WordPress Maintenance Tasks: Making your Blogging a pleasant one

WordPress’ usefulness cannot be overemphasized as you already know WordPress’ power and flexibility. I meant the power as you can create and host even 10000+ posts in WordPress and flexibility means you can use WordPress either as an image hosting site or a coupon website. WordPress can even be a forum or a social networking site.

We all have and follow chores to have a pleasant day.

Waking up at 6 AM.

Doing physical exercises. And so forth.

As a WordPress blogger, you should follow certain tasks regularly in order to have your blog run smoothly. By following the tasks given in this post you can reduce page loading time as well as can prevent hacking attempts to your blog. Let’s discuss the must-to-do WordPress Maintenance  tasks in this post.

WordPress Maintenance Tasks: Making your Blogging a pleasant one

Caution:  I’m advising you to take a full backup (Files + Database) of your blog before trying /doing any of the tasks listed below.  There are lots of WordPress plugins for taking full backup of your site.

Task 1: Backing up files and database:

I think this is the most repeated word in your “WordPress” blogging journey. Many “WordPress tips giving bloggers” advice you to backup your files and database before making any changes to your site.

Ask your web hosting provider whether they take weekly/monthly backup of your files. If their answer is “No” or “Sorry” , you should backup your site manually through your cPanel and download that to your PC. You can also make use of backup plugins such as BackupBuddy and BackupWordPress to make the process esaier.

Also take a backup of your site before proceeding the below tasks.

Backing up files and database:

Priority: Very High

Frequency: Daily

Task 2: Updating Plugins and themes:

How many plugins have you installed on your blog? 20? 30? It could be anything. Try to limit the number of plugins.

Recommended: How I reduced my server response time and increased PageSpeed score

The author of a theme or plugin usually get many support requests from users about security issues and bugs on their works. So the authors release a new version of the plugin/theme by fixing those issues. So you should always update your plugin/theme to the latest version whenever updates are available.

Updating plugins and themes:

Priority: Very high

Frequency: Should update whenever new versions are available. But make sure you have regular backups of your blog.

Task 3: Optimizing Database:

Do you think optimizing database requires technical works and takes too much time to do it? No, you can do it with 2-3 clicks.

When you are editing a previously published post or create a new post, WordPress stores the changes you made on the post as revisions, which will be stored on your database. Spam comments and auto drafted posts are also stored in your database. These things normally bulge your database which in turn increase your page loading time and sometimes might lead to suspension of your hosting account. Install the WP-Optimize plugin available on WordPress repository.

WP-Optimize Plugin
WP-Optimize Plugin

Optimizing Database: 

Priority:  High

Frequency: Once or Twice per week. Also do this process once you’ve written and published a post.

Useful resource: http://www.wpexplorer.com/optimize-wordpress-database/

Task 4: Checking for broken links:

Are you a blogger who give do-follow links for links in comments? Or have 100s of do-follow links on your blog posts?

Then you should check for broken links regularly.

According to Google Webmaster Guidelines, you should control your links and remove links that points to “404 Page not found” page. It won’t be a major problem if you have 404 pages’ links with no-follow attribute. This is a must-to-do task not only for WordPress bloggers, but also for other platform-using bloggers.

You might be recommended by some bloggers to use the Broken Link Checker plugin, but don’t use if you are on shared hosting. It is recommended to avoid the Broken Link Checker plugin because it submerge your web host with excessive HTTP requests, said by WP engine.

There is a great alternative to this plugin which checks your site online: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com It lists where the broken link is found and the URL of broken link. It also tells the type of problem (i.e: 404, 522, 520 errors) It would be tedious to do this process if you haven’t done this process for long time.

Checking for broken links:

Priority: High

Frequency: Once or twice a month is enough.

Task 5: Deleting “Deleted Plugins’” database tables:

Does the title Sounds confusing?

I think you are the one, who install unwanted plugins just for curiosity and then delete those, aren’t you? I appreciate your interest, but this practice would increase your database size considerably.

Many plugins creates a separate database table in your WordPress database and store its information there. Those table remains in your database even after you deleted the plugin (in most cases). This results in increasing of your database size and increasing your blog’s loading time.

You can manually delete those tables through phpMyAdmin or you can make use of Plugin Garbage Collector plugin.

Deleting “Deleted Plugins’” database tables:

Before using the plugin, read how to use Garbage Collector plugin here: How to use Plugins Garbage Collector WordPress plugin

Priority: Medium.

Frequency: Once or twice per month.

