Properly Maintain Your WordPress Site
WordPress is billed as an easy-to-use website creator but often, when we take over a website from another company, the backend is a mess. It can lead to a slow site, downtime, or even hacking. If it’s so easy, why is it so hard for a professional company to maintain?
Many web design companies put the priority on getting the site designed, online, and move on to the next project. Here, we have some simple things that you can do to properly maintain your WordPress website and ensure it works properly for years to come. As always, if you need help, we welcome your call.
1. Keep Your WordPress Website Up-to-Date
WordPress routinely releases updates to the platform. They usually include added features, improvements, or security fixes. We recommend backing up your site before doing so but we have rarely seen an issue arise from a WordPress update. Plugin authors will commonly release updates for the same reasons. Keeping your website up to date on a regular basis, at least every few months, will help keep it secure and performing well.
2. Install a Firewall
A firewall is a simple plugin that can have a big security impact. They protect against viruses, hacking, and spam. Best of all, one of our favorites is free. Wordfence does a great job of protecting our WordPress websites. Choose the inexpensive paid version and you get more options to keep your site safe. From locking unknown IP addresses from logging into the WordPress console to blocking entire countries from even seeing your website, a firewall is a must have plugin.
3. Backup Your Website
You should be backing up every bit of data in your life. Your website is no different. Drives die. Servers get hacked. Sometimes you make mistakes that you can’t fix. Backing up your website at least once per month is crucial to ensuring that if you have a major issue, your don’t have to recreate your entire site. Even worse, once a lost site is recreated, you may suffer in search engine rankings as the site is re-indexed. Spend an hour to get your website backed up now.
4. Filter Your Comments Section
Not only are spam comments annoying to look at, but they can have a negative impact on search results if Google sees them as spammy or they link to malicious content. Stop spam comments by implementing an approval process. If you don’t want to manually approve comments on your articles or posts, add a CAPTCHA tool to discourage spammers and drive them to an easier target.
5. Audit Your Website
Audit your content and the technical aspects of your website regularly. If your website is fairly static, once a year may be enough.
When auditing your content, start on the homepage and follow the path you think that a visitor would take. Is it the path that you want them to follow? Is the most important information easily discoverable? Also, be on the lookout for typoes. So embarrassing.
When looking at the technical items, pay attention to site speed. Be sure pages load fast and properly on the newest browsers. Also, check to see if items like drop-down boxes and other operations work properly. Finally, check your contact forms. If they don’t work, you could be missing some important leads.
Properly maintaining your business’s WordPress site doesn’t need to be a full-time job. A good website management company will do all of this for you. Be sure to double-check that yours is doing it for you. If not, ask them to.