Once your website is up and running, you can’t just put it on autopilot. WordPress websites have multiple moving parts and if you aren’t paying attention, a site that worked just fine yesterday could be broken today.
Plugins, themes, and backend technologies like PHP are continuously getting updated, and if you’re not regularly managing your site, you could end up with a security problem, broken site, or worse.
44% of all website hacks are due to outdated WordPress sites.
To keep your site running effectively and securely, there are several vital tasks that you need to schedule regularly. We’ll go through each below along with the suggested frequency.
Website Management Tasks to Do Daily
Visit Your Site
This first step might seem obvious, but there are many business owners that haven’t actually been on their website in months.
Stop by your site once a day to make sure that it’s up and running properly and looks like it should. Sometimes a WordPress theme update can leave headers in the wrong color, cause image carousels to break, or impact other visual elements. It’s better to know within 24-hours of this happening, rather than having your website turning potential customers off.
Check for Malware
There are several different types of malware that can infect a WordPress site. According to web security company Sucuri, the most common are as follows:
- Spam – 61.64%
- Backdoors – 46.89%
- Other Malware – 39.53%
- Hacktools – 10.86%
You want to use a security plugin that can run a daily malware report and alert you to any potential infections.
You should be backing up your website every day. Otherwise you could suffer an attack, outage or other problem and lose everything. Don’t assume that just because a webhost advertises daily backups that this happens without your intervention. Often, you have to turn these backups on and tell them how often to run.
You can’t be on your website 24/7, so how do you know when your site goes down for any reason? Use an uptime monitoring service, which can alert you immediately if your site goes offline.
Website Management Tasks to Do Weekly
Test Site Speed
53% of mobile users will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. It’s important to ensure your website is fast on both desktop and mobile and remains that way.
Do a website speed test that includes things like TTFB (time to first byte) once a week to ensure your site is optimized for fast-loading pages.
Update Theme & Plugins
Outdated sites are easily hacked. Theme and plugin updates are coming through all the time with important security patches and it’s important to keep up with these.
You also need to thoroughly test your site after a theme or plugin update, because in some cases, they can have bugs or conflict with other plugins and cause a problem with how your site looks or operates.
Review Site Analytics
Are you losing visitors? Gaining more conversions on a particular page? Your site analytics are vital to your company sales and marketing efforts. It’s important to review these regularly for insights or issues that need to be addressed.
You can automate key reports in Google analytics or another tool and have them emailed to you weekly.
Website Management Tasks to Do Monthly
Remove Unused Themes & Plugins
When you deactivate a theme or plugin it’s not actually deleted from your site. Information for that component can still be in your site databases. A deactivated plugin or theme that’s not being updated can also leave your site at risk.
Go through monthly and delete any of these that you’re no longer using.
Clean Up Your Database
WordPress websites are driven by databases, and as you draft, add, or delete content these can become filled with “junk” data that is no longer needed. This additional data can slow them down over time and potentially slow your server response time.
Run a database cleanup plugin or tool monthly to keep databases optimized.
Test Your Contact Forms
Your contact forms are one of the most vital components of your site. You want to make sure that nothing has caused them to stop working. For example, if you use Google’s captcha tool, if they make an update on their end, your form could stop working without you realizing it.
Test all your site’s contact forms to make sure they working as they should.
Check Your Site Across Different Browsers
Your site might look great in Chrome on desktop, but does it still look good on Safari used on an iPhone?
Use a site that allows you to check how your website displays in different browsers to make sure it’s optimized for all of them and no updates on their side have caused any problems.
Website Management Tasks to Do Quarterly
Verify Your Backup
It’s important to verify that your website backup system is working properly and can rollback your website to a previous state. Check this quarterly to ensure all is going well with the backup and recovery system.
Website Management Tasks to Do Annually
Update Your Footer’s Copyright Date
You can always tell when a website owner isn’t keeping up with their site, when you look at the footer and the copyright date is from last year or two years ago.
Make yourself a calendar reminder to update the site’s copyright date in the footer come the first of the year.
Evaluate Your Plugins & Theme
Is that SEO plugin still serving you well or is there a better one out there? Take time each year to review the WordPress theme and plugins you’re using to see if any of them need to be replaced.
Simplify WordPress Site Management by Getting Help!
Data First Solutions offers exert WordPress website management services to Canadian businesses. Keep your website optimized and managed by a pro.
Contact us today to book a free website assessment.
Call 1(855)DATA-1ST or book your assessment online.