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Maintain your WordPress website for best performance

Once you have created your WordPress website it is important that you set aside time to maintain it. The last thing you want after all the work you have put into creating your website is for it to fail. Let's take a look at 12 key things to do to maintain your WordPress website and working at its best.

Make Backups 

If your site crashes and it hasn’t been backed up recently, you could lose a lot of valuable information: Information that could be costly and time consuming to replace. If you add a lot of content regularly to your website consider doing a database backup daily or weekly. How much of your content are you prepared to lose and recreate?

Updraft, BackWPup, Jetpack, and BackupBuddy are all backup plugins that you could consider when backing up your website.

Check the Speed of your Website

A fast loading WordPress site is a healthy WordPress site. Speed is a big deal when it comes to SEO, which helps total strangers find your site. And it’s also a big deal when it comes to the consumer experience. The following are some tools you could use.

tools.pingdom.com.   https://gtmetrix.comhttps://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Optimize your Images

Image optimization is all about decreasing the file size of your images as much as possible without sacrificing quality so that your webpage loads as fast as possible.  Smush is a good plugin for this.

Update the WordPress Website Core Files

There are two types of core updates, major and minor. The major update has a version number with two digits and a decimal between them for example 5.4. A minor update has three digits, also separated by decimals for example 5.4.2.

Major updates or releases include new features and changes to the underlying code that developers use to create plugins and themes. Because of that, there's always a chance that a major update might break something on your site. I find it best to update major updates after a few days to reduce the chance of any error in the new update affecting a website negatively. On the other hand, minor updates may contain security patches or bug fixes so should be updated immediately.

Clean up Post or Page Revisions

Over time, if not kept in check, your database can really get clogged up with thousands of revisions. Keep it simple and use a plugin called WPSweep.

Clean out Unused Plugins

Unused plugins on your WordPress website can create a security hazard so it is best to remove them immediately. You can always re-install the plugin if you need to use it again.

Clean out Unused Themes

You do not need several website themes clogging up your WordPress website. I tend to keep the theme that I am using and just one other. Any others I click on theme details and then delete. You only need the one you use and one other

Clean out Spam Comments

All comment spam is stored on your website database which can slow it down. Manually look at your spam and if it looks like spam mark it as spam and then every now and then go in and delete all those items in your spam section.

Check Your WordPress Site for Malware

Malware is software designed intentionally to cause damage to a computer, server, or network. It is important to check your site from malware as well as continually monitor for and even prevent malware from getting onto your website. You can do a free website security check and malware scan at sucuri.

Monitor your WordPress website’s downtime  

There are free and paid services that will regularly check to make sure that your website is still visible to site visitors and the one that I use is a free service called uptime robot

Find and Fix Broken or Dead Links in Your Website

There are many reasons why your site can contain broken links. For example, a site that you once linked to in one of your posts no longer exists or you change the URL to one of your posts and you only thought that you had fixed all the posts it was linked to. Maybe you changed your domain name or changed your host and your website just didn't get completely cleaned up with all those links. These are just some of the many possibilities, but just knowing that your site might have broken links is the first step to getting them fixed.

The next step is to actually find them. Then they can be fixed. There are a number of broken link plugins on wordpress.org but the one I recommend is called broken link checker.

Manage your Databases in WordPress  

The databases on your website run in the background. They’re not visible to the people who come to your site, but if they weren’t there, you’d have very serious problems as a result.

For that reason, it’s very important to manage and maintain your databases. That means using the proper tools to keep them updated, backed up, and in good working order. The good news is that you don’t need to manually manage and optimize your databases. There are plenty of plugins – many of them free – that can do the job for you automatically.

Take a look at WP-DBManager, WP-Optimize and WP Clean Up

Now you know 12 key things to do to maintain your WordPress website and working at its best are you going to do it? It is a good idea to check and perform website maintenance tasks at least once a month. More often if you have a lot of content.

To help you stay on track and maintain your WordPress Website I've included a checklist. You can download it here. (No opt-in required)

For more details on how to complete each step watch our video series which you can access at https://anneelizabethperez.com/courses/

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