Website Maintenance – 7 tips for WordPress blogs

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Your blog and website maintenance is a crucial and important task that should not be ignored. A publisher’s activity on his/her blog leads to accumulation of loads and left overs of remnants of codes in the database which affects the overall health of such blog.

Consider this, I have a car and the car goes to the workshop once in a month for maintenance check up; from here they carry out scheduled servicing of the car, checking of the engine, removal of the oil filter, draining the old engine oil and replacing with new engine oil e.t.c. The whole essence of this is to elongate and extend the service year of the vehicle and to make sure that the engine is in top shape which will enhance and improve its performance.

This same concept extends to a business blog or website; having a scheduled and adequate maintenance culture of the blog is important for security, speed and improved services.

Recommended to read: 7 proven steps to protect your wordpress website security

wordpress website maintenance is important

Listed below are 8 steps and guidelines to maintain your WordPress powered websites and blogs:

  • Regularly clean up and optimize MYSQL Table

You don’t have to understand the meaning of MYSQL, it’s too technical, except if you are wed designer,programmer or developer. For an improved website maintenance, the most important thing you need to know is that this table needs to be clean at all times.

WordPress is built around the use of PHP, CSS, HTML e.t.c. and because word press is generally acknowledged as a content management system, details about the site are stored in MYSQL in clusters and layers.

Your actions, such as deleting, updating, posting of articles and contents have direct impact on the table; hence the need to purge and keep it optimize at all times.

To achieve this, I recommend the use of ‘WP Optimize plugin

wp optimizer plugin helps in wordpress website maintenance

Caution: After installing and using it to clean the table, kindly deactivate and delete the plugin because it’s heavy and can add more load to the database.

  • Defragment layered clusters in your database

The purpose of defragmenting your laptop or PC is to make it load and run fast.  Aside the presence of virus or malware in a computer system, one of the major reasons why they run slow is because the owner or engineer does not regularly defragment the system. This practice frees up memory, and removes unnecessary clusters from the system.

simple optimizer plugin-good for website maintenance

This same concept is highly applicable to a wordpress website and blog. To do this, I recommend the use of ‘Optimizer plugin

  • Remove revision post and saved drafts

By default, wordpress has put in place post revisions and saved drafts of your published articles. This practice is quite good from Matt mullenweb and his team, and the purpose behind it is for you to easily recover your post in the case of error or accident when publishing or updating your content. WP automatically saves a revised copy of a post at select intervals if a publisher is wasting too much time before hitting the publish button.

However, the downside to this is that the accumulation of all this revised posts adds weight and load to the database, which directly and indirectly affect the optimal performance of your blog.

Solution to this is to delete all saved drafts and revised posts manually, or by simply running the WP optimizer plugin earlier mentioned.

  • Regularly backup your wordpress database

WPEngine and Synthesis offers this service (those two webhost are the recommended web hosting providers, I use them, and they are dependable), some other webhost also does this, but from experience, it is best to pitch tent with the best webhost.

However, if your hosting provider does not provide backup, simply install the ‘back up plugin’ for such action.

We live in a world of intense competition and daily hacking activity, having regular backup of your data’s is very important.

Note: The best solution is to be hosted with a good reputable company like WPEngine and Synthesis, then go to sleep (though a little bit expensive, but you are guaranteed safety and protection).

  • Always check for broken links, 404 error messages and Spammy comment

An increase in 404 error messages is highly related to a drop in Google rankings, so if you notice that you have lots of 404 error messages; check it out, what could be the cause? Is it the soft 404 error messages or what?

One common cause of this error is caused by broken links. You linked to a post or page that does not exist again. The bitter truth here is that it can lead to a Google penalty.

Read more: Robots.txt file is a cause of Google Penalty

 You can use this tool to check for broken links on your blog and website: check for broken links

For Spammy comment: Always check your comment section and delete off any spammy comment that is trapped there. After this, remove totally the deleted comments that are stored in your trash bin.

  • Regularly update your wordpress version

Don’t waste time in updating your website, most especially if you are using wordpress platform.

An easy way to get this done is that you will be notified right from your dashboard ( your WP admin panel) and a prompt message will tell you to update, kindly press the update button.

However, it is recommended that you backup your site first. After the update, check through your posts and see whether everything went smoothly.

