Once you’ve gotten the hang of your WordPress site, you don’t just get to sit back and do nothing. It may be tempting just to relax and let it all come to you, but there are some upkeep and management work to be done to keep it running smoothly, not to mention up-to-date and relevant. Not only do you have to keep your software and extensions current, but you will want to keep your content updated as well to gain readers or customers and keep them.
So how do you know the best ways to maintain and manage your WordPress? There are several elements you may or may not think of in maintaining your site, and we have compiled a list of a few of them for you. Following them will save you time and effort and help you to focus more on the other aspects of your business—let WordPress work for you the way it’s designed to.
Don’t: forget to install WordPress updates.
Do: keep it updated so that it will work best on all browsers and platforms.
Just like with other platforms, updates exist to better the performance and productivity of the system. Sure, you can keep running it without the updates, but it may have a kink here and there. Those kinks you notice have most likely be worked out with each update, so you’ll want to stay on top of the updates to ensure that you’re running the fastest, smoothest version of WordPress available. You want your customers to have a pleasant experience and keep coming back.
You can find all updates by entering: /wp-admin/update-core.php after your domain name.
Don’t: use content from sites other than WordPress.
Do: stick with WordPress content. It works best with WordPress because it was designed to.
While it may be tempting to include content from other sites on your WordPress, in the end, it just muddies things up. It might work just okay, but there is a reason why WordPress has created content for your use—it’s because it works best with it. Think of it as the recommended pairings on a menu. While other items may go together just fine, the pairings are listed because someone has done the work and the research to find out the best choices. That way you don’t have to worry about it. So using WordPress content not only makes your site run more smoothly, it takes some of a headache out of it for you.
Don’t: get lax about your site security or use a ridiculously easy password.
Do: Use a complicated password and update it often.
You may think of it as a no-brainer, but it’s too easy for hackers to get into sites these days—make sure you pick a password that is complicated and tough to guess. After you’ve done all the work building your site, you wouldn’t want to lose it all to a hacker just because you have a hard time remembering passwords and you picked “12345.” Take your site security seriously. If you have a hard time coming up with passwords, there are plenty of password generators out there to help you. And if remembering them is your biggest issue, download an app that stores them securely in one place. That way you only have to remember one to get in, and the rest of the work is done for you.
Don’t: forget that your site can get hacked, and you should keep a backup copy offline.
Do: frequent schedule backups of your site and its files.
Speaking of site security and hackers, if they do get through, you’ll want to be sure to have a backup copy of your site files stored securely. Don’t let this be a “hindsight is 20/20″situation—take care of it before anything happens. Hopefully, nothing will—but if it does, won’t you be glad that you took the time to back up your site frequently? It’s too easy to think that your site won’t get hacked or forget that it’s a possibility. But hackers are getting smarter all the time, so scheduling frequent backups is the best way to ensure that your content remains intact if you need to start over.
Don’t: forget to update content/blogs/graphics/video/all of these.
Do: post often to maintain readership interest, and include multimedia in your posts/content.
When search engines are retrieving results, updated content is taken into consideration: sites with the most recent content show up at the top of the list. You don’t want yours to be overlooked due to outdated content. If your site has a blog (which is a good idea), that’s probably the easiest way to include and maintain relevant, updated content. Besides that, though, you’ll want to post at least the occasional form of media on your site. Many of your site visitors will be put off by the lack of media if you have none. Don’t ignore the text, though; it’s still vital! Try to find a good balance of both to make it attractive to users who are drawn to one or the other, or both.
Whether you have a blog or not, it’s probably a good idea to review your site content twice a year to evaluate its relevance and the ways your site users are interacting with it. That way you can determine whether it’s working or not and what needs to change. Besides a blog or in addition to it, linking to social media sites is vital for site traffic. And, of course, if you have a blog, you can post or link it with the social media sites as well. Updating social media posts is a great way to show that you’re trying to keep your content updated and that you’re active in the online presence of your business. Besides, you’ll want customer feedback, and a blog or social media is the perfect outlet for that.
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Some of the best practices for WordPress site management aren’t necessarily complicated—you just need to stay on top of them and maintain them, like most anything else. Over time you will find that these tips do help your site to run as smoothly as possible and leave you with a bit more time to devote to the aspects of running the site that isn’t automated. After all, the developers are always working to give you the most updated version available, so why not make good use of it? It reflects well on you and your business, and you’ll soon find that it’s beneficial.