain your WordPress website, it could lead to several situations such as web pages loading slowly, poor UX, and lowered SEO rankings. WordPress maintenance doesn’t mean you’d only be dealing with WP alone. There are four components worth noting. These should be updated and maintained separately to have your website running smoothly.

The WordPress Core Updates

WordPress gives out updates bi-monthly. The updates include bug fixings and new features. Without these updates, WordPress underperforms, becomes unstable and less secure. In total, this would not be an excellent experience for your visitors.

The Plugins and Themes

Plugins are added to your WordPress website to improve functionality, security, and overall user experience. These are third-party software designed for WordPress but independent of it, When WordPress releases an update, WP plugin developers should follow suit. For your part, the website owner, you should research the plugins you add. Think about its reviews, the frequency of updates, WordPress compatibility, and its performance.

The Security Issues

If your WordPress maintenance plans include employing a professional team to oversee your WordPress maintenance, the latter should address the possible security issues. Your team should create backups before installing the updates. Hackers aren’t absorbed in stealing your information; instead, they are more interested in how they can use and control your server to attack other servers or send spam emails.

What Is the Importance of Doing WordPress Maintenance

There is more than one reason why you should include WordPress maintenance as part of your regular task for your online business.

More Secured Website

Regular WordPress maintenance keeps issues away, especially when you’re using poorly-coded themes and plugins. This lessens your chances of security breaches. A common denominator of most hacked sites is an older site. Without any maintenance, an older website has a greater chance of being broken into. Hackers only need to click the ‘View Page Source’ to check if you have an updated version of WordPress or not.

Better User Experience

When you combine a maintained WordPress website with an updated third-party plugin, you bring in an excellent user experience. That’s why updating the WordPress core with the plugins is ideal. You need to ensure that the performance of your website won’t negatively affect your audience’s experience. Your WordPress code should be without any issues.

Better Accessibility

When you employ regular WordPress maintenance services, you provide better accessibility to your audience, which, in turn, offers a better user experience. No longer would your users experience interruptions whenever they visit your website.

Better Site Performance

Page speed is a Google ranking factor, so optimizing your website for faster loading is a must. Proper optimization and regular WordPress updates also identify and solve potential security breaches.

Preventative Maintenance

This is your best defense against future issues. Instead of reacting to the changes brought about by external factors, you can do preventative maintenance to prevent sudden events that could potentially reduce your website’s performance.

Increased Conversions

Loading time is crucial to keeping your audience glued to your website and ultimately leading them through conversion. Any target market is volatile. If you can’t provide your audience with what they want, they would simply leave your site. They’d move on to the next best thing that can provide them with answers they’re seeking.

Without an updated WordPress website maintenance, your online business is missing out on a lot of things. It will eventually die a slow death since it would be prone to malware attacks and obsolete plugins.

Improved Brand Reputation

With regular updates, your brand reputation increases because you cater better to your clients and audience. There are fewer downtimes and faster page loading. You provide informative content; you’re also making their overall experience much more enjoyable.

Eagle-Eyed Attention to Business Goals

You become more focused on your business, not for putting out fires but for seeking untapped business opportunities. Contrary to common belief, you don’t spend much of your time troubleshooting when you employ WordPress support and maintenance tasks. What would happen is you delegate these tasks, and you, on the other hand, would spend more time developing ideas and strategizing, so you increase your business span.

Protected Investment

Your WordPress website is your asset. You have invested a lot on this asset; it’s such a high price to pay if you’re going to risk this by not updating it when needed.

Allows More Efficient Business Processes

An eCommerce site would greatly benefit from regular WordPress support as the more products are updated, the better your audience responds to them. This could lead to more conversions. The more engaging your audience becomes, the more likely they are to share your posts and products on their social media platforms. This could also increase your traffic in the long run.

What You Should Include in a WordPress Maintenance Plan

Your maintenance plan should include one-time repairs and an ongoing fix. WordPress, the most popular content management platform, is a frequent target for hackers, viruses, and the likes.

Perform regular updates

These updates should cover upgrades for the WordPress core, themes, and plugins. BY updating these, your website performs at the optimum level. Don’t forget to conduct quality assurance testing after implementing these updates to ensure that your website runs smoothly.

Troubleshooting

This includes errors, issues, or plugin conflicts that might arise when third-party tools are incompatible.

Security Best Practices

This includes constant monitoring and protection from malicious attacks, unauthorized logins, among others. Google and other search engines block websites affected by malware because the latter becomes a threat to the users and other sites connected to that infected one. By implementing a WordPress maintenance plan, you are protecting your website’s integrity and

Backups

You should always keep a backup when you need to restore your website to a previous version. Ensure that you store these backups in incremental times in several locations, preferably in a remote server or an offsite one. This ensures that even when your website host is down, you can still restore your site to a previous version.

Server Maintenance Best Practices

Make sure that you are utilizing the current Apache, PHP, and MySql versions. Your firewall and SSL certificates should be up-to-date.

Performance Best Practices

Your website should be working optimally, meaning, it loads images and other rich content faster, and provides quickly the information your audience needs. Your images should be compressed and your pages, cached.

Inactive plugins may also affect your performance. These may impede website functionality and speed or in conflict with the recent updates made by WordPress.

Log Monitoring

Ensure that all scripts and internal logs are working fine. All issues should be handled properly so that the system is stable.

Broken Link Monitoring

Broken links are big turn-offs to your online visitors. These links may signal that you don’t take care enough of your website. It could also translate that you might not even take good care of your clients.

