Just like routine maintenance on your car or home, WordPress runs best with regular updates and care. Do you have a strategy for WordPress maintenance? If not, you need one!
If you’re new to WordPress, first let’s start with how WordPress works. WordPress requires three key pieces to work:
- WordPress core: the platform itself (foundation)
- theme: Genesis, child themes, Elementor, etc. (floor plans)
- plugins: add extra features like opt-in boxes, SEO, social media, etc. (decorations)
Periodically, WordPress core will receive updates with new features and improved security. Then there’s usually a domino effect where themes and plugins also need to be updated to remain compatible and secure. As an example, here’s a look at what was new in the WordPress 5.5.1 update.
In addition to major releases, plugins frequently receive smaller updates that add new features and enhanced security, in addition to bug fixes. I typically have 1-2 updates a week across each of my sites.
If you don’t update, you run the risk of features breaking or leaving a security loophole open on your site.
Suggested Weekly WordPress Maintenance
Comments: approve (if needed in your settings), remove spam, and reply to every comment
Updates: core, theme, and plugins if available. Always backup before updates, just in case!
Backup: your site should be backed up after every update/change you make. If you blog frequently, you may want to increase these to weekly or even daily. I personally backup daily for my maintenance clients— better safe than sorry!
Monthly WordPress Maintenance
Review: view your site on desktop, tablet, and mobile to make sure everything still looks awesome
Data: check your analytics to make sure you’re on the right track with your goals
Annual WordPress Maintenance
Licenses: renew annual licenses for plugins and subscriptions (if applicable)
Content: review your static content (about sections, profile pictures, lead
magnets, etc.) to make sure everything is up-to-date
You Need A System
I suggest pulling out your calendar right now and adding reminders for your site. I personally have a system in place where I update every Monday, every first of the month, and then every year on my site’s anniversary. You can also ready this newer WordPress maintenance tips guide with more details about maintaining your site.
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