Maintenance for WordPress plugins is essential, it can affect the performance of your website and make you more likely to suffer from a cyber-attack.

Without regular attention from you, or ongoing WordPress support from a third party, your website will not perform to the best of its ability – potentially losing you revenue and harming your reputation.

Regular plugin maintenance for WordPress along with these best practices will help boost the performance of your WordPress website.

1. Update Your plugins and themes every month

WordPress plugins are a great way to customise your site but can cause problems if updates are skipped for months on end. Outdated plugins and themes leave your site vulnerable to security breaches and slow down your site, so it’s critical to update them on a regular basis.

Getting into the habit of good maintenance for WordPress and updating plugins them every week will ensure that you protect your site, your customers, and your reputation.

2. Always vet your plugins

When choosing from an extensive list of plugins, you may be tempted to go for the first free option you see. While there are many excellent free plugins, you should always check a few keys things before deciding to install it.

It’s good practice to check the WordPress plugin page and see how many installs it has had, whether it has good reviews and whether you need to pay for support. Few installs, bad reviews and a lack of response to support questions are all red flags that you should steer clear.

A properly maintained plugin should have frequent updates released and have been tested with the latest WP core.

3. Perform updates and maintenance for WordPress in a staging environment

Plugin incompatibility is a common issue on WordPress sites. To prevent issues from occurring on the live site, test any plugin updates in a staging environment first. That way, you have the opportunity to catch errors and correct them before going live.

Make sure you tell any other website users not to click on the “update” in the WordPress dashboard if they notice any plugin updates.

4. Optimise Your WordPress database

A slow loading WordPress site can often be down to the database. As a large database requires more server resources, it can jeopardize the performance of your site.

Certain plugins can cause the database to fill up with millions of rows of miscellaneous data if they’re not set up correctly. For example, security, audit plugins or backup plugins are common types of plugins that can cause your database to fill up.

Every month, aim to clean up your database in a staging environment by adjusting the settings on your plugins and then removing any miscellaneous data from the database.

5. Test speed and performance

Routine maintenance will boost your website’s speed and performance as a database weighed down with information will cause slugging page loading times.

Too many plugins will also cause performance issues so you are best keeping installations to a minimum. Consider whether you really need each and every plugin before installing it and delete any unused plugins from your database on a regular basis.

Regularly test your site’s performance to make sure any newly installed plugins haven’t caused the loading time to increase.

Preventative maintenance for WordPress sites is key. Simple and regular maintenance of your plugins can go a long way to prevent security breaches and resolve performance issues.

It can be time-consuming to fit regular maintenance for WordPress into your schedule, which is why ongoing support from a third party can be beneficial. Here’s at WP Tech Support, we provide business owners with a range of monthly plans to help keep their WordPress site well-optimised. Why not see how we can help you?