December 6, 2019

WordPress website hygiene with a maintenance schedule

In order to keep your WordPress website healthy and running like a charm, you need to perform regular maintenance on it. On this page, we'll dive deeper into a maintenance schedule that will help you run a healthy website and prevent issues from happening.

Maintaining a healthy website can be quite a daunting task. And it's not always clear what you have to do in order to keep everything smooth sailing. In this article, we have set up a schedule of tasks that you need to perform on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Using this checklist will help you to know what it's important and when to do it.

Daily tasks

There are a few tasks that you need to perform on a daily basis. These are:

  • Uptime monitoring
  • Security monitoring
  • Website & Database backups

Weekly tasks

Aside from the daily tasks, we also need to perform some weekly tasks. These include:

  • Plugin, Core & Theme updates
  • Malware scans
  • Visual inspection of your website

Now you might ask yourself, why don't I need to check for updates on a daily basis? Well, the reason is quite simple, if you upgrade the instant a new update is launched, you might cause damage to your website.

When a new update is launched, it generally takes a few days for the WordPress community to notice bugs in the updates. That's why we advise to only perform updates once a week. This gives the developers a few days to fix immediate bugs in their latest release.

Once you update (you should really take a backup before updating), it's also important to perform a visual inspection of your website. The reason for this ties into the updates, if some update breaks a part of your website, it's important that you know it as fast as possible. Having a backup to revert to in case of update failure is equally important (that's why updates are a daily task 😉 ).

Monthly tasks

Keeping your site updated are frequent tasks, under the monthly tasks we also check a few more technical aspects of maintaining a website.

  • Monitor Traffic & Search engine rankings
  • Clean & optimize your database
  • Test the loading times of your website
  • Search for broken links on your site
  • Check for search console errors or issues

As you can see, in the monthly tasks we focus primarily on 2 things: the availability of your links & search engine topics, and optimization of your website through database management & loading times analysis.

Keeping your site's links in order and maintaining a high performing speed ensures that your SEO efforts aren't going to be wasted. Search engines don't like broken links or slow sites (neither do your visitors).

Yearly tasks

We've gone through the most pressing tasks earlier in the article, but there are a few things that you want to check yearly.

  • Review your WordPress setup
  • Review your content for updates
  • Renew your hosting, domain, and licenses

The first and last points tie in well together. Every year we want to review our setup: is my hosting still sufficient, am I paying for plugins that add no value to my site and can they be replaced? Do I need to upgrade or downgrade any licenses?

You'll also want to review your content for updates: were there any major changes in the fields that you write about? Do you need to create new articles for your "top 10 products of 20xx" to remain relevant for your users?

Maintenance schedule

To make it easier for you, we've provided a free PDF checklist that you can use as a maintenance schedule. You can download it here.

What else?

We've gone through all the things that we find mandatory to maintain a good WordPress hygiene and a healthy running website.

Do you think there's anything missing from our checklist? What else do you include in your routine to keep everything fresh? We'd love to hear it in the comments below!

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