Building a rock-solid website can be likened to building a home for your family. This is because once you have set up your site, you have to do regular maintenance procedures to make sure that it is always functioning at optimum levels. The time required for maintenance varies, depending on the website size, but it should take no more than a few minutes every week.
Regular website maintenance allows you to pinpoint any potential issues promptly. It is also important to keep in constant touch with members of your audience who have spent some time posting comments on blogs to give you a helpful overview through statistics.
Following are five useful tips that you can use when doing your WordPress Maintenance weekly:
- Check Your Homepage – At first glance, this may seem too simple; however, regularly going to your website’s homepage is important, at the same time, an easy task to do weekly, and maybe, even daily. By merely visiting your homepage, you can quickly identify and address problems such as hosting or domain name issues, and God forbid, hackers gaining access and doing damage to your website.
A good bit of advice is to visit your site using different devices like your tablet, mobile phone and computer, and through various browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Click on the links and make sure that everything is working fine. Try viewing your site from a fresh perspective or that of a first-time visitor to gain first-hand experience on what they are going to see.
- Export the Contents of Your Website – To do this, go to the WordPress Dashboard and select “Tools.” Then click on “Export” and then “All Content.” This will then generate the .xml file that contains your webpages, comments, posts, as well as other info, depending on the plug-ins that you may have installed.
However, you have to remember that although the process will save a lot of your content, it is not intended to back-up your WordPress site database; you have to use another service for that purpose. Exporting your file is very fast and convenient to do, and it may help you save time in case you lose your pages.
- Try Running Any WordPress Theme Updates and Plugins – Running any updates is a highly recommended practice because it will help you make sure that your website is stable. You can see the updates expressed as a number beside “Plugins” or right under the header “Dashboard” and “Updates.” This procedure is likewise easy and quick to perform and it will tell you if you have installed the latest versions.
It is important to note that when you are installing updates, there is a slim possibility that the new version may result to some unexpected issues. However, you will rarely have major problems if you do regular exports and backups as previously mentioned. Although updating requires a bit of work, it is still better than having to address potential problems that may otherwise occur if you do not update.
- Check and Act on Comments – Checking and acting on comments may be done more frequently than just weekly, but spending even only a few minutes every week for checking purposes can help you maintain good control over comments. To do this procedure, just go to the dashboard and click on the comments area. Reply to each comment and remove the spam items that may have been missed by your spam filters. It is always a good idea to reply to all legit blog comments.
- Check and Analyze Statistics – There are many tools that you can use to check and analyze stats such as Jetpack. This way, you can have an idea on who your referrers (where your site visitors are originating from) are, the top pages and posts, clicks, and the terms that people use on search engines to find your website. Although stats provided by WordPress Jetpack are generally sufficient for small businesses and startups, you may also want to use Google Analytics for more in-depth data.