Why is WordPress website maintenance important?
In this article I’m going to explain why WordPress website maintenance is important, and show you just how easy this is to do
I can appreciate that you’re super-busy all the time, which makes it all-too-easy to put off maintaining your WordPress website. But that leaves your website vulnerable to getting hacked. And when your website is critical to your business, that’s the very last thing you need.
The 5 step maintenance plan is exactly how I keep all my websites one step ahead of the hackers
If you build this into your regular routine, WordPress website maintenance should take no longer than 15 minutes per week.
So let’s dive straight in
There are lots of bad people out there who would just love to hack your website. There are many reasons behind this, but these typically all involve installing malware – malicious software – on your website’s server to do things like mine cryptocurrency behind the scenes. And this isn’t just a WordPress thing. These guys will try and hack into any website they can.
Fortunately, there is a large WordPress community out there to counter these hackers. And because WordPress is open source software, there are lots of eyes on the source code checking for security vulnerabilities. There’s a WordPress protocol in place whereby anybody spotting a security vulnerability will report this privately to the core WordPress team, or the developer of the theme or plugin affected, which enables the developer to resolve the issue and release an updated version of the software.
The 5 step maintenance plan
The steps in the 5 step maintenance plan are:
- Check the backups are running on schedule
- Update the core WordPress software
- Update the plugins that your website is using
- Update your theme
- Check that there are no security alerts
So let’s get started.
Step 1 – Check the backups are running on schedule
The first step is for you to log into Google Drive (or your preferred cloud storage) to check that your backups are running on schedule (minimum weekly, but preferably daily). If for any reason they’ve stopped running, then you’ll need to update the settings for your backup plugin (my preferred plugin for backups is Updraft Plus) and run a new backup.
I’ve discussed backups in my post on why you need to take backups of your website, so check this out first if you haven’t already set up a backup schedule.
Step 2 – Update the core WordPress software
Following on from Step 1, make sure that you have a recent backup which you can restore to in the event of any upgrade issues. Or better still, take a new backup now.
When you’re happy that you have a backup available, you should navigate to the Updates section on the Admin Dashboard. This will tell you whether any updates are available. In this example here, you will see that an updated version of core WordPress is available. Clicking the Update Now button will trigger the installation of the latest version.
After the update has been installed, you should check that your website is working correctly. In the unlikely event that there are any problems, you will be able to restore the backup.
Step 3 – Update the plugins that your website is using
Next, you should update any plugins. Simply check the ‘Select all’ box and click the Update Plugins button.
Again, check that your website is working correctly before continuing.
Step 4 – Update your theme
And it’s a similar method to update the themes.
Step 5 – Check that there are no security alerts
If your website doesn’t already have a security plugin then you need to install one to minimise the chance of your site getting hacked (I use Wordfence on all my sites). The final step is to check that your security plugin’s dashboard for any alerts, and to ensure that the daily scan is running
And that’s the 5 step maintenance plan. Doing this every week will go a long way to securing your website. Whilst this won’t make your website is 100% safe from hackers (no website is ever 100% secure), it will significantly reduce the chances of your website being hacked.
My WordPress website maintenance plans
So now you can see how easy it is to maintain your website yourself by following this 5 step maintenance plan. But you really need to do this every week to keep your website safe.
If that’s too much for you, then your best option is to subscribe to one of my WordPress site maintenance plans, and I will carry out the above steps each week as well as monitor your website’s uptime and much, much more.