WordPress Upgrade and Maintenance Things You Need to Know!

by Anil Parmar

Image source: Pixabay

The year 2017 has offered WordPress site owners with enhanced editing experience, improved customizers, updated menu functions, text, and video widgets, auto-save revisions and more with their latest version release on November 14, 2017.

Are you taking benefits of the latest WordPress version 4.9?

What happens if your WordPress site is not upgraded and maintained?

Giving an example of a vehicle, if you don’t feed oil to it at regular intervals may not be preferred by you for a long drive. Won’t you fear of its breakdown mid-way due to the depreciated value of the engine?

Similarly, not maintaining your WordPress sites as per the latest version updates may stop you from outperforming, simultaneously, increasing the changes of vulnerabilities.

If you are still struggling with the upgrades and maintenance, then this blog will help you focus on all those important factors and relevant solutions that can you consider for your WordPress site.

Let’s begin:

Considering Speed Time

Considering Speed TimeImage source: Pixabay

Importance

The accessibility of your website will help you determine the visibility for your brand and improve customer base for your WordPress site.

Drawback

The increased number of downtimes for your WordPress site, the more loss of customers and search engine rankings too.

What you can do?

Constantly monitoring your website can help you eliminate the risks of downtimes!

Ping Monitor test, HTTP test, DNS server monitoring, transmission control protocol monitoring are important testing methods used by WordPress owners to monitor uptime for your WordPress site.

However, there are multiple automated software and plugins that are helping WordPress owners to monitor speed for their websites.

Pingdom is one of the popular website monitoring tools that allows WordPress site owners to analyze load speed for every single element of web pages that include (HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files and images, etc.) for multiple locations.

You can quickly sort and filter the slow-performing pages and take measures to optimize the usage of your WordPress sites.

Considering Backup

Considering BackupImage source: Pixabay

Importance

Considering your WordPress site to offer valuable content, perform discussions and link relevant sources- it can be a great loss of time and effort if your data gets erased or corrupted.

Drawback

No matter what measures you take to secure your WordPress site, you are unable to avoid hacking attempts, DDOS attacks, user error, data loss and data theft.

What you can do?

Having a backup you can restore your website in minutes!

BackupBuddy, BackupWordPress, and Backup to Dropbox are popular plugins that are helping website owners to automate the backup schedule as per their requirements. Additionally, they offer a secured option of sending each backup file to your email address.

Alternatively hosting providers are helping WordPress site owners to eliminate the effort of the manual backup process and performs daily backups of sites.

SiteGround officially recommended by WordPress.org offers personalized backup plans using systems like cPanel to accommodate every size and business-types.

Apart from offering dedicated servers, easily perform regular back-ups using the software by referring Backup Restore Tool Tutorial.

Considering Security Report

Considering Security ReportImage source: Pixabay

Importance

With the popularity of WordPress sites for providing valuable information and services across the web- is automatically exposed to hackers for manipulating your content management system and other forms of your website building.

Drawback

With multiple audiences landing on site using their own credentials (username and password), it opens the doors for hackers to perform malicious activities and even distribute a virus to your audiences too.

What you can do?

Having daily security report on your WordPress site can help you take immediate actions!

For all WordPress owners, especially for them who are running a modern website like bloggers, news sites, and many other shopping sites- updating your site to the latest version 4.9 will make it difficult for your hackers to exploit it.

Secondly, Sucuri is considered to be one of the best WordPress plugin globally recognized for its auditing, remote malware scanning, free SSL certification, file integrity monitoring, and security hardening features.

Instantly get security notifications and extend your requirements to website firewall that will protect your WordPress site from all types of vulnerabilities.

Considering Visual Inspection

Considering Visual inspectionImage source: Pixabay

Importance

With the increasing number of smartphone users across the globe- you would not like to miss on this large customer base to offer content about your brand and services in a way they would like.

Drawback

Having a non-responsive WordPress site you will not only offer a poor experience to end-user (look and feel) but as per “Mobilegeddon” (Google algorithm update 2015), your website may get lost in the crowd.

What you can do?

For custom built site, the process of making a website mobile responsive can be complicated!

Considering WordPress site owners- popular WordPress plugins that include WPtouch are allowing website owners to automatically transfer their WordPress site to an elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors.

Recommended by Google, WPtouch mobile plugin for WordPress owners will ensure it passes through Google mobile test and SEO parameters.

Additionally, if you run a blog page, e-commerce portal, education platform, or even entertainment platform- there are readymade responsive themes available to ensure your content is automatically compatible to all mobile devices and web browsers.

Considering Unnecessary Plugins

Considering Unnecessary PluginsImage source: Pixabay

Importance

WordPress plugins can surely enhance the performance of your WordPress site, however, with so many plugins installed are you actually making use of all?

Drawback

Even a plugin left unused can welcome hackers to exploit your site. Additionally, it can be a wastage of space, conflict with other existing plugins, reduce website loading speed, more of confusion and overall will make your website look overcrowded.

