A few blogs back, we discussed the essentials of WordPress maintenance. We talked about moderating comments, assessing backups, keeping things updated, setting up a staging site, and looking for errors and broken links.
You did a good job with those. Now, it is time to build on them to ensure that your website is secure and running optimally.
Here are a few more maintenance tasks you need to accomplish regularly.
Update Your WordPress Login Credentials
Your login credentials are your first line of defence against unauthorised website access. Use strong passwords for all your online accounts and utilise two-factor authentication whenever you can. You need to ensure that all your passwords in different accounts are unique. This means no, you cannot use the same password again and again despite its strength.
Often, it takes a long time before anyone realises that their accounts have been compromised. That is why WordPress security specialists recommend regularly changing your login credentials for everything. This includes access to your admin area, SSH accounts, FTP account, and WordPress database.
Yes, keeping track of passwords can be a challenge, especially with the regular changes you make. However, you can use password managers like Google Password Manager or LastPass to keep track of the changes and avoid locking yourself out of your accounts.
Test All the Forms on Your WordPress Site
Making a well-designed and functional form in WordPress is easy with form builder plugins. But when there are misconfigurations on your email service provider or your WordPress hosting server, these forms will stop functioning, and you will not receive emails from the site.
To prevent this from happening, remember to check the functionality of all your site’s forms regularly. Using every form can be a practice of patience and perseverance. If you are not fond of the idea, there is an easy way to check.
Use the WP Mail SMTP plugin to make things a little easier for you. This plugin has email logging capabilities and will notify you when there is a failed attempt to send an email.
Declutter Your WordPress Database
WordPress keeps the majority of the data it receives in your database. Your WordPress database contains all of your site’s settings, users, comments, and content. But not all the data your database receives is necessary.
As time passes, your WordPress database stores a lot of unnecessary data. This includes spam, trashed comments, unapproved comments, expired transient options, and more. All this would increase the size of your database backup that would ultimately slow down uploads, downloads, and backup restorations.
This is what you need to do to optimise your site.
- Back up your data.
- Install the WP-Optimise plugin.
- Click the WP-Optimise item in your admin bar after installation.
- Review the list of tasks, choose the ones you want to do, and untick the boxes of actions you don’t want to perform.
Note: Actions with red texts are more intensive operations. Interruptions of these processes may corrupt your data.
- Click “run on all selected items” and let the plugin do all the work.
WordPress maintenance is a lot of work, but it is essential to the smooth operation of your website. The best thing to do is to schedule your maintenance as frequently as needed.
However, monthly maintenance may not be the most practical move. To determine how often you need to manage your site’s upkeep, look at your traffic. Aim for a quarterly site maintenance schedule if it receives moderately high to high traffic. Otherwise, a bi-annual maintenance schedule will suffice.
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