WordPress out of the box is great, it can load a webpage in less than half a second! However if you don’t take care of your website, it can become slow, cause random errors and be exploited by hackers looking to take advantage of your audience and resources. Like running a business, WordPress websites need maintaining and improving over time, however WordPress maintenance can be easy once you know how.
One of the most important steps you can take when looking to maintain a WordPress website is to setup regular backups to the cloud. However bear in mind that if your site were to be compromised, a backup can also be compromised, but at least you’ll have something you can work from and you wont have to start from scratch after losing your websites data where it’s hosted.
Most WordPress websites that are slow and buggy have issues because they use bloated themes and have too many plugins, however any good theme or plugin will release updates to improve their code, which will result in making your websites performance better. Such updates can cause issues due to an incompatibility so it’s up to you to test and roll them out as required.
Outdated Themes and Plugins
If a plugin hasn’t been updated for some time it may have been abandoned by it’s developers, so it’s worth checking the last updated time in the view details section. If it’s been a year or since the last update then you may want to consider removing, or replacing such plugins with another.
Performing a regular security scan is a must, you can use the WordFence plugin for this. If you notice something odd with your site, it may not be a technical issue, but hackers using your resources to run their scripts which can affect your websites performance.
WordPress revisions are great as they store versions of your content which allow you to revert your changes should your content go wrong, however these revisions and other data such as spam comments use up space in your database, which are loaded each time someone visits your site, so cleaning out such useless data can go a long way to improving the performance of your website.
Broken links can annoy visitors who are trying to find the information they require. Find these links before your users and the search engines, take action by fixing them, or if the pages linked to no longer exist, redirect them to an alternative page. By regularly fixing broken links not only will you be making your website easier to use, you’ll also keep your search engine optimization intact.
If you have comments enabled on your website, then you need to moderate them. By going in and approving, responding, and marking the spam you’ll keep your visitors engaged and the conversation flowing.
Checking in on your analytics will enable you to see trends and check if your goals are being met. And by identifying where your website needs improvement you can make tweaks, for which you can test and improve gradually and then replicate the successes to different areas of your website.
It’s important to check the functionality within your website to ensure that everything is working as expected. Some of the things to check for include testing your website on different devices and browsers for bugs, testing your forms to ensure deliverability, and checking your navigation to ensure that each link goes to it’s intended destination.
When it comes to on-page SEO every new page, post and category should at least have a meta description. Often this can be forgotten, so it’s worth sweeping through these to ensure that you’re telling the search engines what everything is so they can best find it and show it to people searching for your content.
There are a range of things you can do to maintain your on-page SEO such as optimizing your images and including alt text, adding links to your content – including references to show that you’ve done your research, and ensuring that your keyword for a particular page, or post is used within the first 100 words.