Written by Charles McCollough

Mar 12, 2024
5 minutes
WordPress Website Maintenance Steps

As a WordPress website owner, regular maintenance steps are key to ensuring optimal performance, security, and user experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps of WordPress maintenance, providing you with the knowledge and tools necessary to keep your website running smoothly and efficiently.

**PLEASE NOTE: When proceeding to maintain your WordPress website, it is critical to not only update each element (Plugin, Software, etc.) but to also test your website to make sure that elements of your website did not break, and crash your site. Plugins in particular are served from 3rd party developers, and coding conflicts may arise. When you plan on doing maintenance for your website, please plan on spending at least 2-3 hours minimum to observe all areas correctly. In the case of a plugin conflict, or core version conflict, you should plan on initializing your backup IMMEDIATELY. This will allow you the additional time to contact the plugin developer, or WordPress and have them initiate a resolution for you. In most cases, issues are observed by the WordPress community, so most resolutions come with the next update. However, some resolutions can take weeks to resolve.

On average we spend around 30-60 Hours per year in maintenance on each WordPress website we develop. It is a time sensitive issue, and should be handled accordingly.

Wordpress Website Maintenance Steps

Steps to Maintain your WordPress Website

1. Regular Backups

  • Importance of backups for website security and disaster recovery.
  • How to set up automated backups using plugins like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy.
  • Best practices for storing backup files securely, including offsite storage options.

To perform backups, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to > Settings > Backups. From here, you can schedule automated backups and configure backup settings according to your preferences. Be sure to store backup files securely, either using a cloud storage service or an external drive. In cases where your site is being backed up by a third party service like Blogvault, please navigate to your Blogvault plugin to launch the Blogvault Dashboard.

2. Software Updates

  • The significance of keeping WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated.
  • How outdated software can pose security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues.
  • Step-by-step guide to performing updates safely, including testing updates on a staging site before applying them to the live site.

To update WordPress core, themes, and plugins, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to > Dashboard > Updates. Here, you’ll see a list of available updates for your WordPress installation. Click on the “Update Now” button to install the updates. After updating, navigate to > Plugins and Themes to check for any issues or conflicts that may arise from the updates.

3. Security Measures

  • Implementing robust security measures to protect your website from cyber threats.
  • Tips for securing login credentials, using strong passwords, and enabling two-factor authentication.
  • Installing security plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri Security for real-time threat detection and prevention.

To enhance website security, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to > Plugins > Add New. Search for security plugins and install one that suits your needs. Once installed, navigate to the plugin settings page to configure security options such as login protection, firewall settings, and malware scanning. In cases where your site is being secured up by a third party service like Blogvault, please navigate to your Blogvault plugin to launch the Blogvault Dashboard.

4. Performance Optimization

  • Optimizing website speed and performance to enhance user experience and SEO rankings.
  • Strategies for optimizing images, caching, and minimizing HTTP requests.
  • Utilizing performance optimization plugins like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache to streamline website performance.

To optimize website performance, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to > Plugins > Add New. Search for performance optimization plugins and install one that fits your requirements. After installation, navigate to the plugin settings page to configure caching, image optimization, and other performance-enhancing features.

5. Database Maintenance

  • Understanding the importance of database optimization for website efficiency.
  • How to clean up and optimize your WordPress database using plugins like WP-Optimize or WP-Sweep.
  • Scheduling regular database maintenance tasks to prevent database bloat and improve website performance.

To optimize your WordPress database, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to > Tools > Database Optimization. From here, you can clean up and optimize your database tables to improve website performance. Be sure to review the optimization results and confirm that the process completed successfully.

6. Content Management

  • Managing and organizing website content effectively for improved user navigation and SEO.
  • Tips for updating and optimizing existing content, including meta tags, headings, and internal links.
  • Using content management plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math to analyze and optimize content for search engines.

To manage website content, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to > Posts or Pages. From here, you can update and optimize existing content by editing individual posts or pages. Use the built-in editor to make changes to content, meta tags, headings, and internal links as needed.

7. Monitoring and Analytics

  • Setting up website monitoring tools to track website uptime, performance, and security.
  • Utilizing analytics tools like Google Analytics to monitor website traffic, user behavior, and engagement metrics.
  • How to interpret analytics data and make informed decisions to optimize website performance and user experience.

To monitor website performance and analytics, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to > Dashboard > Site Health. Here, you’ll find information about your website’s performance, security, and maintenance status. Additionally, you can integrate Google Analytics by navigating to > Settings > Analytics and following the setup instructions.

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Final Notes on WordPress Website Maintenance Steps

Regular maintenance is the foundation of a successful WordPress website. By following these essential steps and incorporating them into your maintenance routine, you can ensure that your website remains secure, fast, and reliable, providing an optimal experience for your visitors and users.


What do we use to create websites? Learn more about WordPress below:

Wordpress CMS

How do we monitor websites 24 hours per day?

Blogvault

To learn more about Qi Graphic Design’s website design services, click below:

Web Design

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