WordPress is an incredibly powerful publishing platform and it’s also easy enough to use for users with no coding skills. Bloggers and companies alike can easily build and design beautiful sites without writing a single line of code. From individual bloggers to Fortune 500 companies, WordPress has become the biggest player in the field of web publishing.
Building your WordPress website is easy but if it’s not updated on a regular basis, it could be in danger. To help prevent this from happening to you, here is a list of things you need to do regularly to maintain your WordPress site.
1. What is WordPress Site Health?
Site Health is a tool in WordPress to check every system on your site — Site Health can check your site for core and plugin errors, database connectivity issues, and many other possible problems. By entering WordPress’ admin area, you will see Site Health’s summary of your site’s current situation. If something goes wrong such as a plugin doesn’t work as it should or if your site crashes — the tool can alert you to problems and identify them. Site Health integrates with your site’s plugins and allows them to check for errors and send you alerts. Whether you’re just getting started or are already up and running, there are a few ways you can ensure that your website is optimized for customers, search engines, and security.
2. Backup Your Website
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is not having backups to fall back on in a data or security emergency. Companies that are hacked can lose thousands of dollars, and sometimes their entire business, if they don’t have adequate protection against attacks.
Having a good backup system in place will help ensure that your data is protected at all times. If your site is breached, access to backups can make things manageable for you. The best way to recover from any sort of damage to your site is to restore it to its previous uncorrupted state using its backups.
3. Keep Your WordPress Updated
Keeping your WordPress website up to date is the most important way of avoiding security vulnerabilities. When new versions are released and updates are available, it’s important to apply them as soon as possible. These patches fix issues before they can be exploited so that you – and your users – can enjoy safe, secure browsing. The WP Updates Notifier sends you an email every time a new version of WordPress is available. This means that you can always be sure that your website is secure — and never worry about being hacked.
4. Update Your PHP Version To the Current One
The version of PHP currently running on your site can cause compatibility issues with WordPress. Upgrading to the current version of PHP will help solve many issues, including making your site more secure and boosting its speed and performance. Due to the security issues inherent in previous versions of PHP, WordPress recommends that all websites upgrade to the current version. Upgrading also improves compatibility with many plugins. Using older versions will put your site at risk, cause slow loading and compatibility problems with other features.
5. Update Your Theme and Plugins
Like any other software, WordPress has its share of security threats. Hackers are always trying to crack your site and they might succeed if you haven’t updated your theme and plugins. Plugins and theme updates can fix a security issue that may have allowed an attacker to penetrate your website; the quicker you can implement those updates, the better it is for your site. While a thorough audit and security tests are mandatory before you launch a site, you should also regularly check for updates to your WordPress core, plugins, and themes.
6. Clean Up Your Inactive Plugins and Unused Themes
As a business grows, it’s essential to remain vigilant when it comes to security. Every day, hackers across the world are hunting for weakness in WordPress sites. All it takes is one neglected plugin or theme to introduce security issues into a site. If you’ve been working on your WordPress website for a while, there’s a chance you’ve accumulated unnecessary plugins and themes, which are an open invitation to hackers looking to give your website a bad day. Take the initiative and protect yourself. Disabling unused themes and plugins helps to reduce the number of possible vulnerabilities in your site — which, in turn, makes it more secure.
7. Control Spamming In Comments
Comment spam is a comment on your company’s website that’s primarily there to promote links to other sites. The spammer leaves posts with links in them and when others leaving comments see those links, they click them and visit the link. It’s harmful to your site because you’re promoting competitors’ services or products when you should be promoting content that strengthens your brand.
That being said, comments are an integral part of your online community, which is why it’s important to have a strategy in place for stopping spam from infecting your site. The easiest way to block spam is to use a powerful anti-spam plugin. From there, you can start adding rules that will block spam from reaching your site’s front page.
8. Find and Fix Broken Links
Broken links on your WordPress site are a bad thing. But there’s always going to be a few broken links or errors that can hurt the user experience and they can also be damaging to your SEO rankings. So you need to regularly check your site for broken links and fix them. Fortunately, most of today’s link checking tools can find, manage, and repair broken links on your site. Search engines consider broken links as a sign of a problematic website. If you want each and every page of your website to be an opportunity for conversion, you have to repair all broken links.
9. An Effective 404 Page
Error 404 pages can be crucial to the user experience. When a visitor accidentally visits a broken page, the page is absolutely critical in turning this negative user experience into a positive one. If users are sent to a blank page or an error message, there’s nothing stopping them from immediately hitting the back button and finding another source of information. But a good 404 page provides them with the option to go back to your main page or to a page with similar information that a visitor is looking to find.
10. Tracking Your Traffic Source
WordPress gives you access to analytic data on every page and post you create. This can help you learn more about your visitors — where they’re coming from, their most-visited pages on your site when they bounce, how much time they’re spending on your site, what their source is (social media campaign or organic), how many pages they visit before bouncing, and more.
With these insights, you can understand the needs of your visitors and cater to them accordingly. The insights can help you optimize your content for better user experience and lead conversion. You can reach out to those visitors through a targeted campaign and convert them into customers.
You may have a partially functional site with good-looking graphics but it can’t give a real boost to your business. To make the most of your website’s online presence, you should scan it for security issues, update content regularly and ensure that it loads quickly on any platform. You shouldn’t forget about updating technical setup and design, offering a mobile-friendly experience is essential to your customers.
If you periodically add new content, update information and run security checks, you’re creating a more engaging and dynamic digital environment for your customers.