Managing a WordPress Site: The Ultimate WordPress Maintenance Checklist

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WordPress Maintenance Checklist

Whether you’re starting out or already an experienced user, maintaining your WordPress is a no brainer.

You must maintain your website regularly to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Still, it can be challenging to know what to do and at what time.

This is why we created this WordPress maintenance checklist, so you can ensure that each add every part of your WordPress site is well taken care of.

The best part is you can use a tool such as ManageWP or InfiniteWP to keep tabs on your websites and make the whole maintenance process as simple as A, B, C.

Without further ado, these are some of the things you need to check while managing your WordPress website.

WordPress Maintenance Checklist

In the following section, we highlight tips that will come in handy no matter what stage you’re in developing your website.

Managing a WordPress website can be costly, if you don’t what you’re doing, or where to start. That being said, let us start.

Visit Your Website

It is ridiculous that most of us get stuck in the WordPress admin dashboard, doing one thing or another. Most times, we often forget to visit our websites like a normal reader would.

And it could be keeping your from noticing obvious errors and other things that need fixing.

Visit your website on several devices, not just your desktop computer. An error may show on your mobile version but remain hidden in the desktop version of your site.

The only way to flush out the error is to visit your site and test out different things. Also, check your site with W3C Validator.

W3C Validator

Update WordPress Core

To keep your site healthy, it’s paramount to keep your installation up to date at all given times. Security patches that are part of the update seal all holes that hackers might use to infiltrate your defenses and cause havoc.

Besides security, updating WordPress core means you’re also getting the latest features that make running your website easier. Most of WordPress core updates are automatic, and usually show a message in your admin dashboard. 

Create a Child Theme

A child theme is an important part of any WordPress website, especially if you plan to make huge customizations to your site. If you make changes directly to your parent theme, you risk losing your custom styles and changes. 

What to do? You create a child theme from scratch using a plugin such as Child Theme Configurator or go with a parent theme that comes with a pre-designed child theme. Many parent themes come with child themes nowadays.

Update Themes & Plugins

Normally, many hackers find their way into your website via outdated themes and plugins. This is why it’s important to keep your themes and plugins updated at all times.

That, plus updating themes and plugins usually comes with newer features.

With a child theme in place, you don’t have to worry about losing your custom styles when you update your theme.

On top of that, get rid of all themes and plugins you don’t use but are installed. This will save memory and lessen the stress of updating your site.

Note: A WordPress management tool such as ManageWP allows you to update themes and plugins on multiple sites with a single click.

Create Regular Backups

I don’t have to tell you how many times a backup has saved my day after losing one of my websites. If you don’t want to lose your work, get in the habit of creating regular backups.

Create full backups that include your WordPress files as well as databases.

Many services, web hosts, and plugins allow you to create regular backups easily, so you have no excuse.

For maximum protection, store your backups in multiple locations, including your computer and cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and so on.

Create Regular Backups

Optimize Page Speeds

Page speed is a vital Google ranking factor. Websites that load faster rank better than their slower counterparts.

To keep climbing the SEO ranks in Google and other search engines, therefore, it’s important to ensure your pages load quickly. Aim for less than four seconds max.

Other than getting better SEO scores, a fast website is a breeze to use, especially for your visitors. If visitors enjoy fast speeds, it translates to better user experience and more conversions down the line. You can use tools such as GTMetrix, Google Page Insights, and Pingdom Tools.

Optimize Page Speeds

Reinforce Security

Due to the sheer number of websites running on WordPress, the platform experiences a fair share of hacker attaches each day.

This is precisely why it’s important to bolster the security of your website from the word go. Otherwise, you might have a nasty day when hackers dethrone you.

Unlike what you might believe, improving the security of your WordPress website is actually straightforward.

You simply need a WordPress security plugin such as iThemes Security or Sucuri, among others. Both solutions are easy to configure and use.

Improving the security of your WordPress site also includes using unique usernames and passwords.

Create the toughest passwords you can even think of, and never use the passwords on multiple websites, as a data breach elsewhere could leave your website exposed.

website security

Test for Functionality

Things break all the time, and WordPress sites are no exception. As such, it’s important to keep testing your website’s functionality.

For starters, you need to check whether your website is responsive or you need to change things around. For that, use a tool such as Am I Responsive?

Another thing you must test is forms. If forms have misconfiguration errors that might be keeping important emails from getting to you?

Perhaps one of your forms is broken and users cannot contact you conveniently. Please check to ensure your forms are working fine. Don’t stop there, check to ensure every part of your website is working as required.

Add Social Sharing

In this time and age, you cannot discount the value of social media as a means of driving traffic to your website.

On top of that, social media networks allow you to create a community around your brand, so you can easily share your offer and gain prospective customers.

For this very reason, create social media accounts for your WordPress website.

Once that’s done, add social sharing buttons to your content, so that more people can share your content with their friends and family. Make it as easy as pie to share content on your site.

easy social sharing button

Integrate Newsletter Subscription

They say the money is in the email list, and we agree 200%. With a solid email list, you have an interested target audience to market to and grow your business significantly. That’s why it’s vital to add email sign up forms to your WordPress website.

You can use a plugin like OptinMonster or Bloom to create a beautiful email subscription form for your site.

You can also use Elementor to create your email newsletter along with creating your site using the popular website builder.

Even for beginners, adding a newsletter subscription form to your website is super easy. Simply sign up to a service such as Mad Mimi, AWeber or MailChimp, and the rest is pretty much self-explanatory. You’ll also find a ton of email list plugins to help.

Don’t miss our collection of best MailChimp templates that you can use to create your email newsletter.

Email Newsletter

Conclusion

You cannot escape WordPress site maintenance; it’s part of the job. While many will deem maintenance hard and time-consuming, the obvious results are a healthier and safer website that works for you and your users alike.

There are many areas you need to keep an eye on as you run a WordPress site. The above tips simply offer you a starting point. Pick one area, fix what needs fixing, and move on to the next.

Just don’t create a website and let it sit. Remember there are many WordPress management tools at your disposal in case you need to automate some of the maintenance tasks we covered in today’s post.

Which are your favorite items in the WordPress maintenance checklist? Which areas do you need help? Please share with us.

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