You’ve invested money and your precious energy to build a new WordPress website that you’re proud of. Now what?
What happens when a plugin stops working because it needs updated? When you start getting spam messages in your contact form? When your website is loading soooo slow?
Every WordPress website require regular maintenance and we believe that’s a good thing.
The technology of websites is constantly changing and so is your business. Regular website maintenance is one of the best things you can do for ensure a great experience for your small business customers.
What does this maintenance look like, and why is it actually a good thing for your small business website? In the following guide, we’ll answer all of your questions.
What Is WordPress Maintenance?
WordPress maintenance is the process of keeping your website functioning with up-to-date technology. It typically requires you to take on several tasks which will help you optimize, secure and update your website. Maintenance ensure that the site is running smoothly and securely.
Maintaining your website requires proactive work, but it’s actually a good thing. Think of it like oil changes for your care. With regular maintenance, your site can always look beautiful and function properly and maintenance will help protect you from threats before they happen.
When your website operates properly, you’ll have added a great asset to your digital marketing strategy. A high-performing website will help with lead generation, online visibility, and building your brand.
Below are just a few of the steps involved in a WordPress maintenance checklist.
1. Security & Hacker Protection
The most important part of your WordPress site maintenance strategy is to make sure that your website is secure. WordPress site security should be your priority because even one instance of malware could make you lose data and customers.
A website maintenance service will take care of all proactive security measures to prevent security issues. Guaranteeing your website will not have a security issues is almost impossible, however, a trusted maintenance service will be there when you need them assisting in the restoration and cleanup of the website.
2. Site Backups
If your website is a large part of your business, it’s crucial that you’re backing up your site frequently. What happens if someone hacks your account and your data is lost? In other situations, your web host may suspend your account.
A good backup will store all of your site’s data should the worst possible scenario happen. Then, you can have your site up and running in no time after a problem. This way, you’ll minimize losses.
You could use a backup plugin or rely on your web host’s backups. But your best bet is to use a website service that can backup your website on third party servers, which will give you the most reliable way of storing all of your information.
3. Optimize Site Performance
When your site takes too long to load, customers will not stay on your webpage. The difference can be just a few seconds. Google data shows that the probability of bounce increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds.
It’s key that you keep your site running as smoothly as possible, including minimizing site loading time. You can do this by removing junk data, optimizing images, and removing unnecessary plugins.
Website maintenance servers will know how to reduce the amount of unnecessary information on your web pages while keeping the high level of quality every good website has.
4. Upgrade WordPress Features
Using a WordPress website means that the technology is constantly evolving and new versions are constantly released. Website maintenance involves upgrading your WordPress version, WordPress theme and plugins. WordPress releases version updates as frequently as twice a month, and you should be installing these updates as soon as possible.
Usually, updates include patches, bug fixes, and enhanced improvements that are key to keeping your website functioning well.
Ideally, you would update these as soon as there is an update. However, this can be unrealistic and time-consuming to do yourself. Using a website maintenance service will ensure that site updates will be checked frequently. Team members will stay on top of updated schedules.
5. Check User Experience
What does a customer see when they visit your site? How do they interact with it?
Having a strong user experience is important for a successful small business website. Often, the original design choices for your website will not end up being the ones you use forever.
You’ll end up updating your website design and functionality based on how people interact with your website. To do this, it’s best to have a team of website experts regularly monitoring and updating your website.
They can track how users interact with pages on your site and find out the most effective ways to display information. With ongoing maintenance, you can optimize your website design to covert the most leads and engage the most people.
6. Fix Broken Links
Every time your site has a broken link, users can’t access information on your site. This in and of itself is a big deal for your website.
But potentially even more important is the effects on search engines. When your site contains broken links, Googlebot and other search engines have difficulty crawling and indexing your web pages.
Even with great SEO content, these search engines will not be able to rank your content. To avoid this, you should conduct regular maintenance on your website. Your page rankings will thank you in the long run!
7. Identify and Delete Spam
Spam is an issue for many websites, especially as your site begins to gain traction. If your site allows people to make comments, you run the risk of attracting spammy content. Some are just random posts that want to attract attention, while others cantina malicious information designed to trick visitors.
Spam comments make it unlikely that real visitors will want to engage with your website. Having these comments can also be a security risk if they do contain malware.
That’s why it’s important to conduct regular maintenance on your website. You can eliminate these comments and keep your website as friendly as possible.
The Benefits of WordPress Maintenance
Maintaining a regular WordPress maintenance schedule can do wonders for your website, plus you’ll have peace of mind that your website is generating leads and attracting more customers even while you’re sleeping.
You don’t have to do it alone. Center Street Digital can help you keep your site running smoothly, and we offer the services we mentioned above in our Website Care Plans. Contact us to learn more!