One of my favorite things about running this business is that my designs are giving you a new look for your site and helping you work toward your goals. It’s even more special to me when I get to work on customizations to my themes to help give you the features that will make you confident and excited to show off your site.
Over the course of working with clients 1:1 in my other business then working with customers in this one, almost everyone I worked with had the same thing in common when I logged into their site to get to work: a backlog of updates. I know from chatting with some of my best friends that I’m not alone in seeing this on client’s sites.
Here’s the thing: I know that you’re busy running your business and handling the day to day that goes along with it. I know that you may live on the backend of your site or you may hardly ever log in. However, taking care of your site is an important part of having one. So today, I’m sharing three things you can schedule throughout your month to help maintain your WordPress site – even as a busy business owner.
Use a tool that runs automatic backups
I’m fortunate to have not heard this many times, but I have at least two clients that I can think of who forgot to renew their web hosting and ended up losing their entire site because of it. Luckily they were able to quickly pay their host and restore backups to bring things back.
Sometimes updates can break your site. Maybe hackers get in and insert in some bad code. Or maybe you try a little DIY code and take the whole internet down (okay that’s a little extreme, ha!). These are just a few examples of why it’s so important to regularly take backups of your site.
If you’re busy and can’t make the time (or remember) to login and take a backup, I highly recommend setting up the plugin you’re using to run automatically. This way if something unexpected happens to your site even when you’re not working on, you know that you still have a recent backup to fall back on.
Run updates on a bi-weekly basis
One of the downsides to having a site on WordPress is that usually you have at least a dozen plugins on your site, most plugins are regularly updated to make sure they’re compatible with other plugins, the latest version of WordPress, and that there aren’t any security vulnerabilities. In fact, if you’re using a random plugin on your site that hasn’t been updated in years, it’s worth taking a look to see if there’s a better option.
This is typically where I see clients and customers fail to maintain their WordPress website, especially those who came from Squarespace and aren’t used to the added maintenance. When a plugin (or theme) creator releases an update, there’s typically a good reason behind it, and this is why it’s so important to make sure you’re updating your plugins.
Now on the flip side of this, I don’t recommend updating plugins automatically. I know some plugins have this feature, but for the most part it’s not a common feature. I don’t recommend this because every now and then a plugin update won’t be compatible with something else on your site and it’ll cause things to break or make your site go down. This is why I recommend to check for updates and run them on a bi-weekly basis, which should also fit into your schedule better if your to do list is constantly full!
Check for plugin redundancies
The last tip I have for you is less about protecting your site but more about making sure that everything is cleaned up and running smoothly. It’s so easy to jump into your site and add new plugins that often times, I see clients end up with multiple plugins that do the same thing.
This usually happens with the client has had someone work on their site for them, and then the client herself logs in and does things without knowing or understanding the things that are already setup. Even if you’ve never had someone work on your website, it’s still possible to have redundancies happen in your plugins, especially if you aren’t keeping a good track on what you’re changing.
To avoid ending up with 30 plugins and half of them being duplicates, I recommend taking a look over what you have installed and what you’re actually using every couple of months. Even I am guilty of switching what I use for certain things and then realizing I still have plugins that aren’t doing anything for me anymore.
Maintaining a WordPress site seems really overwhelming, but when you schedule time to regularly take care of your site, it’s not that much work.
I recommend heading over to your to do list and adding a recurring monthly task to log into your site and make sure things are backed up, up to date, and with no unnecessary clutter on the backend. You’ll not only thank yourself if something horrible happens to your site, but it may also make it more exciting to login and keep the front end of your site updated as well!