Maintaining a WordPress site is an ongoing process that requires regular checkups and updates to ensure optimal performance.
Here’s a detailed checklist of tasks categorized by frequency – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.
WordPress Maintenance Checklist
WordPress Maintenance Checklist – Daily Tasks
- Monitor Website Uptime: Use tools like Uptime Robot or Jetpack to monitor your site’s uptime. If your site goes down, you’ll be notified instantly.
- Check and Respond to Comments: Engage with your readers by responding to comments on your blog posts. Review the comments area of your site to approve comments, mark as spam, move to trash, and permanently delete spam from your site. Get in the routine of working with your comments and take the time to also answer comments that are legit to help maintain a strong relationship with your community. If you have a site with a lot of interaction with readers you may want to answer your blog comments at least twice a day.
- Monitor Traffic and Site Performance: Use Google Analytics to monitor your site traffic and performance.
Just like a well-oiled machine, your website needs regular check-ups and tune-ups. Learn how to keep your site running smoothly, protect it from security threats, and constantly improve user experience. Because a healthy website means a thriving business.
Ready for an upgrade? Read our other articles on Website Maintenance and these top-rated books cover Website Maintenance.
WordPress Maintenance Checklist – Weekly Tasks
- Backup Your Website: Regularly back up your website to avoid losing data. While weekly is recommended, the frequency should be adjusted based on how often you update your site. Plugins like UpdraftPlus or VaultPress can help.
- Update Themes and Plugins: Ensure your WordPress themes and plugins are up to date. This helps maintain site security and functionality. Trust me… you don’t want to increase your security threat with an outdated plugin or theme (I lost 2 sites to a major hack). Those hackers LOVE to find vulnerabilities and take advantage of them to take over your site. (Especially when there is a security update for WordPress.) It is recommended that you back up your site prior to updating anything on your site such as WordPress core files, your WordPress theme, or one of your WordPress plugins.
- Check for Broken Links: Use a plugin like Broken Link Checker to find and fix any broken links that can negatively impact your site’s SEO. Broken links will disrupt your reader’s enjoyment, which can increase your bounce rater, which may hurt your organic rankings in the search engine result page (SERP). YIKES. A broken link can be to a dead link on your site or a dead link to a reference site. (Especially if you have a lot of commenters who like to place their URLs in the comments and then stop blogging.) Fix those broken links!!!
- Review SEO Performance: Use tools like Yoast SEO to review and improve your SEO performance.
- Delete post revisions: Deleting post revisions will help clean up your database. This is very important if you are like me and manually save every 30 seconds because I am paranoid I will lose my content.
WordPress Maintenance Checklist – Monthly Tasks
- Website Speed Test: Check your website’s loading speed using tools like GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights. Slow websites can harm your SEO and user experience. A slow load will hurt your conversions (~7% per second) and impact your rankings within the search engines. Make a list of the top problems and slowly work the list until all the issues are resolved.
- Security Scan: Conduct regular security checks to ensure your site is free from malware or security threats. Plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri can help.
- Review Google Search Console Stats: Monitor your website’s presence in Google search results and fix any indexing issues.
- Review and Update Content: Keep your website content up-to-date and relevant for your visitors.
WordPress Maintenance Checklist – Quarterly Tasks
- Review Website Design: Keep your website design fresh and in line with current trends. Make necessary adjustments every few months.
- Review User Experience (UX): Ensure your website is user-friendly. Check navigation, site structure, mobile responsiveness, etc.
- Test All Forms: Ensure all your contact forms, subscription forms, etc., are functioning correctly.
- Check and Renew Domain and Hosting: Make sure your domain and hosting plans are active and renew them in time to avoid any disruptions.
WordPress Maintenance Checklist – Annual Tasks
- Website Audit: Conduct a comprehensive website audit to check for any issues or areas of improvement in terms of SEO, content, design, and more.
- Review Goals: Review your website goals and performance over the past year and set new goals for the upcoming year.
- Update the Website’s Copyright Year: Make sure the copyright year in your website footer is current.
Maintenance is a crucial part of managing a WordPress website. Regularly performing these tasks can help keep your site secure, optimized, and performing at its best.
Running your WordPress site is a lot like owning a car. You have to maintain the health of it if you want it to take you somewhere.
And remember… always back up your site before you do anything that might impact it such as an update, etc.