6 steps to WordPress Maintenance 101Janette Toral
WordPress is a free and powerful content management system that can also be used for building an e-commerce site. There are numerous themes and plugins available for free. With a big community, constant improvements are made with WordPress core, plugins, and themes being used.
(Check our free E-Commerce Creators Boot Camp – WordPress if you want to build your own site.)
If not maintained, a WordPress site can also experience errors, hacks, and malware attacks. If your site is located in a shared hosting service, you can also get affected from other sites.
To be proactive and minimize downtime issues, the following are must do for any site owner using WordPress.
1. Update template & database compatibility.
As your site version, database, plugins, themes get updated, you will receive prompts on the need to update your WooCommerce database.
In some cases, your theme will require an upgrade or may no longer be compatible – especially if not updated by its creator.
Make sure to carry out these updates for smooth site operation.
2. Update plugins
Plugin updates are necessary to ensure they are working efficiently on your site.
If it is a paid plugin, avoid using pirated versions as you are unsure if they are free from malware or not. Whether they will be updated properly or not.
You will see a prompt if new version is available for updating.
There are instances where a plugin may be abandoned by its creators. Check when it was last updated before installing and do the same if it is not prompting any need for updates.
You will also need to remove plugins that are not in use.
3. Update your Themes
Themes also need updating.
If you are installing themes outside of those found in WordPress, make sure to check its creators website if it is free or not. Themes, without proper license may not gain access to updates and you are unsure as well if there are hidden links or scripts that may cause problems to your site later on.
Check as well if its creator is still active in updating the theme you are using.
4. Backup your site
You can use backup or migration tools to create a back-up version of your site. I usually recommend BackWPUp for this purpose.
Site owners are suggested to back-up before updating to a new WordPress version.
5. Update your WordPress version
WordPress frequently release updated version of its content management systems to make it more efficient and address issues brought up by the community.
6. Use a Firewall & Scan your site for Malware
There are tools like WordFence that can be used for this purpose. Here are some quick tips you need to remember if you will use it.
- Add your email address upon installation and enable it to auto-update.
- Click on “All Options” and click on “General Options”. Tick “Scan files outside your WordPress installation”.
- Start a new Scan and address issues encountered such as updates needed, files requiring repair or deletion.
- Firewall will be on learning on the first week of installation and gives you the option to optimize its performance as well.
- Backup your files.
Will update this post regularly.