What is website maintenance?
Website maintenance is the process of actively regulating your website for problems and fixing errors that may arise throughout your online presence. This should effectively be done regularly to ensure that user experience is optimised and make sure your SEO and Google rankings are stable, and increase website traffic.
It’s no secret that website maintenance can be a real pain in the neck for any business with a website. There are various methods of keeping your company’s website in good shape, and you don’t need to be a professional. Let’s look at some common ways of maintaining your website and the benefits that come with them.
1. Backup your website completely
You need to perform a backup of your site daily to secure your hard work if your site crashes or is hacked. That is an essential part of website maintenance.
Backups are one of the most valuable WordPress plugins you can use.
Plugins like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy provide excellent WordPress backup services.
Ensure you know how to restore those backups and check with your hosting provider how often you are being backed up. Prepare for a mishap by conducting a test run. The host should backup if it does not do so daily, but you should still be doing your backups as a sound practice regardless of if your host fails to do so.
You can automate the backup process for WordPress using these tools.
Sometimes, however, you may not even notice when your backup solution stops working.
Creating a complete backup of your site requires a manual backup now and then. Make sure your backup files are stored correctly at the remote location of your choice (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).
2. Conduct performance tests
When beginning their websites, many users optimise the performance of their WordPress platforms.
New content is added each time you visit your site, and you can even install new plugins or change the theme. These are several factors that may impact your WordPress site’s performance.
In addition to improving user experience, faster websites can also optimise your search engine ranking. Therefore, your website should undergo regular performance reviews.
Do not limit your website’s performance review to improving your homepage. Check all your important pages and your most popular content.
3. Find and Fix Broken Links
Inevitably, some of the external websites you linked to in your earlier articles will no longer exist as your site grows. Some may have relocated, while others may simply have disappeared.
Links broken on external websites are not the only problem. Your links might be misspelt, your images might be broken, or your pictures might be poorly formatted. You may find that this frustrates visitors and negatively affects your site’s user engagement.
Maintaining your WordPress website includes checking for broken links.
4. Troubleshoot Maintenance Tasks
It is pretty harmless to perform most WordPress website maintenance tasks on a website that is running normally. The use of an image optimiser plugin or checking the site for broken links may, however, slows your site down.
When you run a staging site, you can test your changes on that site and then push them live once you are ready.
The majority of WordPress users do not run staging sites. The site may be temporarily slow, and you may encounter unexpected errors in this case.
Put your WordPress site in maintenance mode as one way to deal with this. These tasks can also be performed during off-peak times.
Cyber-attacks can happen with any lapse in security, so maintaining website security is crucial. Keeping up with privacy laws and data security is vital due to the changing nature of data. Ensure that your website data is restricted and any past employees are not able to access it.
The WordPress website maintenance task is often overlooked, but it should be among your top 10 priorities.
Malware, hacking, and spam are all widespread issues across the internet. There are typically more than 30,000 new internet sites hacked each day. Most of these 30,000 sites are legitimate small business sites distributing malware without knowing it.
You must implement a security solution that can monitor and protect your website and identify any vulnerabilities as soon as they arise to avoid falling victim to malicious threats.
WordPress security plugins such as Wordfence are pretty famous, so we recommended you to install the free edition as a minimum. Your site will be protected from common threats by the Web Application Firewall (WAF), which will scan it daily for issues, vulnerabilities, outdated plugins, abandoned plugins and report them to you.
Additionally, Malcare provides a WAF with daily scans, as well as a promise to automatically remove any detected malware from your site or your money back.
That is one of the few plugins out there that automatically removes malware from your site.
6. Test your website's speed
With a fast-loading site, your visitors will be able to view pages and browse between them, resulting in a better user experience. It is known that longer loading time results in higher bounce rates (visitors leaving your site before viewing more pages) and less time spent on your website.
Test your page speed with a free tool such as Google PageSpeed Insights to identify problematic pages.
7. Check your website's links
404 errors. All of us have seen these unattractive forms and know-how poor the user experience is. That often leads to fewer users returning to the site. You can check your website for error pages using Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools tools.
Check your URLs every month to identify and fix those that need correction, and prevent the annoying ‘Page not found’ error.
8.Optimise Images on Your WordPress Site
Text loads faster than images. As a result, your page will load slower due to images. During the performance checkup of your site, you’ll find some pictures that are too large.
However, you are likely to overlook those in less popular articles. Some authors may not be as careful about image sizes as you run a multi-author WordPress site.
The most effective way to stay ahead of the problem is to keep an eye on your images and your media library. That can be used to quickly identify ideas that can be reduced in size or simply too large.
9. Examine your site's on-page SEO elements
For sites to rank higher in organic search, they need to have an SEO-friendly WordPress website.
When search engines and users navigate your website, the elements of on-page SEO will improve the user experience. Therefore to boost your website’s online growth, an SEO audit is vital for revising your on-page SEO.
10.Update the website's content
Content on your website is crucial to retaining visitors and attracting them to your products. Over time, though, you may come across the range you created in the past that has become outdated.
You should, therefore, review your websites every quarter to determine if they include outdated information. When writing blog posts, services pages, or product descriptions, you want to make sure the information you provide is accurate.
After compiling a list of pages that need to be updated or re-optimised, and start planning when to correct them.
Keeping your business’s website up to date may not be at the top of your list of priorities. However, the factors discussed above demonstrate that website maintenance involves multiple aspects that make up a successful website.
You can certainly maintain your website yourself, but you may want to consider partnering with an experienced web agency that may be able to take some weight off your shoulders.
Always note that there are hundreds of options out there and that no option is better than the other. Whatever decision you choose, make sure that it will benefit you in the best way possible.