An updated wordpress contains hardened security features and state of the art protective details meant to fix security vulnerabilities and bug removals. I discussed about this in one of my post on website security.

  • Regularly update your themes and plugins

A proven case study was carried out by Sucuri and they discovered in the year 2011, a TimThumb script vulnerability was on the loose and hackers exploited this through unused, disabled or deactivated plugin and theme. That is why synthesis (my preferred webhost) notifies me immediately if a plugin or theme needs update or I should such.

Spammers, online thieves and hackers look for exploits in parked/deactivated plugins or themes. The simple solution to this is to remove and totally delete all deactivated plugins or themes you have in your directory.

Conclusion

To a serious businessman, web publisher or blogger, the importance of a well maintained website/blog cannot be overemphasized. If you value your online business, then implement those stated points.

However, a good webhost can help you achieve almost 85% of a thorough blog and website maintenance task; so migrate and host your blog/website with a reputable, serious and highly secured webhost.

I recommend WPEngine and Synthesis

Feedback and Suggestions

Thank you for taking your time to study and read through my blog post, I’m deeply humbled. Do you have some improved suggestions, or even corrections to make, please, kindly do so through the comment section below, I will be looking forward to read from you.

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  • http://angelamccall.com Angela McCall

    Hi James,

    I do all of the things you mentioned here except I don’t defragment my computer coz I use macintosh. Also, WordPress 8.0 is out already? I haven’t got it yet.

    So far I use Hostgator. Although I heard a lot of bad stuff out there about Hostgator, I don’t really listen to what they have to say coz Hostgator have never given me any problem. Their customer service is excellent and their system is up 99.9% of the time. *knock on wood* at least to me they have been good.

    I do have an automatic backup plugin that does all the BACKUP for me every single time I have a new comment or anything updated in my wordpress. I use UpdraftPlus premium. Yeah, I don’t mind paying for something like this coz I value my blog & comments a lot. Also not only does it back up my site, it can also transfer or clone a site to another domain (I haven’t tried this feature yet but it has that capability). There are other stuff that I can do with it but the MAIN thing for me is UpdraftPlus backs up for me automatically every minute.

    Hostgator does their own backup too on my wordpress besides me backing it up. And sometimes I go to my cPanel and go to my phpmyAdmin, click export, and it exports my whole entire domain in my Dropbox. So if anything happens…hackers, downtime, whatever, I have a backup.

    Anyway, enjoy the rest of the week.

    Angela

    • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

      Hi Angela,

      Honestly, I have gained immensely from your comment. Thanks for the tutorial on UpdraftPlus premium plugin tool, I need to go pay a visit and go through the review.

      And for hostgator, yeah, they have stepped up their security details, which is quite good, but honestly, if you try WPEngine and Synthesis, you will never go back to hostgator again. ( pls note, I am not an affiliate of both, but I’m recommending them based on my personal experience).

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Hi James,

    I never thought about removing saved posts and revised drafts. Really smart because each can bog down your blog…..especially if you write 5, 10 or 15 drafts between all of the saving then going back to your work later. Work smart, update your version of WP and do back ups to get your maintenance game tight.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

    I am highly humbled seeing my boss making comment on my tiny blog. You are mostly welcome Ryan.

    It is important to update one’s WP version to the latest and to also remove saved drafts.

    Thanks for the visit and do have a splendid day.

  • http://adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey James,

    So I have a question for you. With WP Optimize it also removes revisions of your posts so isn’t that the same thing that the Optimizer plugin does? I have the first one but not the second.

    I manually backup my own database and files everyday mainly because two to three of the plugins I’ve used in the past have just stopped working one day and I had no backups. I found that they are unreliable and it’s just easier for me to do it myself. Gosh, I’ve been doing this for awhile now so I don’t see paying my hosting service to do what I can do myself. I keep the files in two separate places just in case one goes bad.

    I also clean up my broken links and 404 errors usually about once a month because I never have a lot. Just staying on top of that will keep all of that in control.

    Thanks for this great share and I look forward to your response.

    ~Adrienne

  • http://bloggingconsult.org/ James

    Hi Adrienne,

    The Optimizer plugin does nearly the same work with the WP optimizer; I listed it as part of choices that can be made in the course of cleaning up the database of revisions.

    The best way is to back up the whole process manually, however, having a good webhost gives you lot of confidence.

    Thanks for your observation, and its noted down, do have a nice day.