13 Best Maintenance Practices to Keep Your Site Running Smoothly

13 Best Maintenance Practices to Keep Your Site Running Smoothly

Once you get your site up and running, there are some essential maintenance tasks you need to perform on a regular basis. This will help ensure your site continues performing at its best as well as provide your visitors with the best user experience.

In this post, I’m sharing all the tasks you need to do to keep your site running smoothly and keep it safe and secure.

1. Backup Your Website

The most important task on your list should be to back up your website. Backups are important because they allow you to restore your website easily if something goes wrong. This can be a plugin conflict after applying an update or someone hacking into your site.

If you don’t add new content often, it’s enough to back up your site once a week but if you add new content daily, you might want to switch to a daily back up schedule. There are several free plugins that make it easy to update your site such as UpdraftPlus which will store the backup in your Dropbox or Google Drive folder so you can easily access it.

UpdraftPlus Plugin

2. Monitor Uptime

No matter what type of website you run, downtime is just not good for business. It hurts your brand image and it causes you to lose money, especially if it happens during an important sale or promotion.

There are several services that will help you monitor your site for downtime. A popular one is Uptime Robot which is free to sign up and it will check your site every 5 minutes for downtime. You’ll get a notification if your site goes down so you can investigate what’s going on.


Uptime Robot

If you prefer a plugin, you can take advantage of Jetpack which offers uptime monitoring even on its free plan as well as a ton of other services.


Jetpack Plugin

3. Run a Security Scan

Another important task on the maintenance list is to regularly scan your site for malware. This will help make your site more secure as a good monitoring tool will block malicious traffic before it even gets to your site.

Like with anything WordPress related, there is no shortage of security plugins that will perform regular security scans of your site. One of the most popular plugins is Sucuri Security which will also allow you to perform one-click hardening of your site for added security.


Sucuri Security Plugin

4. Moderate and Respond to Comments

You probably know that blogging can help you build a community around your site and get it noticed by the search engines. However, in order to build that community, you’ll need to engage with your visitors, which means you need to moderate and respond to comments.

By doing this, your visitors will feel appreciated and you will be able to catch any comments that might have ended up in spam.

5. Check Your Orders

If you run an e-commerce website, you need to check your orders on a daily basis. You can see how many new orders are in the queue, how many have gone out, and which orders are being fulfilled. By being diligent about it, you’ll be able to provide your customers with a better customer experience. In the long run, this will help you convince the shoppers to keep coming back to your site and spread the word about your store to their friends and family.

6. Check for Broken Links

Broken links will lead users to a non-existing website or a page on your site. While you might not think that’s important, it will damage your reputation in the long run. Your visitors will start to see you as someone who doesn’t share reliable information which hurts their trust in you and your brand.

Prevent this from happening by installing Broken Link Checker plugin. The plugin will check all the links on your site in the background and notify you when it finds any broken links. You can then correct the URL, remove it completely or redirect it to a different page.


Broken Link Checker Plugin

7. Update WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins

WordPress releases updates on a regular basis which need to be applied manually. Minor updates usually contain important bug and security fixes which means you need to update WordPress regularly to ensure hackers can’t exploit any vulnerabilities.

The same goes for your themes and plugins as not updating them allows the hackers to exploit vulnerabilities, inject malicious code, and gain access to your site.

8. Check Your Site’s Layout and Formatting

Checking how your site looks in different browsers and on different screen sizes is the best way to ensure your visitors don’t encounter any weird issues with the layout, responsiveness, and formatting of your site.

This is especially important if you switch themes or plugins often. If you notice that the layout is broken, then it’s safe to assume your visitors will too and that will lead to site abandonment.

Make sure to check your site after every WordPress update as well as after every theme and plugin update to ensure everything is in place and displays correctly. It’s best to check your site in incognito mode or to clear your browser’s cache before doing so.

9. Keep Track of Important Metrics

Monitoring your site’s traffic can help you determine not only where your visitors are coming from but also which pages and posts are the most popular. Armed with this knowledge, you can then create more of the similar content and develop better marketing campaigns which will bring even more visitors to you.

Additionally, you’ll know which sites and social media platforms are bringing you the most traffic so you can focus your marketing efforts on those platforms and drop the rest.

10. Test Your Website Speed

Nobody likes a slow-loading website and when it comes to e-commerce websites, website speed is even more important. According to research, users expect a website to load in under three seconds so adopt a habit of regularly testing your site’s speed.

Using tools such as Pingdom Tools or Google PageSpeed Insights will not only tell you how fast your site loads but also show you where you can make improvements to decrease the loading time.

11. Check Spam

Using an anti-spam plugin is useful if your site receives a lot of comments, but you can’t rely on plugin alone to catch all of the spam comments. Sometimes, even legitimate comments wind up in spam. That’s why you need to check the spam regularly to ensure no real comment wound up there so you can remove it and mark it as safe.

12. Delete Inactive Themes and Plugins

Inactive themes and plugins not only are a security risk but they also take up precious server space and slow your website down. Go through your themes and plugins and remove any inactive ones. You can always re-upload them later on if you decide you need them or want to use them.

13. Review Current Themes and Plugins

The last tip is directly related to the one above. As you’re removing inactive themes and plugins, be sure to review the ones you’re currently using. Are they still actively maintained? Can you consolidate a plugin or two into one plugin? Is your theme still relevant or is it time for an update?

Final Thoughts

Keeping your site up to date, backing it up regularly, and doing other maintenance related tasks will ensure your site continues running smoothly long after you have launched it. Use the tips in this article to create your own website maintenance routine.

You can find the best online HTML, CSS and JavaScript tools in one place. Online editors, code optimizers and more.

