WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist 2024: Keep Your New Site Secure & Speedy - Thread and Pixel

Keeping up with your website might feel like a big task because of all the buttons and options WordPress throws at you. But don’t worry, taking care of your website is actually pretty simple and doesn’t need a ton of attention. Let’s talk about a few easy things you should do every 2-3 weeks to keep your website running smoothly.

Updating Your WordPress Plugins

Plugins are like little apps that add extra features to your WordPress site. They might get updates for new features, to work better, or to fix problems. Usually, you’ll have about 5 to 30 plugins installed.

Updating your plugins is super important for keeping your site safe from hackers. Since WordPress is so popular, hackers might try to find ways to break into websites using it.

Before You Update Your Plugins!

But before you update your plugins, there’s something to think about. Sometimes, updating a plugin can mess up your website or how the plugin works. That’s because plugins are made by regular people like you and me, not some big company. So, there might be mistakes or things that break when they update the plugin.

Should you still update them? Yeah, most of the time it’s a good idea. But just to be safe, it’s smart to back up your site before updating any plugins. Here are some plugins you can use to back up your site:

  1. All In One WP Migration – It’s free and easy to use.
  2. BackWPUp – Also free, and it lets you schedule backups to save to places like Dropbox or FTP.
  3. Duplicator – The free version is good for quickly copying your site.
  4. BackupBuddy – This one costs money but it’s great for automatic backups.

There’s one plugin you might want to be extra careful about updating: WooCommerce. It’s the most important plugin if you’re selling stuff on your website. It’s best to wait a bit after an update comes out and make sure it’s safe to update.

How To Update Your WordPress Plugins

Updating your plugins is really easy:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin area.
  2. Find and click on “Plugins” in the menu on the left.
  3. If there are updates available, they’ll be highlighted in yellow. Just click the update button for each one.

Clearing Cache

If you used The Website Architect to make your site, it probably has some speed boosts built in. One of those is called caching.

What Is Caching & How It Works

Caching is like saving a copy of your website on your computer. When you visit the site again, it uses that copy instead of downloading everything again. This makes your site load faster.

Sometimes, though, you need to clear out that cache to make room for new stuff. It’s easy to do with a plugin.

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Clearing the cache in WordPress with 3 different Plugins

How To Clear The Cache

To clear the cache is very simple. The cache is most likely being handled by a WordPress plugin and the plugins usually provide a convenient button at the top when you signed in the back-end in the top panel like in the screenshots above.

Next, click delete or purge cache to clear the cache, making room for more updated files to be cached.

Comments & Spam

If you let people leave comments on your website, you might get some spam or comments you don’t want. You can manage these in WordPress.

How to Update, Delete, and Manage WordPress Comments

Just log in, find “Comments” in the menu, and you can delete or mark comments as spam.

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This will open a list of all the comments you have on your site as similar to as shown above. Hover over the comment/list item to make visible the delete and mark as spam buttons. You can also learn more about WordPress comments

Automatically Filter Spam

WordPress has plugins to help stop spam. Here are a few good ones:

  • Akismet – It’s already installed with WordPress and works well.
  • Antispam Bee – Easy to set up and gives you stats.
  • WP-SpamShield – Works with other plugins like Gravity Forms and WooCommerce.

Updating WordPress itself, And Your Theme

Updating WordPress

Keeping your WordPress software up to date is really important to make sure your website stays safe and secure. WordPress doesn’t release updates all the time, but when they do, they’re packed with new features and fixes that help protect your site from hackers and problems that have been found.

updating-wordpress-maintainence

When your WordPress software needs updating, you’ll see a little orange notification in the dashboard menu. It’ll be under the “Updates” section. But before you hit that update button, it’s smart to make a backup of your website, just in case something goes wrong. Usually, updating WordPress goes smoothly, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Updating Your Theme

If the theme you’re using for your website releases an update, you’ll see it in the same place as the WordPress updates, in the dashboard under “Updates.”

But should you update it? Well, usually not. When a company like The Website Architect designs a website for you, they often customize the theme to make it just right for your site. If you update the theme, it could undo all that customization work.

Sure, theme updates might fix some bugs or make small improvements, but it’s not worth risking losing all the special touches that were added to your site. And if there was a big problem with the theme, the designers would have already fixed it before your site was even finished. So, it’s best to leave your theme alone unless you really need to update it for a good reason.

Conclusion

Keeping your WordPress site in good shape isn’t hard. Just make backups, update your plugins safely, clear the cache, and you’re good to go. If you need help with anything, just reach out!