WordPress is a powerful and modern software platform with a great set of features designed to make your experience as a publisher on the Internet as easy, pleasant and appealing as possible. However it is not Set it and Forget it. To keep WordPress working like a the finely honed machine that it is, below are several recommendations for site maintenance and administrative tasks.
If you do not sense that you will do these recommended tasks yourself, sign up for one of my WordPress Maintenance Packages.
Back It Up
Backing up your WordPress website and database is a critical task. It is recommended, depending upon the volume of new posts or articles you add to your site, that you do a full site backup of your Theme, Plugins and Database Tables either daily, weekly or monthly and then incrementally backup your Database Tables.
Update WordPress Themes and Plugins
As WordPress is quickly growing and expanding, more features and functions are included and perfected frequently. It is recommended that you check WordPress Core Software, Themes and Plugins for fixed security and functionality updates and upgrades monthly. At the very minimum you need to check for updates and upgrades every three months.
Check for Broken and Dead Links
One of the most complained about aspect of using the Internet is the dead link. This is a link on a page or search engine that goes nowhere. It results in the dreaded 404 Page Error – Page Not Found. These can come from links to external sites that have changed their address or closed, or it can come from internal links. When you link between posts in your post articles, you might have misspelled a permalink address or put in the wrong post-ID, resulting in a page not found on your site. If you’ve recently made a change in your permalink structure, you might have some 404 page errors that might need cleaning up. It is recommended that you check your site for dead links every month.
If you have a desire to make your site rise in search engine rankings, regularly schedule activity surrounding your site’s submissions to search engines and attracting new users. Take care to limit your submissions to the same search engine too frequently, as that can penalize you, but check in with your site submissions once or twice a year at a minimum. As part of my WordPress Maintenance Package, I do a SEO review and will generate and submit your sitemap to the search engines.
Check Your Website Statistics
Who is visiting, where they are visiting from, which pages are the most visited…check in regularly with your website statistics to find out where the action is on your site, where the dead links are, and where users are coming from. This information can help you better fine tune your site to meet the needs of your users and increase your web visibility. You should check site statistics at least monthly if you have an active site.
Delete Spam Comments
If you are using one of the many different Comment Spam WordPress Plugins with your WordPress blog, spam can collect in your database. Comment spam is stored in the database as a “just in case” so you can restore a comment incorrectly marked at comment spam. It also serves as a resource to track down recurrent comment spammers, if you need to.
In general, while some plugins will delete comment spam from your database after a specific period of time, not all do. These entries are dead-weight and unnecessary, and they can accumulate. To delete all current comment spam entries run a php query on your WordPress database with phpMyAdmin in the SQL page at least every six months.
Update Your Site
If you haven’t been adding posts or articles lately, make a schedule to remind you to add new material on a regular basis. If you have, then take a look at what you’ve posted in the past and maybe do a little checking for proper grammar, bad spelling, information that needs updating, rewriting and editing a little, checking for any adjustments that should be made to make the information you’ve released to the public better.
Website looks change with time and maybe you are tired of your old look. It might need a little tweaking to improve its presentation and performance.
Schedule site updates, depending upon how frequently you post new posts and articles, about every six months so your site will stay fresh and alive.
Make it a website maintenance policy to validate your site after making any code or style sheet changes. This way, you can keep on top of guaranteeing users won’t run into problems and trouble that might be brewing under the surface is put down before it can cause trouble.
You can also regularly schedule validation tests on your site to keep it in top working condition and keep up with any changes or deprecations of the CSS and HTML standards. Typically, this should be done about once a year or when you make significant modifications to your site.
Check Your Linkability
Check to see who is linking to you. This is part of the puzzle that search engines use to rank your site.
Dependent upon your site’s activity and need to grow in search engine rankings, this should be done monthly, or at least three times a year.
If you have included advertising in your site, check with your advertisers on a regular basis to make sure they haven’t changed their techniques, pricing, and process. Dependent upon site activity, this could be as often as once a month or several times a year.
I offer many of these recommended tasks as part of my WordPress Maintenance Packages. If you do not sense that you will do these recommended tasks yourself, sign up for one of my WordPress Maintenance Packages.