Can you believe it? It’s already the middle of Feburary of 2020! With Spring just a couple months away here, it’s time to to start thinking about clean out your garage and prepare for months of yard work. Similar to a house, maintaining your business website is an important task.
Maintaining Your WordPress Website
The Internet moves at an unstoppable pace. There was “website design” and then there was responsive design. Last year, Google pushed us into a mobile-first web design World. This year, the push is for a faster web.
A website that doesn’t meet today’s standards will not perform well. Your website has to work on mobile devices. It has to look good and load quick.
Take a Backup
The first step to maintaining your WordPress website is to take a backup before you do anything else. This way if you accidentally remove something you need, it’s only a few clicks away. We recommend using UpdraftPlus for backing up WordPress. It’s free to use, quick to download, and allows you to automate the process.
When you finish going through our list of website maintenance tasks, we recommend taking another backup. This way your work is preserved in case something goes wrong in the future.
Learn more about how to back up your WordPress website.
Audit Your WordPress Website Content
It’s important to make sure your website’s content is up to date. Read your website’s primary pages.
What should you be looking for?
Homepage – Make sure offers a clear message about what your company offers. Include a strong call to action, eye-catching images, testimonials, and trust signals.
About page – About pages are a great place to showcase your company’s history or mission. It’s also a place website visitors go to, to “meet” you. Include pictures of your facility, headshots of your team, a list of awards you’ve won, and partner logos.
Service pages – Every major service your company offers should have a dedicated page on the website. This gives you plenty of space to describe your services and show website visitors what you do. A thought out service pages will increase your website’s visibility on search engines.
Contact page – Double check your contact information and test your contact forms. Make sure you’re receiving these email! Next, is any contact information missing? Examples of what may be present are: a contact form, phone number, fax, social media links, business address(s), a map, and business hours. Include as many of these as possible.
Audit Your WordPress Themes and Plugins
Now is a good time to go through your WordPress plugins. Make sure everything is up to date, and remove any plugins you aren’t currently using.
Take it a step further. Look through your list of active plugins and ask yourself (or your team, or your developer):
- Is this plugin actually being used or is it simply enabled?
- What are we using this plugin for? Is it necessary?
- Is this still the best plugin to handle the job?
These are great questions to ask, because over time, the answer will change. A plugin that was top of the line last year may not be the best solution this year. Sometimes plugins get left enabled, even after their purpose has passed.
Unnecessary plugins can consume server resources, impacting performance, or become security risks.
Check Your WordPress Website Speed
Do this after you’ve done the rest. There’s a good chance that after doing the tasks above. Changing plugins or content usually makes an impact on your WordPress site performance.
We’ve written about how to make your WordPress website faster before, so following our advice there is a great way to begin tackling site speed.
Site speed mattered a lot in 2019 and will matter more in 2020, 2021, and beyond!
Change Your WordPress Passwords
You should make it a habit to change your important passwords regularly. Security experts recommend doing it annually, or anytime you learn about a breach that may impact you.
Changing your password in WordPress is quick and easy to do.
While you’re doing this, it’s also a good time to take a look at who has access to your WordPress admin area. Make sure every Administrator, Contributor, and Editor account is someone you know, and trust.
Go the extra distance and secure your WordPress website.
We’ve put together on how to secure WordPress.
Additional Tips for Maintaining Your WordPress Website
- Check for broken links, missing images, and other assets.
- Check if your website is prepared for voice search
- Update your site copyright if it doesn’t have the current year.
- Check your website out on your phone.
- Check your competitor’s website out on your phone.
- Go to Best Buy (or similar stores) and check out how your website looks on many phones!
Taking the time to maintain your WordPress website is well worth the investment. Your web presence starts with your website. Make sure you’re sending the correct message to your customers while providing a great user experience.