The Three Ups of WordPress Maintenance

wordpress maintenanceSo you now have a wordpress website and now you can just blog away with no worries. Well if you are running your own website there are a few things you still need to keep up with to keep your site going and secure. I like to call them the Three Ups.

Backups – Updates – Clean Up

Backup Your WordPress Site!

I have posted about this before but it never gets old. Just like your computer at home your site needs to be backed up often. Don’t depend on your host servers to do this for you and before you do there other two steps you should always do a backup as well. With WordPress there are two types of backups you can do.

The first one is your database. If you blog or make lots of changes this should be done on a daily basis. The other is a full file backup where you are backing up all files in on your server as well as the database. These can be done the hard way, logging into your server and doing a SQL export of your data base and copying all your files by FTP or a more simpler way is to use a backup plugin.

My recommendation would be Backup Buddy. This is a premium plugin but it’s worth it for the peace of mind that that it gives you that you have a back up Of your site. With Backup Buddy you can schedule your daily and weekly backups to occur  automatically and even send the backups to your Dropbox or email which is what you want. What good is a backup stored on your web server if it crashes.

Keep WordPress and Plugins Updated.

Just like Facebook, WordPress and your plugins come up with changes (but typically they are for the better at least).  These updates can be for new or improved features but a lot of times they have bug or security fixes.  This is the main reason that you should be keeping up with updates. Even if you don’t log in to blog you should be logging in once a week to check for updates.

Its quite simple to do. Once logged in go over to your menu and hover over ‘Dashboard’ and then click updates. You’ll see a list of plugins with updates as well as a notice up top letting you know if WordPress itself has an update. From here you can proceed to update everything needed.

Please note that some premium plugins and themes that are not located in the WordPress repository may need to be manually updated by FTP and may not even notify you here, so be vigilant and check where you got your plugin or theme. Especially after a WordPress update.

If you wish to be emailed when there are updates needed I recommend the plugin Wordfence. It is mainly a security plugin with lots of great features to keep your wordpress site secure and one of those features is to let you know about updates by email.

Clean Up Your Website

Every time you hit Save Draft or Update after you have published a page or post WordPress saves  a revison.  This is great if you need to go back a revision or two, but sometimes you can end up with 100s of revisions and this all takes up room in your database. WordPress by itself does not have an easy way to clean up these old revisions so a plugin is the next best thing.

Also just like a hard drive, your database can get messy with additions and deletions. This can cause a slow down of your site, something your visitors will not appreciate and can even give you a penalty in the search engine department.

If you are looking to do this on your own there are many plugins that will perform both of these cleanup tasks, one I have used with success is WP-Optimize. This plugin will remove all your old revisions and perform a database optimization on request and should be done once a week at least if you are active. They do have a premium version of course that will allow you to schedule these tasks automatically.

Don’t Wish to do This on Your Own?

For those that find these tasks daunting or just don’t want to mess with it I of course have Maintenance plans that will cover these tasks. I utilize special software that allows me to perform these tasks quickly and easily on a daily basis. From optimizing your database, backing up your site daily and weekly to a separate server to even removing those annoying spam comments.

for more information you can go to my maintenance plan page or send me a message.

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