Regular checking of broken links ensures that you are mindful of the content and information you add to your pages. This also indicates that you want them to stay on your site because you can provide them with what they need. Broken links also affect your rankings in search engines. These links tell search engine bots that your website has low-quality content.

Automated Regression Testing

You should know what could cause UI regressions.

Cloning

You create a clone of your site so that you can try new updates without having to cause crashes to your live version.

Spammy Comment Removal

Comments generally generate traffic on your site. These can also provide you with additional insights for future endeavors. Unfortunately, as much as comments are vital, many use commenting to spam. When your web pages have too many spammy comments, visitors think you are not taking care of these kinds of comments. Your online reputation would go south in a blink.

Password Control

One of the simplest but the most overlooked aspect of WordPress maintenance is password control. You are prone to brute force attacks and hacks when you don’t update your password from time to time. To ensure that no untoward issues happen, change your password regularly. You can do it monthly or quarterly.

Content Maintenance

Your content is what hooks your audience to your products and services. You would want your content to be relevant and informative, so it’s vital to update your articles once in a while.

What Happens if You Don’t Update Your WordPress Website

It will be such a huge gamble if you don’t do regular WordPress maintenance. When there aren’t any updates, your website would slowly deteriorate until it doesn’t perform at all, or your website becomes the target of very nasty malware.

You might get hacked.

Being hacked is one of the online business owner’s worst nightmares. What’s worse, Google can remove you from its rankings until you’ve cleaned up your site. That’s practically going back to square one. Developers often update their plugins to include security fixes. If you don’t update this on your end, you might end up having an old plugin version that’s vulnerable to insidious attacks.

Your plugins might get downgraded.

Many premium plugins and themes also run on the updated WordPress versions, so upgrading your WP website is a must, so it runs optimally. Some plugins don’t get updated; these become security risks too. You should replace these kinds of plugins that get upgraded from time to time.

How to Know You Need to Update WordPress Website

If you keep delaying your WordPress maintenance plans, two things will happen. You’d feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work when the time arrives that you need to update. Another, your site would show signs of neglect, affecting user experience. How to know it’s time for a WP update?

Loading Problems

If you leave your website to its own, many of its plugins and content can slow down your pages. It’s also possible that your pages can crash too. The bottom line, your user experience will be significantly affected.

Poor SEO Performance

The longer you delay your WordPress maintenance, the chance that your SEO ranking would be affected becomes greater. You see, Google and other search engines notice it when your content contains broken links or outdated information. These search engines can deduct points from your ranking for not providing better user interaction.

Hacking Issues

When your website has had security issues, and your accessibility becomes tricky. It would be time to have an update. WordPress is constantly checking for security vulnerabilities, so when your site has been hacked or compromised, you badly need to update your WP platform to its newest version.

Checklist for Monthly WordPress Maintenance Checkup

Do Your Backups

Your backups should include your website and content, so you are ready if your site breaks down. Your website is the single most valuable asset for your online business. We can’t stress enough that you can’t risk anything for your website. Your backup should contain everything and stored in a different location.

Two backups need to be updated every week:

  • Code including Javascript, CSS, HTML and PHP
  • Content including documents, videos, and images

Backups are especially vital when plugins become incompatible, or issues with memory and file transfers. Your host server can also pose as a cause for website crashes. You should also count on security breaches.

Expert Advice: You won’t go wrong if you use a remote server to store your backup if your server goes haywire. Instead of manually scheduling your monthly WordPress maintenance checkups, you can use WordPress plugins such as

You can also use a security tool that scans the backup version of your website. One such example is Malcare.

Check for Security

Never take the threat of a security breach lightly. Checking for any WordPress security failure should be done daily. Why? WordPress is open-sourced that allows its users more freedom to add new features but, at the same time, can become more prone to hacker attacks as some plugins are poorly coded.

Always practice good security, such as the following:

  • Disabling the PHP code when uploading to ensure that no code in that language slips in
  • Changing the login URL

Expert Advice: Subscribe to WordPress news to be updated with what themes or plugins are showing threats to security. You should always update your plugins and themes to the latest versions because the latter has more advanced security fixes. You should always review access and error logs for signs of brute force attacks and other irregular activities. You can include security scanning plugins such as iThemes Security Pro or Sucuri too. Be sure to act on those suspicious activities your security scanning plugins report.

Downtime Monitoring

To many, their website is their primary portal, where their customers check them out. That being said, every second the website experiences a downtime means money lost. When your website can’t be loaded, your visitors become frustrated, and they turn away to seek other sites for information. That’s a deduction from your reputation. You can employ a website uptime monitoring service such as UptimeRobot or Pingdom to monitor your website’s downtime frequency.

Update the WordPress Core and Extensions

Usually, WordPress core updates are often rolled out every two months. You’d often notice that the plugins and themes also update at the same time as the WordPress core. This is to ensure compatibility, and these extensions also follow suit the security features that the WP core has. The disadvantage of using an older version of WordPress or any of its older extensions is these are prone to security attacks.

If all three needs to be updated, you must start with the smallest component, the plugins, and end with the largest one, the core, You have to do this in the following order:

  • Plugins
  • Theme
  • WordPress core

Expert Advice: Major WordPress updates can wreak havoc to your WP installation. To avoid this, test the new versions on a staging website first before implementing it on your actual website. If a staging website is impossible, create a backup and store it on a separate server before installing the WP core update. Then, you can check the issues brought by the update one by one.

As a rule of thumb, update the plugins and themes before adding the new WP core update. This also applies when you’re using a child theme. Before you update the parent theme, you must move the changes to the child theme first.

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