WordPress Maintenance

Scott Heiser+

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Why WP MaintenanceMaintaining Your WordPress Website Is Critical

I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked to repair WordPress websites that have not been properly and effectively maintained. Not maintaining your WordPress website on a regular basis opens you up to hacks, spam and downright nasty people who inject their junk code into your webpages unbeknownst to you. That is until one of your customers calls and complains that you website is not working.

How does this happen? WordPress and the plugins you use are being constantly hacked because of security holes in the code. These security holes give hackers and hijackers access to many parts of your website code. They can modify the code or insert code that will hijack your website whci they then use to send spam. When this happens, your website may be enetered in one or many blacklists which prevent your wanted customers from accessing your website.

When this happens, you will need someone with the technical expertise to first clean out all the bad code that was inserted by hackers and hijackers. If you maintain daily or weekly backups of your website, you may be able to simply restore the website to a previous version. But any changes or new blog posts will be lost and have to be recreated. When the website has been cleaned and restored to a good working version, someone will then have to start contacting the Blacklist websites, Google being the primary one, and request these sites to retest your website and give it a clean bill of health. Wait a few days after that and your website will have been fully restore and removed from all blacklists.

The bad news for you in all of this chaos is that you will spend from hundreds to thousands of dollars to have you website fully restored and removed from the blacklists. But, I have a simple solution for you.

These five maintenance activities are manually performed on your website every week:

1. Plugins Updating – Plugin updating is easy, but it can be a double-edged sword. The plugin update may implement important security fixes but it might also conflict with another plugin. I check out the plugin home page before updating and plugin to see what’s new and different and see if anyone else has had any problems.
2. WordPress Updating – WordPress updates its software frequently. I update all of the plugins first, and then I update WordPress. I don’t update WordPress as soon as it alerts me because I want to give all plugin developers time to update their plugins so they are compatible with the new WordPress update.
3. WordPress Database Optimization – Your WordPress database does get cluttered with trivial data that should be cleaned out every month.  This will also help in speeding up your websites delivery of web pages.
4. Internal Links Management – Sometimes plugins can interact in strange ways with each other. I check both internal and external links on your website weekly.
5. Website Backups – Your website is backed up to a remote server once a month for safe keeping.  Weekly backups are performed and saved to your website’s server making them easier to restored when problems arise.

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