How to Maintain a WordPress Website

Learning how to maintain a WordPress website requires time, patience, and practice. You must update plugins, test your website’s loading times, ensure it is backed up, and much more. These steps are necessary if you want your website to remain secure, rank high on Google, stay relevant, and load efficiently. That’s why we share our routine WordPress maintenance tips with clients after launching new websites.

At Compete Now, our web designers have been designing and maintaining WordPress websites for clients for over a decade. We continue to work with many of our past clients to ensure their websites are up-to-date and running efficiently at all times for a positive user experience. For professional help maintaining your website, read about our website maintenance plans and give us a call today to get started! In the meantime, learn what our team does to maintain websites.  

Ensure You Have Daily Backups

Ensuring your website is backed up daily will provide you peace of mind. Backing up your website guarantees that all of your data and content are stored safely in the event of any problems. Protect your website’s data by installing a WordPress backup plugin to back up your website daily. 

Update WordPress & Plugins

Updating WordPress and plugins sounds like an obvious maintenance requirement, but it’s easy to miss when there are frequently new versions available. However, using outdated versions of WordPress and plugins puts your website at risk for hacking, broken elements, and compatibility issues that ruin the user’s experience. To avoid this, we recommend that you set your website and plugins to update automatically. This way, WordPress will do the work for you!

Update the PHP Version of Your Server

Updating PHP will ensure that your WordPress website is secure and that its loading time is fast. When you forget to update your PHP, your website becomes vulnerable to hackers. Find out if you need to update your PHP by checking if there’s a new version available.  

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Test Contact Forms

It’s important to test your contact forms because broken contact forms result in you losing leads for your business and frustrating interested customers. Fortunately, testing contact forms is an easy process. All you have to do is go to the contact page of your website as if you’re a customer and fill out the contact form. You’ll know your contact form works if you receive a submission confirmation message! If the form is working but you are still not receiving email notifications when new submissions are made, we recommend checking that the email address you have connected is correct.

Test Your Website on All Browsers and Mobile Devices

The purpose of testing your website on all browsers is to ensure that users have a consistent experience across all types of browsers. By testing on different browsers, you can find out if your website isn’t optimized for certain ones. The same goes for testing your website on different devices: Checking to see if your website is mobile-responsive will assure you that users are getting the same experience on their phones as they are on desktops. 

Protect Your Website from Spam with Akismet Anti-Spam or CAPTCHAs

Dealing with incoming spam on your website is not only a nuisance but a risk to the security of your website. As web designers, we anticipate spam being an issue, so we install premium plugins like Akismet Anti-Spam on our clients’ sites for maintenance. Akismet is responsible for filtering out and blocking spam.  

For website maintenance for e-commerce websites, we recommend using CAPTCHAs. A CAPTCHA is a security measure that involves a challenge or question that a bot wouldn’t be capable of answering. These are especially important for e-commerce websites because they’ll protect websites from bots and fake orders with bad credit cards.

Uptime Monitoring 

Uptime monitoring is an automated way of checking your website’s availability. This is a reliable tool that monitors the uptime of the website and sends alerts when the website is down so that you can act quickly before customers notice any problems. 

Check for Broken Links 

Broken links are bad for both user experience and the overall health of a website. Use tools like Semrush and Google Search Console to scan your website for broken internal and external links so you can replace them with working links.

Clear Your Website Caches

If you’re noticing that your website is slow or that the formatting of pages is off, it may be your cache. You can clear caches on both your browser and internally on your website with a cache plugin. Doing so will give you a true idea of what the website currently looks like.

Test Your Loading Times

Testing your loading times will give you an idea of how quickly your website is reacting to users’ commands. When your loading speed is slow, it not only turns away potential customers from exploring your website, but Google will also rank you lower than your competitors. We recommend testing your loading times with a free resource like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. If you find that your loading times are slow, try optimizing images and files, or reach out to our team to start a page speed project.

Contact Compete Now for Your WordPress Website’s Maintenance

Taking time to perform regular website maintenance checks can be time-consuming, especially if you’re running a business. It also takes skills that not everyone has the bandwidth to learn. That’s exactly why we offer WordPress hosting plans that include automatic updates and maintenance for your convenience. Contact us today to learn more and get started!