Your WordPress website is like your home or your company headquarters on the Internet. Just as you would keep your home or office clean and presentable, you want your website to be safe, secure, well-designed, and ready for visitors.
Here are our top 20 WordPress website maintenance tasks:
1. Update WordPress. WordPress regularly releases updates for the latest features, plug-ins, themes, and security issues. You need to keep your website updated so you can use all the latest features WordPress has to offer and prepare it for any security challenges.
2. Back up your website. Anytime you’re dealing with anything digital, you have to back it up. If you ever have to deal with a hack or a virus or a technical glitch, you’ll be grateful to have backups of all your data.
3. Block spammers. Go through the comments on a daily basis and block visitors that leave spam remarks. Alternatively, install the Akismet plug-in that monitors your comments for spam.
4. Review unusual activity. Or install the Sucuri plug-in for WordPress.
5. Redirect 404 errors. 404 errors (“page not found”) are bad for your search rankings and user experience. Track your 404 error pages and redirect them.
6. Test your WordPress forms. Because of errors in the server, WordPress forms can sometimes stop sending out emails. Check yours to make sure they are still working properly.
7. Change your login and password. Create a strong password with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. For added security, change your password every other month or so.
8. Run performance tests. Slow page load speeds turn visitors and potential paying customers off. Regularly check the load speed of your homepage, as well as those of your most important and most popular content. Use Google’s Page Speed Testing tool to see how your website is performing. It will give you a speed score and will even offer suggestions on how to boost your page load speeds.
9. Fix broken links. The longer you’ve had your website, the more bad or broken links you’ll accumulate. Websites you’ve linked to in older articles will cease to exist. While this is sometimes unavoidable, it’s also bad for user experience. Every now and then, go through your older content and replace broken links.
10. Do a content and SEO audit. Use Google Analytics and Search Console to review your content and analyze visitor activity on your website.
11. Check security logs. Regularly check your site access and error logs.
12. Check the Contact Us form. You may need to test this manually every now and then to make sure that it is still working properly.
13. Optimize images. Review your image and media library regularly and replace images that are too large and slowing down your page load speed.
14. Troubleshoot maintenance tasks. Some WordPress maintenance tasks can affect your website’s speed and normal functioning. Perform these tasks regularly but do them during your low traffic hours.
15. Optimize the WordPress database. Regular database optimization and cleaning will help speed up your website.
16. Uninstall outdated plug-ins and themes.
17. Moderate comments. This involves responding to and approving pending non-spammy comments. The comments section offers great opportunities for reader/visitor engagement, so be welcoming, helpful, and warm when responding to legitimate comments and questions.
18. Delete unnecessary files in your media library. Clean out unattached images that you’re not using to save space and give your site speed a boost. Just make sure those images aren’t being used somewhere on the website.
19. Schedule the next maintenance.
20. Clear your drafts and trash folders.
Are there other website maintenance tasks you regularly perform? Share your routine in the comments!