Keep It Fresh: Tips for Maintaining WordPress Websites

Your website can be the most powerful marketing tool in your toolbelt. You can use it to grow an audience, sell products, generate leads, spread awareness, and so much more.  Like any reliable tool, general maintenance is required to keep it working in tip-top shape and ready to take on the world. We’ve shared 10 tips for maintaining WordPress websites in a few minutes each week.

Maintaining WordPress Websites

It’s important to keep your website maintained for many reasons.  You’ve invested time and money into your website and should protect it the same way you’d protect any other business asset.

Properly maintaining your WordPress website is a must!

It’s not as complicated as you may think and we’ll share our advice on how to maintain your WordPress website from both a content perspective and a technical standpoint.

WordPress Maintenance Tip #1

Take a Backup

Maintaining WordPress with Backup Plugin UpdraftPlus

The first step to maintaining your WordPress website is to take a backup before you do anything else. This way if you accidentally remove something you need, it’s only a few clicks away.  We recommend using UpdraftPlus for backing up WordPress. It’s free to use, quick to download, and allows you to automate the process.

When you finish going through our list of website maintenance tasks, we recommend taking another backup. This way your work is preserved in case something goes wrong in the future.

WordPress Maintenance Tip #2

Audit Your Website Content, Annually

Sample of content

We recommend clients review their website content at least once per year, more often if their business model, products, services, or marketing goals change.

Keeping your website content maintained in WordPress is typically very easy to do, even if you aren’t a web designer or programmer. Most WordPress websites are made in a way that content can be maintained with a visual editor of some type.

What should you be looking for?

Homepage – Make sure offers a clear message about what your company offers. Include a strong call to action, eye-catching images, testimonials, and trust signals.

About page – About pages are a great place to showcase your company’s history or mission. It’s also a place website visitors go to, to “meet” you. Include pictures of your facility, headshots of your team, a list of awards you’ve won, and partner logos.

Service pages – Every major service your company offers should have a dedicated page on the website. This gives you plenty of space to describe your services and show website visitors what you do. Service pages with professionally written headlines and call to actions will see more conversions than those with simple or no call-to-actions.

Contact page – Double-check your contact information and test your contact forms. Make sure you’re receiving these email! Next, is any contact information missing? Examples of what may be present are:  a contact form, phone number, fax, social media links, business address(s), a map, and business hours. Include as many of these as possible.

WordPress Maintenance Tip #3

Remove Unnecessary Themes or Plugins

Now is a good time to go through your WordPress plugins. Make sure everything is up to date, and remove any plugins you aren’t currently using.

Take it a step further. Look through your list of active plugins and ask yourself (or your team, or your developer): Is this plugin actually being used or is it simply enabled? What are we using this plugin for? Is it necessary? Is this still the best plugin to handle the job?

These are great questions to ask, because over time, the answer will change. A plugin that was top of the line last year may not be the best solution this year. Sometimes plugins get left enabled, even after their purpose has passed.

Unnecessary plugins can consume server resources, impacting performance, or become security risks.

If you’re unsure at any point, consider the help of WordPress website management services. WordPress Websites should never be left unmanaged – someone (you, someone at your company, or a professional) has to keep the site up to date.

WordPress Maintenance Tip #4

Check Your Website Loading Times

Fast Loading Websites

Do this after you’ve done the rest. There’s a good chance that after doing the tasks above. Changing plugins or content usually makes an impact on your WordPress site performance.

Popular tools for checking your website speed are GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools, and Google PageSpeed.

We’ve written about how to make your WordPress website faster before, so following our advice there is a great way to begin tackling site speed. 

Site speed mattered a lot in 2019 and will matter more in 2020, 2021, and beyond!

WordPress Maintenance Tip #5

Change Your Passwords, Often.

How to change a WordPress password

You should make it a habit to change your important passwords regularly. Security experts recommend doing it annually, or anytime you learn about a breach that may impact you.

Changing your password in WordPress is quick and easy to do.

While you’re doing this, it’s also a good time to take a look at who has access to your WordPress admin area.  Make sure every Administrator, Contributor, and Editor account is someone you know, and trust.

Go the extra distance and secure your WordPress website.

More Maintenance Tips for WordPress Websites

A webmaster’s job is never done.

  • Check for broken links, missing images, and other assets.
  • Confirm that Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and other tracking codes are working.
  • Test your contact form and make sure you’re receiving the emails.
  • Check if your website is prepared for voice search.
  • Update your site copyright if it doesn’t have the current year.
  • Check your website out on your phone.
  • Test your newsletter opt-in form and confirm that it’s connected correctly.

Taking the time to maintain your WordPress website is well worth the investment. Your web presence starts with your website. Make sure you’re sending the correct message to your customers while providing a great user experience.

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