DIY WordPress Management

IMPORTANT NOTICE. If you decide to manage your own WordPress website there are essential tasks that must be completed to keep your website running smooth and safe from hacks. And maybe more importantly - to keep your warranty in place. Hack repairs especially can be extremely expensive and are not covered in our standard warranty if WordPress and Plugins have not been looked after. 

1. Keep Your WordPress Passwords Fresh

Passwords are your first defense against unauthorized access to your website. You should always use strong unique passwords for all your online accounts including your WordPress website, FTP accounts, and database.

However, even if you are using strong passwords and they are compromised, then it is possible that you wouldn’t even notice it.

That’s why WordPress security experts recommend changing your WordPress passwords regularly. This includes passwords for your WordPress admin area, FTP or SSH accounts, and your WordPress database password.

2. Create Regular Backups Of Your Website

Backups are one of the most important WordPress tool in your arsenal. There are plenty of great WordPress backup plugins that can help you completely automate the WordPress backup process.

However, sometimes your backup solution may suddenly stop working without you even noticing.

Once in a while, you need to manually run your backup plugin to create a complete backup of your website. After running the backup, you need to verify that your backup files are properly stored at the remote location of your choice (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc).

3. Check and Update WordPress and Plugins

WordPress comes with a built-in system to manage updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes. You should always use the latest version of WordPress and keep all your plugins and themes updated.

However, there are some situations when you may miss an update. For example, when a premium plugin or theme’s license expired, and it failed to check for an update.

Go to the WordPress Updates page to manually check for updates. Review all your installed plugins and themes to make sure that they are running the latest version.

4. Check and Delete Spam Comments

If you are using Akismet to combat comment spam in WordPress, then it automatically keeps spam away from your comment moderation queue.

However, sometimes Akismet may end up marking a legitimate comment as spam. Once in a while, you need to take a quick look at the spam comments to ensure that there are no real comments incorrectly marked as spam.

Once you are done, you can safely delete all spam comments from your website. If you have thousands of spam comments, then you should use this method to batch delete all spam comments in WordPress.

It wouldn’t necessarily improve performance, but it will ensure that you don’t miss out genuine comments.

5. Test All Your WordPress Forms

WordPress form builder plugins like WPForms make it super easy to create beautiful forms on your website.

However due to misconfiguration on your WordPress hosting server or your email service provider, sometimes these forms may suddenly stop sending emails.

You need to check all forms on your website to make sure that they are working properly.

6. Optimize Your WordPress Database

WordPress stores most data in your WordPress database. It contains all your content, comments, users, and settings.

However, overtime your database may gather a lot of unnecessary data. This increases your WordPress backup sizes which may affect uploading, downloading, and restoring backups.

Optimizing your WordPress database allows you to clean up clutter, defragment tables, and improves database performance.

7. Run Regular Performance Tests

Many users optimize their WordPress performance when they first start and then forget about it. Meanwhile, you keep adding new content, install new plugins, or may even change your theme. All of them may affect the performance of your WordPress site.

Faster websites are not just good for user experience, they also improve your website’s performance on search engines. This is why you need to regularly do a thorough performance review of your website.

When reviewing your site’s performance, don’t just limit it to improving your homepage. Also test your most popular content and all your important pages.

8. Find and Fix 404 Errors

When a user requests a page that doesn’t exist on your website, then WordPress will show them a 404 error page.

404 errors that occur because a user mistyped an address are normal and nothing to be worried about. However, 404 errors that occur because a page is no longer available can cause bad user experience.

9. Find and Fix Broken Links

As your website grows, you will realize that some external websites that you linked to in your older articles do not exist anymore. Some may have moved to new locations, while others may just disappear.

The broken links issue is not just limited to external links. You can accidentally add broken images, poorly formatted links, or misspell your own links. This causes bad user experience and affects your site’s bounce rate and page views.

10. A Note On WooCommerce

WooCommerce turns a standard website into a full eCommerce platform that allows any business to sell any products via the internet.

WooCommerce stores customer data online. Because of this we advise every WooCommerce shop owner take daily maintenance very seriously.

Many plugin updates are security fixes that keep a website secure. For a standard website to be hacked, there isn't much at risk other than the actual website performance and stability.

Add eCommerce to the mix and your responsibility as a website owner goes through the roof - you now have hidden, private data in your database.

A user-account hack (that creates an artificial admin account) would give a hacker full access to all the details of every customers that has ever bought from your website.

It doesn't take more than 1 minute per day to check your updates and this is the single biggest step you can take to ensure your site remains fully safe and secure.

As an eCommerce owner, you have to login on a daily basis to check orders (unless you have an advanced eCommerce POS system) so the added task of checking updates is literally one or two clicks on top of this process.



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As well as this fantastic guide we also have various guides on marketing your website. More awesome free DIY advice! 

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