Once in a while I do my blog maintenance which involves certain activities like cleaning up database files, checking error logs, doing evaluation that will help to improve my blog in future. Why should you do WordPress blog maintenance? Its similar to how we take care of our health, we should ensure our blog’s health once a while so that it doesn’t affect visitors user experience. I would like to list out WordPress clean up activities for blog owners, webmasters who deal with WordPress blogs. This is for blogs which run WordPress self hosted to ensure smooth running. I do WordPress maintenance every first week of the month and here is my checklist.
WordPress Maintenance Checklist
1. Update to WordPress latest version
Always make sure you are in the latest version of WordPress. This helps you to avoid unwanted hack attempts from strangers. Also before updating to the latest version, make sure you check with your friends whether it conflicts with anything like plugin, themes etc.
2. Update plugins, themes too. Clean out old plugins, unused ones.
Do not keep the old plugins which are not used. Delete the unused ones. Update the current ones. Revise your plugin list and keep the most needed ones. reduce the load to your WordPress blog.
3. Clean template files, theme’s style sheet etc.
Learn how to minimize the code. If you’re adding an extra feature to your WordPress blog, minimize the code in your template files and in stylesheet too.
4. Setup WordPress backup, ensure it runs correctly. Backup DB every month.
You can either use backup plugin for wordpress or manually backup WP db files every month. Make sure you backup at two places. One on the local pc and another one in the cloud.
5. Check for dead links (404 error – page not found)
6. Check for incorrect links between post articles. Fix broken links. Broken link checker plugin does amazing work.
7. Use WP-Optimize plugin to optimize WP database. It removes post revisions, spam comments, optimize database tables.
8. Check WP forums once in a while to see what is going on and what topics discussed.
This helps you to learn new things, new errors in advance. So that if you face it in future, you know how to solve the issue.
9. Validate your site if you’re making any code changes (feature updates) or style sheet changes. (design changes)
If you’re adding a new feature or making changes to the design, validate your site with HTML/CSS for errors and rectify it.
10. Check your website statistics
Google analytics, adsense and other stuff.
11. Check Site’s Link Popularity and Search Engine Ranking
Google Webmaster tools will help you.
12. Review sidebar and footer content. Make changes if you need.
Ensure user experience in mind and make changes if needed.
13. Ensure all your social feeds, newsletters, contact forms and campaigns are working properly.
Sometimes due to plugins or code conflicts your social feeds or newsletters may not work. Mostly you don’t get alerts when they stop working. Unless some one informs you. So make sure you check every month whether they work perfect.
15. Check speed of the blog, if its slow – learn how to speed up WordPress blog.
Also Download this PDF – WordPress Website Owners Checklist
These are some basic WordPress maintenance that every WordPress user should know. If I had left something, do use the comment form below :) If you find it difficult to do WordPress maintenance, ping me via contact page.
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