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6 WordPress Website Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Site Running Smoothly

Do you want to keep your WordPress site fast, optimized, and running as smoothly as possible? Do you want to guarantee a good experience for all your visitors?

You’ll need to conduct WordPress website maintenance regularly.

It’s okay if you don’t know where to start. We’ve got six WordPress maintenance tips for you to follow. Read our guide below to learn more.

1. Update Regularly

The most important WordPress website maintenance habit is to update your version of WordPress. Always check for new updates once a week.

Some people worry about getting updates because they worry about losing their past work. If you’re worried about potential changes, create a child theme as early as possible.

Updating is the most efficient way to fight hackers. WordPress always works to improve their security systems and network. Avoiding regular updates leaves your sites open to hackers.

WordPress keeps a detailed list of all the major updates on their website.

On that note, make it a habit to backup your site on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. This guarantees you won’t lose too much in case your site gets compromised or breaks down.

Backups are also important in case you get hacked. Hackers can sometimes erase or change everything on a site, or they could have more insidious plans. Sometimes, victims don’t even realize that hackers have stolen important information like email addresses, names, and credit card details.

You can restore order to your website by using a backup. You’ll at least have the chance to rebuild your site from a recent version instead of starting from scratch.

1. Update Regularly

2. Check for Broken Links

Broken links can ruin your website’s user experience. Not only are dead links bad for SEO, but they can cause users to stop using your site. Who wants to click on an interesting link only to land on a website that shows error 404?

There are a lot of great plugins to help you conduct regular audits. They can help you identify broken links and formulate a strategy to fix them. You should hunt for broken links at least once every week or two.

Remember that broken links can cause people to leave your site. If someone goes to your website and thinks that it’s broken, they might assume that you don’t take care of it and not come back.

2. Check for Broken Links

3. Custom 404 Pages

Take time to create a custom 404 page. There are plugins for this. so look around for one that gives you the design templates and rerouting options you like.

Your error page shouldn’t be a generic “page not found” dead-end. You’ll want to offer some personality and options. If the plugin you have allows for it, present a few links/buttons to bring the visitor back to the home page, contact page, or a critical-performance landing page.

Adding the contact page as a rerouting option is a good solution because it gives visitors a chance to report the issue. You can then fix this as soon as possible since you already know about it. You won’t have to wait for the next scheduled audit to locate the error.

You should also add some personality. Use a different color scheme and add images. These help your error 404 pages look interesting and captivating.

Putting all these together helps ensure the visitor won’t leave the site. They’ll pick one of the available options and explore elsewhere on your site.

3. Custom 404 Pages

4. Test Everything as a Visitor

You’ll want to check all your forms. There’s nothing worse than a registration form that doesn’t work. How can you collect people’s emails for effective email marketing when the form won’t send the data?

Make it a habit to check if links work and if videos or photos all load. When your visitors click on the “contact us” tab, does it take them to the right page or pull up the right form?

Test everything. However, don’t test your forms or check your videos and images while still logged into your dashboard.

Instead, hop onto a different browser or go incognito on the one you have open right now. Test everything as a regular visitor.

4. Test Everything as a Visitor

5. Check Load Times

Ever heard the rumor that people’s attention is getting worse than goldfish?

That’s already debunked, but you still should prioritize speed. Google’s algorithm favors websites that offer top-of-the-line user experience. A slow website can hurt your search engine rankings.

After all, who wants to spend more than a minute waiting for one page to load? That’s too long when other websites offer the same information or product in a faster, more optimized manner.

Aim for pages to load in three seconds or less. That might seem improbable if your pages have loads of plugins, images, and videos, but you can use plugins like SMUSH to cut down on image file size while still keeping high-quality resolutions.

Do this at least once a month.

5. Check Load Times

6. Change Your Passwords!

Don’t forget to change passwords! This is something so simple, yet many people neglect to practice this important security step.

When you change your passwords, don’t rely on easy-to-memorize choices. If they’re easy to memorize, they’re easy to hack. One of the main reasons that 30,000 websites get hacked every day is because of weak passwords. Avoid passwords that rely on your name, birthday, or details of your loved ones and pets.

If possible, stick with long passwords that use lower case letters, upper case letters, symbols, and numbers. You can also use ASCII Code for your passwords.

Change your passwords once a month. This kicks out hackers who might’ve gotten a hold of your older passwords.

6. Change Your Passwords!

Follow This WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist!

WordPress website maintenance isn’t too difficult once you know what to look for and what to do regularly. Follow these six WordPress tips to keep your site running smooth and optimized.

Why stop here when there are a ton of other things to learn about managing your WordPress website? We’ve got a myriad of walkthroughs for you, like this one tackling why you should add SSL to your site. Feel free to read our guides today!

If you have a website that you want to keep updated and secure, check out our support plans! We’ll handle the details of your site so you can focus on making money.

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