One of the issues I see with many clients who take-over the management of their WordPress websites is the failure to undertake site maintenance.
As I write this article, there have been nineteen updates so far in 2020.
- September 1, 2020, WordPress 5.5.1 Maintenance Release
- August 11, 2020, WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine”
- August 4, 2020, WordPress 5.5 Release Candidate 2
- July 28, 2020, WordPress 5.5 Release Candidate
- July 27, 2020, WordPress 5.5 Beta 4
- July 21, 2020, WordPress 5.5 Beta 3
- July 14, 2020, WordPress 5.5 Beta 2
- July 7, 2020, WordPress 5.5 Beta 1
- June 10, 2020, WordPress 5.4.2 Security and Maintenance Release
- April 29, 2020, WordPress 5.4.1
- March 31, 2020, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”
- March 28, 2020, WordPress 5.4 RC5
- March 24, 2020, WordPress 5.4 RC4
- March 17, 2020, WordPress 5.4 RC3
- March 10, 2020, WordPress 5.4 RC2
- March 3, 2020, WordPress 5.4 Release Candidate
- February 25, 2020, WordPress 5.4 Beta 3
- February 18, 2020, WordPress 5.4 Beta 2
- February 11, 2020, WordPress 5.4 Beta 1
The WordPress ecosystem comprises of the WordPress platform, your web site’s theme, and the set of functional plug-ins that you use on your site. After each update, the authors of the ‘themes’ and the plug-ins must update their products and so at a very minimum, the site’s ‘theme’ and plug-ins must be updated regularly.
In addition to the above, the following actions should be performed regularly:
Change all WordPress use passwords.
Passwords are often used by bad actors to gain unauthorized access to WordPress sites and primarily because too many users use simple passwords. Passwords should be reset often to protect the site.
OPtimize the WordPress My/SQL database
Optimizing WordPress’s database allows you to remove clutter, defragment tables, and improves database (and the website’s) performance.
Check the status of back-ups
Most modern hosting platforms provide back-ups of both the site files and the associated My/SQL dbase. It is good practice to check that they are functional. If you are using a hosting platform that does not provide auto-backups, I recommend that you upgrade your website host.
Check all comments for validity and delete all spam comments as necessary.
Website Contact Forms
Test all forms to make sure that everything is working as it should.
Broken Links and 404 errors
Locate and correct all broken links – most broken links occur when a site that you have linked to is updated.
Page speed is an element of the Google search engine algorithm. Faster websites are also useful for user experience.
Optimize Website Images
Large images can slow a website down significantly, consider using the WebP image format.
WebP is a new image format that offers superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.
WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at the equivalent SSIM quality index.
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to a WordPress website and failure to conduct regular maintenance at best the site may suffer from a degradation in performance and at work may be subject to security exploits.