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Essential WordPress Maintenance Tasks to Ensure Optimal Website Performance

Website Performance
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Once you have set up your own ‘personal space’ on the world wide web in the form of a blog, an online portfolio, a retail store or a website using WordPress, you must ensure that the functionalities of that personal space are always performing to the best of their capacity. This can be done by regularly carrying out the various maintenance tasks for the application.

Maintenance of WordPress based applications is needed because neglecting the maintenance will make the site slower with less-than-optimal performance. You don’t have to be a technical whiz-kid in order to maintain your WordPress site. With the following simple maintenance tasks, you can ensure maximum performance of your website, which will indirectly help in increasing the traffic.

Regular Backing-up

This is the most crucial task that should be done on a regular basis. Backing-up will ensure that all your data, files, themes and functionalities are safe in case of an unfortunate crashing down of the website, cyber-attack or technical problems. Most of the trusted hosting services include database back-up in their purchase plans, but it is a good idea to do this task yourself anyway.

Dedicated back-up plugins like BackupBuddy, MyWPBackup, VaultPress etc. ensure a regular backing-up of your database and their safe keeping. It is advisable to take a back-up of all components of your application like database, themes, plugins etc. Making multiple copies of the back-up folder is also recommended.

Discarding junk

Regular usage may result in accumulation of files, content or data that is no longer needed. It is vital to carry out a regular cleaning up of the WordPress databases in order to keep it running optimally. Spam contributes to a major chunk of unwanted material. It is advisable to keep deleting spam folders.

Over a period of time, new comments data will also accumulate and slow down the system. All the unwanted or irrelevant themes and plugins will add to the storage space without any use. Therefore, one should schedule cleaning tasks to discard all unwanted or outdated stuff and keep only the relevant content.


Special consideration for security

A very important maintenance task that saves you from a lot of trouble is reviewing the security features of your website. Being aware about the content being posted and shared on your blogs and websites is a basic requirement. In addition, one must be very careful when it comes to making our websites secure and safe.

The first step in this regard is to keep a strong password. One must never keep the same username and password because such combinations are like inviting a hacker. Also, it is a great habit to frequently change your passwords and never share them with anyone.

Another great way to ensure website security is to install security and firewall plugins form trusted sources. This simple practice will take care of securing your website. You might also limit login attempts as an added security measure.

Fixing up the broken links

As the content and traffic on your website grows, some of the earlier content will be modified, moved and replaced. This is absolutely normal. But when someone clicks on the link to a content that is no longer at its previous location, we end up with a broken link, and this is certainly not desirable. Clicking on broken links displays the ‘Error 404’ message.

Installing link checking plugins will avoid this situation to a great extent, but this approach can delete some hosting resources. Another option to deal with broken links is using external tools for scanning the files and finding broken links. Once identified, these broken links can be updated or removed.

Updating the Media folder

Pictures and videos take up a lot of storage space and continuous accumulation of these files tends to slow down the website’s performance. One very easy way to eliminate this factor is to regularly check and update the media library. If you see duplicate photos, old and unused graphic files or videos, delete them promptly. Using an image optimization plugin is also recommended, especially for websites that use a lot of graphics. Alternatively, media cleaning plugins are also available for making this task easier. One caution: Never delete unattached files without double checking if they are being used in the website.

Never ignoring the User comments

The purpose of having a website is to reach out to the readers and the target audience. Communicating with the site visitors is a great way to engage more people and increase the traffic on your website. One should be prompt to acknowledge and reply to user comments, because this creates an image of trust. This also increases the user experience and the popularity of your website.

Leaving the comments unattended not only creates a bad image, but it also discourages new users from posting and commenting. This is something that you do not want. Thus, one should make it a habit to regularly respond to messages and comments of the users. This will go a long way in the success of the website.

Scheduling regular audits

A routine check-up of the website components will highlight the components that need updating, removal, modification and optimization. Outdated content should be updated from time to time so that it maintains relevance. Audit results will also inform you whether your website content is SEO optimized or not. Additionally, you will also come to know if some features of the website need new links, linking to other posts and a need for sharing it again. Scheduling such audits at fixed time intervals will not only increase the performance of your WordPress website, it will also increase its popularity, engage more users and improve user experience.

Summing Up

Maintaining your WordPress is as important as creating it. Your website will continue to perform optimally and you will be able to reap the desired benefits if you perform regular maintenance tasks, such as those listed above. Regular maintenance of your website will ensure that there are no major breakdowns and the website continues to function as intended.

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