WordPress is one of the premiere CMS platforms out there. But even a robust CMS can continue to work in your favor only when you know how to manage a WordPress website.
As website owners, we tend to emphasize even the small aspects of its development and design.
However, a few months down the line, we forget to work on it, which is why issues like speed, response, and design constraints arise, increasing your website’s downtime.
According to WebFX, 89% of users will shop from a competitor if he/she gets a bad experience on your website.
So, how do you maintain your website?
Well, we have a 12-point solution that can surely help you maintain your website.
12 Tips to Maintain your WordPress Business Website
1: Site security is paramount.
Securing your site is important to keep clear of the cybercriminals and malicious bots roaming freely on the internet.
An SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate is important for every website in 2021. It is a mandatory requirement to rank on Google. Also, you would need it to enable online payment on your website. SSL is an integral requirement to adhere to Payment Card Industry’s guidelines. The best part about these certificates is that they are budget-friendly.
You can issue an SSL certificate from any reliable SSL provider like ClickSSL, and it will provide the best protection to your website. But many business owners are not aware of SSL certificates. An SSL certificate is a security protocol that uses Public Key Infrastructure to encrypt data and transfer it over a secure network. It regulates the safe transfer of information between a website and a user. SSL also enables HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which does not allow the information to pass in a plain text format. You can buy a regular certificate for single domain protection, a wildcard SSL certificate for multiple subdomain protection to level one, and multi-domain SSL to secure your multiple websites.
2: Backup your information
Creating backups has more to do with responsibility and preparation than urgency.
While forming backups, nobody thinks they will ever need them, as most business owners think cybercrimes are an urban legend until it happens with them.
Thus, being prepared in advance is paramount for businesses. WordPress comes with a backup plugin that allows you to back up your data. Please install and activate it, and you are good to go.
3: Update your themes.
Many people complain about the misbehavior of updated themes and their data being misplaced.
That is true, but you do not have to worry if you have already applied the first point, i.e., created a backup.
These updates are rolled out to ensure that your theme can incorporate future plugins and upcoming technological advancements.
Many businesses do not take theme updates seriously, so they face design issues in the future.
So, do not miss a theme update in your update section, as it holds significant advantages.
4: Delete unwanted stuff!
Some themes and plugins are never used but still sit there, occupying space in the system.
Those outdated and unused themes pave the way for hackers to manipulate your entire website structure.
Thus, it is better to delete plugins and themes that you don’t use. Then, even if you ever need them in the future, they can be re-installed.
Also, uninstall the ones that do not have a good reputation in the market. We recommend that you read their reviews and view their ratings before installing them.
By deleting them, you are not only clearing the clutter but also keeping yourself safe.
5: Regulate your site’s speed.
A website’s speed is one of the major factors behind its search rankings. Ideally, a site should not take more than 3 seconds to load if it wants to keep the bounce rate low.
Here are a few things you can do to regulate your site’s speed:
1: Lazy loading
In lazy loading, a WordPress website will pause the loading of some functions unless they are needed.
This increases the site’s speed and improves its performance.
2: Image Quality
High-quality images may end up slowing your website speed due to the higher load time, which is why it is recommended to keep medium-resolution images that can load easily.
6: Clean the clutter.
When you finish setting up your website, you have a clean interface but, with time, when plugins, posts, images, videos and other settings are added, it becomes a bit messy.
You must optimize your website by clearing the clutter more often using WP-DB Manager, WP-DB Backup and WP-Optimize tools.
Make sure to create a database backup by using WP-DB Backup so that none of your information gets formatted in the process.
So, create a specific date and time to clear your database to avoid any catastrophe.
7: Do not take broken links lightly.
When you change the path of your link without updating it in areas where you have strategically placed it, they break and show the famous “404 error” message.
It is recommended to never leave such links unattended as they can harm your Search Engine Optimization rankings in the long run. If a customer finds a broken link and bounces back, search engines will automatically bring the rankings down.
Moreover, broken links give an easy pathway to hackers to steal your information. They can inject viruses and make your site malfunction.
Thus, fix broken links ASAP.
8: Keep a check on your contact forms.
You have marketed yourself wonderfully well to make your prospect register on your website but, what if the customer cannot signup because of a broken contact form?
Never thought about it, right?
Well, you must always check whether or not the forms are working.
Often, contact forms malfunction because of the lack of the new update or even due to the disintegration of the contact form with your site.
This will not only disappoint your customer but will also harm your reputation in the long run.
So, to avoid it, keep a regular check on your website’s contact forms.
9: Optimize your site for mobile.
Half of all internet users are mobile users. Thus, Mobile friendliness is not a luxury anymore. Instead, it is a need.
Whether it is an eCommerce store or a static WordPress site, every website must have a mobile-friendly interface.
From the menu bar to footers, everything should sync with a user’s device to give him/her an optimum experience.
Moreover, while choosing a theme for your WordPress website, make sure that it can fit both mobile and desktop users.
Select a theme that can work in sync with all devices.
10: Stay in charge of the activity.
Once your site is up and running, you must keep track of all the users’ activities on your site.
Certain user actions can trigger harmful effects on your website. They may be unintentional and accidental or intentionally done by a cybercriminal as a user.
To stay in charge, WordPress offers a User Activity Log plugin that can help you monitor the user activity on your website.
This plugin constantly manages the changes made in your files and helps resolve errors that might occur due to a faulty act.
11: Keep your password security in check.
Maintaining strong password hygiene is a term that goes without saying.
However, to make it simple to remember, we would recommend you use a password manager.
A password manager will generate a strong password by itself each time, and you do not have to worry about remembering it.
But, if you do not want to have a password manager, you must change your password once a month to avoid password breaches.
12: Install a WAF.
WAF or Web Application Firewall enables a filtering system on your website that restricts the number of bots and web crawlers through your website.
There are two types of bots and crawlers present on the internet, namely, trustworthy, and malicious.
Trustworthy bots and crawlers help search engines like Google to find out information about your website. Such bots are essential for a website’s survival on the internet.
On the other hand, malicious bots are the ones that creep inside your servers and slow them down or, in some cases, even shut them.
But, if you have a Web Application Firewall, such malicious bots will get filtered and will not be allowed to get through your website.
WordPress is one of the most trusted Content Management Systems out there. Having a WordPress site allows you to install extensive plugins and enjoy a secure online experience.
However, you, as an owner, must make your website a secure place for your users. Security protocols like WAF and SSL certificates are a great addition to your security, along with maintaining strong password hygiene.
The 12 WordPress best practices mentioned in the guide cover everything that a WordPress website must have to sustain itself in today’s world.
Integrate these tips in your website and convert it into an extensive and unbreachable fortress.
This content is brought to you by Mariya Adems.
Photo provided by the author.