When people talk about WordPress, they usually praise how easy it is to create your own personal website. The platform is indeed a fabulous tool to create your personal or professional website. WordPress does have everything you want when it comes to website creation: a lot of powerful tools, many widgets, add-ons and templates. What’s more, the community is amazing and helpful, so you will get excellent tips and tricks whenever you need them.
But website creation also has another side, and it’s called maintenance, which is very different from creating a website. As most webmasters know, setting up a website is only the beginning, the real work comes after you have everything in check. And it’s not about content creation or social media sharing, it’s about keeping your website up and running 24/7, 365 days a year.
Why should you focus on website maintenance? Why is it so important?
Maintenance should be one of your top priorities when you have a website. Neglecting this important aspect can cause numerous issues, such as poor load times or down times, lowered security, poor user experience and bad rankings. Also, a poorly maintained website will be harder to use, will be more chaotic and will create a bad image for your company.
How can you do basic maintenance for your website?
Here are some simple tips and tricks you can do on your own:
1. Use the latest WordPress version
Always try to stay on top of the WordPress cycle, as it provides you with the best platform for security and additional features. Your website will be safer, faster and provide a better user experience. Try to keep yourself up to date with new launches, add-ons, features and tools on the platform’s website. Upgrade your WordPress as often as you receive the relevant message on your dashboard; it only takes a few minutes and can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
2. Update your themes, plugins and add-ons
Make sure you update every component and sub-component that your website uses. Focus on getting everything up to date, including the themes, plugins, forms, add-ons, widgets and so on. Always try to use the latest versions of every tool and feature. Fortunately, virtually all of these components will notify you when new updates are required, and most of them only take a few minutes.
3. Do regular backups
Most hosting platforms will offer basic backup plans, so you will not have to worry to much about this aspect. However, you should make regular additional backups, just to be safe. Websites receiving regular traffic should be backed up on a daily basis. This way, you’ll be able to protect yourself from hack attacks which may destroy your content. To do this, you should either talk to your hosting provider and ask for daily backups, or find a plugin that does it for you. The best ones are UpDraftPlus (this one is free), BackupBuddy or VaultPress.
4. Answer comments
This is another task you’ll have to do on a daily basis. Blogs live off readers’ comments and feedback, so you should always answer their questions or respond to their suggestions. An active comments section also shows that your website is active, it’s read and people like your content. Your responses also show that you respect your readers and want to give them a better experience.
5. Check analytics
This is where you check on your website’s performance. You should check on your website’s statistics at least two to three times a week to see how everything is working together. Are your links working? Where are your visitors coming from? Do they like what they read? How are they behaving once they land on your website? The analytics will also tell you a lot about your website’s health, security features, and technical performance, such as load times