What you can do?

Deletion of the unused plugin can improve space for more crucial plugin installation for your WordPress site performance!

Simply make a list of plugins that you have installed and note the ones that don’t use or the ones that do not contribute towards your WordPress site enhancement.

You will have the option to uninstall the WordPress plugin from the dashboard>Select the one you wish to uninstall>Click on Deactivate.

The plugin will initiate the deactivation process, however, some plugins may not get deleted completely.

In order to permanently delete a plugin, please log into your WordPress site via your FTP program>Go to plugin directory>Find where the plugin is installed>Click delete.

Considering Unnecessary Images, Files and Caches

Considering Unnecessary Images, Files and CachesImage source: Pixabay

Importance

If you have a WordPress site for months now or have migrated your website to WordPress, or perform uninstallation of plugins that are not in use, your website built on PHP programing language will create a MySQL database which stores information about your WordPress site, including the name to your blog posts dates.

Drawback

If you have overlooked the importance of keeping a track on your WordPress MySQL databases- then you might block space used by those unnecessary files, images, and caches created.

What you can do?

Any activity performed on your WordPress site- may leave information lying in the database!

If you have yet not taken this step or in order to avoid the loss of any information in future, simply perform a backup and then do the cleaning of your WordPress site.

WP Clean Up Optimizer, WP-Optimize, and WP DBManager are popular WordPress plugins and highly rated by WordPress users that is allowing them an auto-cleanup facility as per their requirements (daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly) to ensure better optimization for their WordPress sites.

Considering Dead Links

Considering Dead LinksImage source: Pixabay

Importance

It necessary to offer content and images to make your WordPress site more engaging and interactive, however, external links connected to website and blog posts may no longer be functioning.

Drawback

How do you feel when you come a 404 error page, or an unexpected error that does not allow you access content over the web?

Apart from offering a bad user experience, dead links structured to your WordPress website restricts the process of link equity and impacts Google and other search engine rankings too.

What you can do?

Broken links are not visible unless you make it a point to find them on your WordPress website.

Dead Link Checker and Broken Link Checker are increasing popularity among WordPress users that is allowing them an automated monitoring system that crawls throughout the website and instantly notifies users of the report via the dashboard or email.

Considering Contact Form

Considering Contact FormImage source: Pixabay

Importance

If you overlook the importance of a contact form for your WordPress site or consider it to be just a mode of contact- then let me tell you it can pour in other opportunities that include reviews and testimonials too.

Drawback

If you do not offer a contact form, or offer a broken contact form- you will not only create a wrong impression among your potential audiences who are looking to connect with you for a particular information or product-knowledge, but also, stop your WordPress site from receiving feedbacks too.

What you can do?

A fully functional contact form can increase conversion rates for your WordPress site!

You can have your own custom-built contact form with necessary fields that include name, address, email address, website address, subject, message, and captcha. But, it is always recommended to frequently test your contact form by sending yourself a message to ensure it is up-and-running always.

Additionally, automated WordPress contact form plugins like WPForms, and Contact Form 7, are helping WordPress owners with a drag and drop functionality to build beautiful contact forms, payment forms, subscription forms and more in few minutes.

Considering About Us Page

Considering About Us PageImage source: Pixabay

Importance

About us page is crucial for any WordPress website owners to provide information and trust marks that make the audience gain confidence for engaging further and sure to get answers for their particular problems.

Drawback

Now allowing your first-time visitors and regular visitors an opportunity (About us page) to establish a stronger connection may not take your WordPress site seriously and leave it without taking any actions.

What you can do?

About us page, if, presented correctly, can strengthen your brand value and boost sales!

High-definition photos, videos, customer testimonial, product reviews, address, and contact details can help you showcase the human side of your WordPress site.

Also, you would like to frequently conduct A/B testing for you “About us” page to analyze and optimize the page with time.

Considering Overall WordPress Site

Considering Overall WordPress SiteImage source: Pixabay

Importance

Running a WordPress site means you’ll want to improve online presence, ensure a well-responsive site, perform testing for better optimization, and more.

Drawback

With so many factors to work upon for your WordPress site, depending on multiple developers and tutorials can be confusing and costly.

What you can do?

Having a centralized system for your multiple WordPress site needs will help you stay focused!

Google Webmaster Console is offering tools and solutions to resolve any error messages. From monitoring the crawl rate, internal and external page link, site links, to keyword optimization- Google Webmaster tools provide all-in-one website management solutions for all size business.

Wrapping Up

Every WordPress owner will have their own unique needs, hence your upgrades and maintenance priorities will differentiate too.

I’ve covered the key factors for a WordPress site, feel free to adjust them as per your requirements.

Whether you are new to WordPress or an experienced website owner- the above upgrade and maintenance checklist can boost your WordPress site performance in the year 2018 and furthermore.

Stay safe, stay secured 🙂

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