A Beginners’ Guide to WordPress Maintenance

Much like a fine-tuned race car, if your WordPress website isn’t virtually ‘oiled’ and cleaned up, it will sputter and stall. In the case of your site, those issues will result in crashes, glitches, and a bloated database. Having a dedicated WordPress maintenance strategy is a good idea.

In fact, you can split WordPress maintenance into two categories. First is the collection of tasks that you carry out day-to-day. You likely already perform most of these tasks. Second is taking out a subscription to WordPress maintenance services. Like the best mechanics, they can help you keep your site running smooth, and keep any nasty issues at bay.

In this post, we’ll look at what maintenance is. Then, we’ll drill down to both forms of WordPress maintenance and explain them in more detail.

What WordPress Maintenance Is

First off, let’s give you some context. WordPress maintenance is essentially any task you can carry out that keeps your site running in peak condition. There are two major concerns for many site owners:

  • A site needs to be fast enough to make sure visitors don’t leave before the page loads.
  • The site should also be free from errors and bugs wherever possible.

Given the above, there are a number of benefits to keeping on top of your WordPress maintenance:

  • Site traffic could increase, as your site should load faster.
  • Uptime will also increase, because errors aren’t affecting it.
  • Your WordPress database will be leaner, which means it could take quicker to access and deliver data.

There are plenty more, but even these give you umpteen chances to keep your site running in tip-top shape. However, not all maintenance tasks are created equally. Let’s break down two distinct areas that WordPress maintenance is carried out.

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WordPress Maintenance You’re Able to Carry Out Daily

It’s true to say that many daily tasks are well within the reach of a WordPress site owner. This is because WordPress is developed with the end user in mind. As such, practically any task – even some relatively complex ones – can be carried out with a few clicks.

Even so, there are some that dedicated WordPress maintenance services could do, but don’t need to do. For example:

  • Updating WordPress’ core files.
  • Carrying out sporadic updates to themes, plugins, and translations.
  • Clearing out spam comments, and other forms of comment moderation.

The WordPress development team (and independent developers in the case of themes and plugins) have made a great job of letting you carry these tasks out in just a few clicks.

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What’s more, you might not consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to be a specific WordPress maintenance task, but it’s definitely bundled in there. Keeping your SEO in a good condition is a daily, constant task. Without maintaining it regularly, you’ll see your site slip down the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Speaking of which, let’s discuss when it is appropriate to consider WordPress maintenance services.

When You Should Consider Dedicated WordPress Maintenance Services

In the previous section, we’ve touched on a point that could cause you to think about using dedicated WordPress maintenance services. Your memory is fickle, and with many tasks on your plate and no scheduled reminders, you could forget a task here and there.

While daily it may seem inconsequential, it can cause the very worst to happen on your site. For example, consider a plugin that has issued a security update. If you delay carrying out your usual plugin maintenance tasks, this leaves a vulnerability open for exploitation. As such, it could take your site down for good, or at least give you a few days of headaches.

Given the above, there are a few situations where hiring WordPress maintenance services is a good idea:

  • You’re ‘spinning too many plates’ and are likely to drop the ball on WordPress maintenance.
  • The number of daily tasks you carry out are numerous.
  • There are WordPress maintenance tasks you’re not comfortable in carrying out.

For the third point, there are a few notable tasks that should really be handled by an expert WordPress maintenance service. For example, performance monitoring and enhancements can be great if they’re implemented correctly. On the flip side, they can take down your server, along with your sites.

In addition, site security can be handled by you in a pinch. However, 24/7 monitoring is a boon, simply because malicious actors never sleep. Furthermore, having a WordPress maintenance service carry out cloud-based, offsite backups can help you get up and running again if there’s a breach.

Overall, having an expert team at your side is going to benefit you, your site, and your visitors. Having them on call means you can concentrate on running your business, while they deal with how your site runs under the hood.

In Conclusion

WordPress is so straightforward to use that you’d be forgiven for thinking it needs no care. However, this is a fallacy. WordPress’ maintenance should be at the forefront of your mind. It needs as much looking after as any complex piece of machinery.

As such, this post has looked at what WordPress maintenance consists of, and some of the tasks involved. While you should be okay to carry out routine updates and comment moderation, other concerns (such as elements of site security and performance enhancements) should be handled by the experts. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with bundling your entire WordPress maintenance into one and handing it off to a suitable team. That way, you can keep working on your core business, without worrying about how your site runs.

Are you considering employing a WordPress maintenance service? Check out our plans and pricing, and get in touch to find out more!

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