5 tips to keep your WordPress site going

February 21, 2017 - Categories: WordPress 101

Written by: MagicPress

So your website is up and running, it looks cool, it’s fast and you have received positive feedback from its visitors. Now what?

Website administration is an ongoing process and requires dedication. Here are 5 tips that will help you run your website smoothly over time.

1. Create and moderate content

Content is king. I know that this might sound cliché but content is the reason you created this website in the first place and also why people are going to visit it. If you have a blogging website it makes sense that you regularly publish posts to keep your audience engaged. If you have an e-shop you have to inform people about your new products, offers etc. Add content to your site on a regular basis and see the results.

Also, it’s a good idea to revisit your content from time to time, to make sure everything is correct, up to date and functions properly. Perhaps you have renamed or removed a post which was linked internally on your website, or there are external links in your content which are no longer functional.

No one wants their site visitors to view the dreaded 404. Broken links are annoying to visitors. If there are a lot of them, they convey an impression of unreliability and may result to lower ranking in search results for your website. We advise you to check your content periodically and update any broken links.

2. Pay attention to user feedback

Listen to what your users have to say. They can provide constructive criticism, give you ideas on your next steps and more that you may not even imagine. It is important to keep them happy, and they will keep you happy too.

The comment area is a vital part of a WordPress site. It is essential to keep it well moderated and participate as needed. However, most websites also receive comment spam. Their content usually consists of unsolicited advertisements, is of little value and irrelevant to your website. It’s best to classify these as spam and delete them.

As a last resort, if comments are not necessary to your website, you may consider disabling them. WordPress allows you to disable comments for specific posts and pages. However, you may also use the Disable Comments plugin to disable them entirely.

3. Take backups often

Backing up the content of a website is the most important task of website maintenance. Keeping a recent backup of your website may come in handy if you delete your content by mistake, or your website is somehow compromised. The backup is needed for the website to be restored to its previous state.

The content of a WordPress site consists of its files as well as its database entries. You need to keep a copy of both for the website to be backed up in its entirety. Your files can be downloaded by connecting to your server via FTP. Likewise, you can export the content of your WordPress website database using your database administration software of choice.

4. Always stay up to date

Whenever a new release of WordPress is out, it is recommended you upgrade the core. New versions of WordPress may feature new capabilities or improvements. Very often though, WordPress core updates are security ones, in which case it is crucial to update your website to the latest version. The above also applies to WordPress plugins and themes. Make sure you keep your WordPress site up to date, as it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

While it’s generally a good idea to keep your website files up to date, in some cases incompatibilities may arise. Perhaps a plugin you use on your WordPress website has not been updated to support the latest version of the core, or your theme only supports an older version of a plugin. In this case, the backup you took in the previous step might prove useful.

5. Remove unnecessary data

Media files in particular (images, videos etc.) may take up considerable storage space, so it’s a good idea to clean up your Media Library occasionally. Check if there are media that are no longer used in any of the posts or pages of your website. Those can be deleted.

Have you noticed the autosaves and post revisions WordPress keeps? These add up as database entries and may result in an bloated database. You can use a plugin like WP-Optimize to remove them and keep your website database neat and tidy.

Last, but definitely not least, get rid of unused plugins. Although the WordPress community is usually fast at reporting and having vulnerabilities fixed, WordPress plugins are often compromised. Keeping unused plugins is an unnecessary risk. It doesn’t matter if the plugin is deactivated. There may still be performance and security issues at stake, especially if you don’t update plugins regularly, as advised above. Sometimes even the existence of the files on the server renders your website exploitable, so it’s a good idea to review your plugins on a regular basis and remove unused ones. If you change your mind, you can easily install them again later.

MagicPress has simplified the time consuming tasks of backups and updates with its automatic backup and update system. Backups of each website hosted on MagicPress are taken on a daily basis, and kept for weeks. Also, WordPress core, plugins and themes (provided by our platform) are updated automatically, so you never have to worry about those again. Of course, you may also back up your site on demand by clicking a button in the MagicPress panel, or opt out of automatic updates if you wish. Simple as that! Give it a try!

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