It’s easy to become overwhelmed by WordPress maintenance, but this checklist will help if you’ve decided against signing up for ingoing website care.
(Don’t forget to grab the website maintenance checklist PDF, no opt-in required)
Things to set up straight away
It’s possible that your designer will have set up some, or all, of these things for you. So, save yourself some time and ask them first.
Having a reliable backup for your site will save your bacon at some point. It just will, trust me. I recommend Backup Buddy backed up to Dropbox, Google Drive or AWS.
What you need to know about your website’s cache is that it help your site load faster and a faster site is good for SEO as well as your human traffic.
There are a lot of caching plugins out there, but the one I’m currently using is Swift Performance which has both free and paid versions.
Google Search Console and Analytics
You want to know if you’re site is going offline a lot of for a long time. Signing up for Uptime Robot will help you stay on top of things.
If your site becomes infected with Malware you may find it taken offline by your web host or, even worse, being blacklisted by Google and other search engines. Sucuri is a popular option for keeping your site clean and cleaning up with the worst happens anyway.
Things to do frequently
When I say “frequently” I generally mean on a weekly basis. These things are important for the health and security of your website.
Update all the things
WordPress core, plugins and themes are all things that need to be kept up-to-date. The reason keeping your site updated it important is because old software is potentially insecure. This means that hackers have an easier time of getting into your site and leaving behind something nasty.
Delete spam comments
If you run a membership site you may also need to remove spam users who’ve signed up with you.
Create quality content
Not sure how to grow your customer base? Start by creating insanely useful content that not only solves their problem, but shows them that you are the best person to solve it for them.
If you’re not planning to blog for your business I’d really recommend that you re-think that plan.
Things to do regularly
Monthly or even quarterly is a good frequency for these things.
Check your site speed
Jump on to Pingdom and plug your website URL into the box and see how long it takes for your site to load. In the “test from” drop down, select the location that’s closest to your customer base.
Delete anything you’re not using
This includes plugins, themes and images. These things are taking up space on your site and giving you no benefit, in the case of plugins and themes, they’re costing you time and effort because they’re another thing you need to keep up-to-date.
SIDENOTE It’s a good idea to leave ONE theme that you’re not using, I choose WordPress current default theme. Then, if you need to quickly swap (which sometimes happens) you’ve already got something waiting in the wings.
Things to do occasionally
Keep your content up-to-date
Are your services and packages still relevant? Do you need to make changes to your about page?
Refresh your images
A change is as good as a holiday and other cliches. The truth is, people get sick of looking at the same thing. Where possible update with personal stock photos. This gives you the benefit of being 100% unique. There are some lovely photographers out there who can help with you with this.
Optimising your images will make the files size smaller so they load quicker. There are a few decent plugins out there, I’m currently using the image optimisation tool with the Swift Performance caching plugin.
Examine your analytics
Your analytics will help you understand what is working on your site and what isn’t. If something isn’t working it’s probably time to try something new.
Keeping your site well maintained is important to the overall health and security of your business. Without a solid care plan you’re at risk of being hacked and blacklisted.
If you know you’re not going to be able to stay on top if it I really recommend that you hire a professional to take care of it so it can keep helping you build your client list and bank balance.
Website maintenance checklist PDF will keep you on the right track.