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The same rule that applies to cars applies to WordPress websites—whether they’re new or older, they both need regular maintenance.

Unfortunately, WordPress websites don’t come with a manual, so we put together this WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist so you know exactly what you need to do to keep your website running smoothly.

WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist

Every one of these tasks is crucial to the function AND safety of your WordPress site and should be done at least once a month:

1. Do a FULL backup & store it outside of your hosting account.

It’s FAR better (and cheaper) to restore a website backup than to try to clean up a damaged or destroyed website.

Note the word “FULL”—make sure the WHOLE site, including the database, is backed up. You need to save your backup in a cloud (on Dropbox, with us, a third party backup provider, etc.) in case your hosting account gets compromised.

If you’re backing up your site yourself, we highly recommend Updraft Plus. Click on the image below for more info:

UpdraftPlus Website Backup Plugin | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

Backup Your WordPress Website Yourself with UpdraftPlus!

2. Update your plugins

Plugins are the apps that add functionality to your website. They are also doors through which hackers can enter your site, so it’s important that you use reputable ones built by developers who are conscientious about staying on top of the most recent security vulnerabilities AND update them regularly.

3. Update WordPress

Bugs happen and one of the downfalls of being popular is being a target and WordPress is the most popular website platform out there.

Fortunately, they are extremely conscientious about fixing their goofs and staying on top of security, so they release updates regularly. If you don’t have the most recent version of WordPress, you may be affected by a bug and/or you are not being protected against the most current security threats.

4. Update your WordPress theme

Similar to plugins and WordPress, your WordPress theme is a door for hackers to enter. Reputable developers stay on top of security and release new versions regularly.

BEWARE: Updating a theme is NOT for the inexperienced or you may overwrite all of the customization that was done to it!

5. Clean up your blog

If your business blog is cluttered with outdated posts (i.e., earlier sales, past events, old info, etc.), you may be hurting your credibility and SEO. Keeping your blog cleaned up and well-organized shows your visitors and Google that you’re current and well-organized, which has a positive impact on your SEO ranking.

If you announce sales and events in blog posts often, we use a helpful plugin that automatically expires these posts!

RELATED | Why You Need a Business Blog

6. Fix 404 errors

When you delete or rename a page or post and someone arrives at it from an old link, they’ll land on a 404 error page. These are frustrating to users and negatively impact your search engine ranking.

Fixing links is a matter of redirecting people to an updated or substitute URL and can be done manually in Google or automatically by a plugin.

7. Check contact & email sign-up forms

Things randomly stop working more often than you might think, including contact and email signup forms. This can have a major impact on your business! A quick test will make sure that you are still receiving inquiries and subscriptions from your website.

8. Perform a security scan

If your website doesn’t have a reputable security plugin, GO INSTALL ONE NOW or contact us to do it for you!

In addition to real time monitoring of any malicious login attempts, a full scan is an important part of regular maintenance as it will alert you to any security vulnerabilities or issues.

9. Clean up your database

. Cleaning your database is like cleaning your closet—picking stuff up from the floor, getting rid of stuff you’re not using anymore, and organizing what’s left so you can find things quicker and make room for new stuff.

Protect Your Investment

If your website temporarily or permanently stops working, the cost to your business can be significant. So, if you can’t find the time to do this yourself or you feel totally overwhelmed by our WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist, we highly recommend you contact us to help you protect your investment with our comprehensive Maintenance Contract!

Did you know that maintenance contracts are NOT needed for the IHUBApp progressive web app? This is just one of many reasons it’s our preferred website  platform. Click HERE to learn more about it!

We may receive commissions when you click the links on this page and make a purchase. However, this is not why we include them here. We truly believe these service providers will help you and your business!

About the author : Janet Doré

Janet Doré is the founder and CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of Scribaceous, Inc., a boutique design company specializing in branding & graphic design, IHubApp PWAs, WordPress websites, and optimized blog content. She is also the proud creator of the Hub Mama program where she trains and mentors those looking to grow their own freelance Hubmaster business.

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