So you’re a proud parent of a stylish and functional new WordPress web site. Like any doting parent, you may be wondering what you should do to ensure your newborn prospers and stays as beautiful, functional and secure as the day it was born.
WordPress is a world-class, open-source website platform that makes it easier than ever to maintain a robust and thriving web presence for your organization. That said, it’s still important to keep up with regular checkups, and simple maintenance to ensure a long and productive life for your site.
Regular maintenance may seem like a daunting task, but once you put a regular routine in place, most of the tasks to remedy or prevent problems can be completed easily by someone with minimal technical experience. If you prefer, sign-up for one of Stride’s Maintenance Plans and we’ll stay on top of your site’s maintenance for you.
Web site maintenance tips, and why they’re important
- Make regular backups of your site – This ensures that if there is a problem with your site, you’ll be able to quickly roll back to an older, clean version. Site backups can be done by adding a backup plugin to your site, through your hosting provider, or both. We recommend multiple, automatic backup options stored on and off of your server.
- Keep plugins, themes and frameworks up to date – Out-of-date plugins and themes can leave a door open for bad guys, allowing them access to your site that may give them the ability to manipulate your site’s code to perform nefarious tasks such as defacements, spam injection, or URL redirection.
- Check your site’s speed – A slow site is more than just an aggravating experience for its visitors. Google gives preferential treatment to sites that are well-built and load fast. A slow site can often be an indicator of problems under the hood.
- Check for broken links, missing images and files on your site – Again, not only a nuisance for visitors, search engines also dislike when a site has broken links and will alter its rankings accordingly.
- Check to make sure there are no unauthorized users on your site – Sometimes when a site is breached, new administrator accounts are added that allow permanent access to your site. It’s like giving a house key to your creepy neighbor who mows his lawn with no shirt and short shorts… a bad idea.
- Check to make sure the site is well indexed in the major search engines – Of course every parent loves their newborn, but when it comes to your web site, it’s important to make sure the search engines love it, too. Search Google, Bing and other search engines regularly for terms and phrases that are relevant to your services and make sure that your site appears in the results. If not you may need to work to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Ensure there is no malware or other hacks on your site – Whether your site is brand new, or if you’ve inherited an older site, you can use a web service or plugin to scan the site for altered files, malware and other issues.
- Test browser and device compatibility – Visit your site on a wide variety of computers, devices and browsers to make sure everyone is seeing the same version of the site that you know and love.
- Test your web forms – One of the primary functions of most sites is to reach out to existing and potential customers, if your web forms aren’t working properly you may never hear from those hot leads.
- Check navigation – If you “can’t get there from here” your navigation is probably in need of some TLC.
- Ensure secure passwords by all users – A weak password is a lot like an unlocked door. Ensure that all users have secure passwords and change them regularly. The bad guys use computer algorithms to try to guess passwords, and if your password is “password123” or the like, you’ll get more unwanted attention than a bejeweled Kardashian in Paris.
Looking for more information?
Check back here soon for detailed guidelines on how to perform the maintenance tasks above on your site. You can also subscribe to our Stride News feed to get notified of future articles automatically.