WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) out there, with endless possibilities. WordPress is free and simple to use, but it’s so popular that the competition is brutal. To be at the top of the game, you need to have an active WordPress maintenance practice. However, keeping a website running means being aware of many things. Here, you’ll find out what those are!
When you build a website, you should focus on creating great content. From your end, the limelight has to be connecting with your audiences through useful posts and products. However, the fact is that WordPress maintenance is a requirement for websites running on the platform.
At this point, you might wonder what should you be doing for WordPress maintenance. Below, you’ll find the eight essential practices!
The 8 Best WordPress Maintenance Practices
1. SEO Optimization
You probably already know this: the way to get noticed online is Search Engine Optimization. Best known as SEO, it’s a series of practices designed to get websites seen by Google, Bing, and others. It’s also ongoing work and an essential part of any WordPress maintenance plan.
Some of the practices included in SEO:
- Build backlinks. A backlink is when another website links to you, and it’s essential to rank up on search engines. Some ways to get backlinks include press releases, guest posts and using guest posts.
- Create inbound links. You also need to link to different sections of your website on your various pages. That way, the whole site is connected.
- Optimize blog posts. It’s essential to use the best possible keywords on each post, plus customize all the metadata.
- Rank monitoring. You need to continually track how your current SEO strategy is panning out, taking note of what’s working and what isn’t.
2. WordPress Core and Plugin Updates
A healthy website runs appropriately, and that means with the newest software version. It’s critical to have a WordPress maintenance plan in place because, sometimes, updates can come with issues. You can end up in recovery mode, so having a method can help you navigate errors.
In any case, you need to make sure that:
- You update WordPress as a whole or any theme or plugin as soon as you get the notification.
- You add the relevant license codes to paid plugins. That way, you’ll be able to update them regularly.
It is crucial to back up your website regularly, at least once a week. It’s the best way to safeguard your content in case of issues such as updates gone wrong.
- Back up all the files from your website.
- Although some hosting providers include backups in their services, it’s best to make an extra just in case. You can never be too careful!
- You have two choices: use a WordPress backup plugin like WP Time Capsule or FTP.
- We’d recommend getting an expert to handle your site backups, as it’s technical work and the health of your site may depend on it.
4. Broken Links
You need to regularly check that all the links on your site are functioning correctly. This practice may seem trivial, but broken links can damage user experience and SEO.
For great WordPress maintenance, you should scan for broken links once a month. We recommend you use any of these tools:
- Google Console. This tool can crawl around indexed sites the way Googlebot does, showcasing missing or broken pages.
- Broken Link Checker. This WordPress plugin can show you which internal and external links don’t work. You can then repair issues from the plugin. We’d recommend deactivating the checker when you’re not explicitly scanning for errors, as it takes up a lot of space.
5. WordPress Website Site Security
Hacking continues to be a reality, and as part of overall WordPress maintenance, you need to be on top of security. Some of the awful things that can result from hacking:
- You will spend a lot of money.
- Your search engine rankings will suffer.
- Losing all your data can happen quickly.
- Your customers’ information may suffer.
- The reputation of the site (and the company) will take a hit.
So, what should you do to avoid getting hacked? Here are the basics:
- Keep a close watch on your website’s files to prevent signs of tampering.
- Always have the most updated hosting PHP version on your site, as to meet current standards.
- Mix up your passwords and change them every few months. Make them as cryptic as possible!
- Block suspicious IPs after they’ve attempted to hack you.
6. Google Analytics
Google Analytics might be the most all-around essential tool in the arsenal of website management. Here are some of the most crucial features that can help your WordPress maintenance:
- Analytics tells you which pages and posts are most successful. This feature is particularly useful for blog posts, as it can help you define future content to the taste of your audience.
- Conversions. Analytics lets you see how landing pages and forms are performing with visitors. You can learn how they’re working in terms of conversions, which can help you strategize further.
- Bounce rate. Seeing bounce rates for your site can help you reexamine the content and look of each page. Why do visitors flee from a specific page? Are there any errors, or should you work on the copy?
7. Updated Pages
A website is a living thing, and keeping it relevant is a crucial side of WordPress maintenance. There may be pages on your site that require that you update them somewhat regularly. A few examples:
- All-around changes to page content.
- New services or products.
- The company’s ever-growing portfolio.
- Product information.
The easiest way to keep a website alive is by having a rich blog that gets regular updates. Ongoing content makes you look like an expert in your field, both to visitors and search engines.
Keeping a blog is an essential part of any WordPress maintenance plan, as it helps your site stay relevant. That means:
- Creating new posts.
- Optimizing the posts you’ve already uploaded.
- Checking which posts are most successful and building similar new ones.
You also need to track comments and respond to them promptly, as it shows your commitment to your audience. It’s equally important to delete any spam that may taint the look of your blog posts.
Should You Get a Professional for WordPress Maintenance?
In short: yes, you should! The main focus of any site owner should be on the products and services they’re providing. That’s kind of hard when you have to look into every little detail to keep the website functioning, wouldn’t you say?
The best decision you can make is to leave WordPress maintenance to a professional. The Bright Vessel team of experts can take care of the technicalities while you focus on building a great business and website.
- These items should be the focus of a team of WordPress experts:
- Always keep your content fresh and updated.
- Maintain the site at all times with the newest security updates.
- Make time to perform software updates as soon as they appear.
- Have a fully operational content marketing strategy that includes content, SEO, SEM, and a social media presence.
- Work on an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-navigate design.
Many little details need to work for an all-around WordPress maintenance plan. And it shouldn’t be you wasting time on them: you have enough on your plate as it is.
At Bright Vessel, we believe that website owners need to be all about generating an excellent product. It’s why we want to take care of the little details of WordPress maintenance for you! Read more about our WordPress management plans right here!