How To Maintain A WordPress Website? (From Decades of Experience)

Successful WordPress site maintenance requires taking the right strategy to steer away from unwanted trouble. However, it requires a lot of careful effort and knowledge to introduce an effective WordPress site maintenance strategy.

When it comes to website maintenance, most people usually feel skeptical. And this reluctance for maintenance comes for several reasons, one of which is its repetitive nature. But we all know that even a short break from up-keeping your site can have grave consequences. 

As a CMS, WordPress holds 43% of all websites hosted on the web and is the most popular open-source CMS on the web. However, popularity alone does not guarantee that it’s secure on its own without maintenance. Besides, without proper updates, there are a myriad of negative consequences that can result, including falling behind the competition to reach the top of Google SERP, exposed vulnerabilities, slower site performance, and more. 

So, in this article, we will cover the basics of how to maintain a WordPress website. At MalwareCare, our team has been maintaining WordPress websites for decades – and today, we will share how some tips we’ve learned.

#7 Key Steps to Maintain Your WordPress Website

1. Keep a Regular Backup of Your Website

Keeping a regular backup of your website is one of the essential parts of WordPress site maintenance. Although a backup may not be a part of your typical maintenance plan, it is highly recommended to ensure you can quickly recover your site in case of any emergency. Ideally, keeping a weekly backup at a minimum is recommended, unless you make frequent changes to your site, in which case more frequent backups should be taken. 

When considering where to save a backup, it is best to keep an additional backup off your hosting server, just in your hosting encounters any issues, potentially resulting in losing your backup. Although this is not a regular case, it helps to keep a contingency plan if you lose any backups.

WordPress offers some fantastic plugins to automatically backup your website after a regular interval – daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Here are a few names of the best WordPress backup plugins in 2022 – UpdraftPlus, Total UpKeep by BoldGrid, BackupBuddy, BlogVault, Duplicator, etc.

2. Keep your site up-to-date

As your website is created using WordPress, it is important to update to the latest stable version as soon as it becomes available. Hackers are preying on outdated, vulnerable WordPress sites and are easily able to find or exploiting certain aspects of the WordPress framework. And so, it becomes important to update the site regularly, at least weekly. This includes updating the core files of WordPress, plugins, and themes.

Also, maintaining an up-to-date site is important to stay in the competition on Google SERP. For example, Google issues major and minor updates to its RankBrain algorithm. And so, staying updated with Google’s revised best practices and policies is important for staying in the competition.

Site updating is crucial to keep your website secure and performing well.

3. Remove Unused Plugins

Plugins offer a lot of flexibility and additional features while trying to build a site. However, it also makes the site slower, or susceptible to hackers in some cases. Using too many plugins makes it difficult for the site to load quickly because it has a lot of dependencies (plugins) that require loading. 

It is important to pick and install a handful of plugins only and remove anything that you do not need or use. This is important because oftentimes, it’s easy to forget to delete these plugins, which bloat the website and reduce the speed, worsening the user experience. 

Besides, if you forget to update unused plugins, there is a chance that they may be exploited by hackers to gain access to your site using HTML Injection, JavaScript Injection, SQL Injection, etc. This is a crucial factor!

4. Optimize Your Database

A database is the heart of your website, where all your precious blog articles, images, infographics, gifs, videos, etc., are stored. As you build more pages, your website starts growing considerably large. 

Having a large database is important. But, at the same time, it is important to optimize your database so that it does not slow down your site while fetching and serving data. 

Here are some of the most advanced database cleaners available on WP. Such as – WP Database Reset, WP Database Backup, WP-Optimize, Advanced Database Cleaner, etc. These plugins do a great job of optimizing your database by deleting unnecessary items or other items that may impact the server.

5. Be Alert About Your Website Security

While focusing on building the website, most people forget about securing the site! Any website operating on WordPress should be heavily protected in order to fend off hackers and exploiters from your website.

Fortunately, there are a number of great plugins and resources to improve your WordPress website security. These plugins include firewalls, filters, and other security layers to ensure your site is hardened. A few examples include iThemes Security, Wordfence Security, WPfail2ban, HideMyWP, SecuPress, VaultPress, and more.

6. Monitor Your Website Speed

It is important to monitor your website speed after each update to ensure none of the resources are taking too long to load. If you are looking to increase the traffic to your site and enhance your visitor’s experience, you’ll need to reduce the page loading speed as much as possible.

One of the best ways to keep track of the page speed is to check the metrics on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Alternatively, you can also install plugins like WP Rocket. Also, there are image caching plugins like – WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, Sucuri Firewall, etc. on your website to reduce the page loading speed even further.

7. Carefully Manage Your User Accounts

There are times when you may need to give access to your website to unknown people like freelancers, hired contractors, etc., to work on a specific part of your website. If you own multiple sites, then this task becomes even more daunting.

So, if you are a new user, always avoid sharing your credentials (WP Username and Password) with other people (if you have to, make sure to change it shortly after). However, there are secure ways to share account access without sharing your credentials. For example – you can choose to create a temporary account in WP, or you can choose to install a plugin to share your account link without sharing your username and password.

Above all, never use the default WP username and password or anything close to it. Additionally, you can also change the URL of your WP-admin login page to fend off hackers from easily targeting your login page.

Looking for WordPress Support and Maintenance?

The reality is that WordPress site maintenance can be stressful for people with busy schedulers or little experience. 

Our team at MalwareCare is here to help! We manage hundreds of WordPress sites, and have been doing so for decades.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is WordPress website maintenance?

WordPress website maintenance is a list of tasks that improve your website’s performance, security, quality, and monitoring. Most WordPress maintenance works consist of basic support, updating core WordPress files, frequent backups, and more.

2. How much does it cost to maintain a website on WordPress?

Quality WordPress maintenance can cost anywhere from $20 – $1,000 per month. However, there are a lot of variables here that need to be addressed in order to ascertain your website maintenance cost. Here are some factors that need to be addressed in order to determine the cost – 

  • where the backup is stored
  • how often the backup is stored
  • web page design tweaking costs
  • firewall security cost
  • site development fee (if required)
  • uptime monitoring
  • size of the site

At MalwareCare, we have a variety of packages to help meet your needs. Take a look here.

3. How frequently do I need to maintain my WordPress site?

WordPress sites require frequent maintenance in order to ensure security, optimization, and performance. With the frequent number of updates made to files, themes, and plugins, it’s crucial to maintain your WordPress site weekly.

4. What services are included in website maintenance?

The service tier is typically separated into different service offerings. 

At MalwareCare, our “Maintain” package, starting at $49/month USD, includes 

  • 24/7 uptime monitoring
  • Weekly core file updates
  • Daily backups with 1-click restore in emergencies
  • Firewall configuration
  • Initial malware scan + source code & database audit
  • Weekly update reports & more

Our “Defend” package and “Optimize” package include more services, such as advanced security optimization with custom coding, site performance optimization, and more.

Conclusion

WordPress site maintenance can be a daunting task – but with the time, knowledge, and consistency, you can be sure your site is protected. 

Don’t feel you have the time or expertise? No problem – our team is here to help. We want you to be able to focus on what you love – growing your business. 

Get in contact with us or check our site to learn more: https://malwarecare.com/pricing