Once you get your site up and running, there are some essential maintenance tasks you need to perform on a regular basis. This will help ensure your site continues performing at its best as well as provide your visitors with the best user experience.

In this post, I’m sharing all the tasks you need to do to keep your site running smoothly and keep it safe and secure.

1. Backup Your Website

The most important task on your list should be to back up your website. Backups are important because they allow you to restore your website easily if something goes wrong. This can be a plugin conflict after applying an update or someone hacking into your site.

If you don’t add new content often, it’s enough to back up your site once a week but if you add new content daily, you might want to switch to a daily back up schedule. There are several free plugins that make it easy to update your site such as UpdraftPlus which will store the backup in your Dropbox or Google Drive folder so you can easily access it.

2. Monitor Uptime

No matter what type of website you run, downtime is just not good for business. It hurts your brand image and it causes you to lose money, especially if it happens during an important sale or promotion.

There are several services that will help you monitor your site for downtime. A popular one is Uptime Robot which is free to sign up and it will check your site every 5 minutes for downtime. You’ll get a notification if your site goes down so you can investigate what’s going on.

If you prefer a plugin, you can take advantage of Jetpack which offers uptime monitoring even on its free plan as well as a ton of other services.

3. Run a Security Scan

Another important task on the maintenance list is to regularly scan your site for malware. This will help make your site more secure as a good monitoring tool will block malicious traffic before it even gets to your site.

Like with anything WordPress related, there is no shortage of security plugins that will perform regular security scans of your site. One of the most popular plugins is Sucuri Security which will also allow you to perform one-click hardening of your site for added security.

4. Moderate and Respond to Comments

You probably know that blogging can help you build a community around your site and get it noticed by the search engines. However, in order to build that community, you’ll need to engage with your visitors, which means you need to moderate and respond to comments.

By doing this, your visitors will feel appreciated and you will be able to catch any comments that might have ended up in spam.

5. Check Your Orders

If you run an e-commerce website, you need to check your orders on a daily basis. You can see how many new orders are in the queue, how many have gone out, and which orders are being fulfilled. By being diligent about it, you’ll be able to provide your customers with a better customer experience. In the long run, this will help you convince the shoppers to keep coming back to your site and spread the word about your store to their friends and family.

6. Check for Broken Links

Broken links will lead users to a non-existing website or a page on your site. While you might not think that’s important, it will damage your reputation in the long run. Your visitors will start to see you as someone who doesn’t share reliable information which hurts their trust in you and your brand.

Prevent this from happening by installing Broken Link Checker plugin. The plugin will check all the links on your site in the background and notify you when it finds any broken links. You can then correct the URL, remove it completely or redirect it to a different page.

7. Update WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins

WordPress releases updates on a regular basis which need to be applied manually. Minor updates usually contain important bug and security fixes which means you need to update WordPress regularly to ensure hackers can’t exploit any vulnerabilities.

The same goes for your themes and plugins as not updating them allows the hackers to exploit vulnerabilities, inject malicious code, and gain access to your site.

8. Check Your Site’s Layout and Formatting

Checking how your site looks in different browsers and on different screen sizes is the best way to ensure your visitors don’t encounter any weird issues with the layout, responsiveness, and formatting of your site.

This is especially important if you switch themes or plugins often. If you notice that the layout is broken, then it’s safe to assume your visitors will too and that will lead to site abandonment.

Make sure to check your site after every WordPress update as well as after every theme and plugin update to ensure everything is in place and displays correctly. It’s best to check your site in incognito mode or to clear your browser’s cache before doing so.

9. Keep Track of Important Metrics

Monitoring your site’s traffic can help you determine not only where your visitors are coming from but also which pages and posts are the most popular. Armed with this knowledge, you can then create more of the similar content and develop better marketing campaigns which will bring even more visitors to you.

Additionally, you’ll know which sites and social media platforms are bringing you the most traffic so you can focus your marketing efforts on those platforms and drop the rest.

10. Test Your Website Speed

Nobody likes a slow-loading website and when it comes to e-commerce websites, website speed is even more important. According to research, users expect a website to load in under three seconds so adopt a habit of regularly testing your site’s speed.

Using tools such as Pingdom Tools or Google PageSpeed Insights will not only tell you how fast your site loads but also show you where you can make improvements to decrease the loading time.

11. Check Spam

Using an anti-spam plugin is useful if your site receives a lot of comments, but you can’t rely on plugin alone to catch all of the spam comments. Sometimes, even legitimate comments wind up in spam. That’s why you need to check the spam regularly to ensure no real comment wound up there so you can remove it and mark it as safe.

12. Delete Inactive Themes and Plugins

Inactive themes and plugins not only are a security risk but they also take up precious server space and slow your website down. Go through your themes and plugins and remove any inactive ones. You can always re-upload them later on if you decide you need them or want to use them.

13. Review Current Themes and Plugins

The last tip is directly related to the one above. As you’re removing inactive themes and plugins, be sure to review the ones you’re currently using. Are they still actively maintained? Can you consolidate a plugin or two into one plugin? Is your theme still relevant or is it time for an update?

Final Thoughts

Keeping your site up to date, backing it up regularly, and doing other maintenance related tasks will ensure your site continues running smoothly long after you have launched it. Use the tips in this article to create your own website maintenance routine.

You can find the best online HTML, CSS and JavaScript tools in one place. Online editors, code optimizers and more.

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DW Staff

DarrelWilson.com provides free and helpful WordPress tutorials for users of all experiences and backrounds. Darrel provides free tutorials on his youtube channel. You can view the youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/darrelwilsonbug

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