Task 6: Checking for Viruses:

Do you use FTP applications like FileZilla to upload or edit your file? Or is your blog ever hacked?

Then your blog might be vulnerable to virus attacks. Your visitor then gets a “Warning! Suspicious site!” warnings and you’ll lose almost all traffic to your site.

You can install plugins like Wordfence Security and BulletProof security or check your blog with Sucuri SiteCheck tool.

Checking for Viruses:

Priority: Medium. High if your blog has been hacked.

Frequency: Once a month.

Task 7: Checking your blog’s loading time:

What most internet users want from a website is the accuracy of information and its PAGE LOADING TIME. Nearly 50% of your visitors leave your blog if it takes more than 6 seconds to load.

You should check your site’s speed and optimize it to get regular visitors as well as new visitors.

I’ve created a post especially for this task: How I reduced my server response time and increased PageSpeed score

Checking your blog’s loading time:

Priority: Medium.

Frequency: Once per two month.

Task 8: Deleting unused images:

I usually upload images to this blog and many times I forget to use it in my posts. I think you too are suffering from this practice. If you delete your post/page, the images you’ve uploaded in the post remains in your web host. WordPress can create 8 other sizes of the images you’re uploading. These images occupy your web hosting space. You should delete the unwanted and unattached images in your media library.

I would suggest you to manually delete unattached images by navigating to Media > Library and ‘Unattached’. Or you can also make use of some plugins that deletes unattached and different sized images that are not being attached in posts/pages. I found a post especially for this task: 3 Ways to Find & Delete Unused Image Files

Deleting unused images:

Priority: Low

Frequency: Once per a month.

Caution: I’ve had a dreadful experience with this process. I’ve accidently emptied my whole media library. My web hosting has a backup of my site dated 28th November and restored images that are uploaded till November month. Even restoration of my site didn’t helped me. Do have a backup of your blog before doing this task.

Task 9: Checking and validating your site for HTML and CSS errors:

Whether your blog’s theme is developed by you or other developers, it could contain some HTML as well as CSS errors. If your blog has too many HTML and CSS errors, your blog might not be viewed properly in your readers’ browsers. You can fix those errors yourself or by hiring a web developer.

Validate your blog for HTML errors: http://validator.w3.org/

Validate your blog for CSS errors: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/

Checking and validating your site for HTML and CSS errors:

Priority: Low

Frequency: Once you change your blog’s theme.

Over to you:

WordPress is really a great blogging platform. You should carry these tasks in specific times to improve and maintain efficiency and security.

Share me your thoughts and other tasks done by you that is not listed here through comments.

Also share this post with your friends on Facebook and followers on Twitters and circles Google+

Featured image: http://www.stockvault.net/photo/134698/cleaning-solution

29 Replies to “WordPress Maintenance Tasks: Making your Blogging a pleasant one”

  1. Hi Sriram
    Fist of all Happy new year to you and your family.i am very happy because of your article bro.i am not aware of deleted plugin database table,Checking and validating your site for HTML and CSS errors this two topics.really i learned new info from your blog in this year bro

    Thanks for sharing
    Keep sharing
    Wish u success

  2. Hi,
    I really love this post. I do agree with 9 task you give. The information in this article is really unique and useful for me. After reading this article, I think I have some ideas for myself. I will carry these tasks in specific times to improve and maintain efficiency and security. Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to read more interesting information from you. Great job!

  3. Hey Sriram bro,

    Brilliant post! You nailed the topic on its head!

    I guess blogging is like gardening. Like planting new exotic plants in our garden, we publish unique, useful posts on our blog.

    And like removing weed from our garden, we should maintain our blog! The 9 tasks you described can be compared to thorough weeding.

    And this ‘weeding’ must be done at regular intervals to ensure a healthy ‘blog’!

    Really good read buddy, freaking awesome, I must say. I appreciate that you published such useful post despite your busy schedule!

    Keep writing bro 🙂

    Arun

  4. Hi Sriram,
    Very informative post. . . i agree, it’s necessary to clean up our WordPress database on a regular basis, also backing up is very important because if something goes wrong like hacking, then everything will be wasted. . .
    thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. Hey Sriram,

    One that is on your list that I focused on in the later part of 2013 was my page speed. That was one thing where I had to clean up my plugins and get rid of unwanted code that was bogging down the page speed. Great overall list!

  6. Thank you for this wonderful post…. And a lot of people never bother about wordpress maintenance.
    I have seen people who never bother about backups and they blame the world after un-planned stuffs happen to them.

  7. Well I think creating a wordpress blog is really easy but the only pain is maintain them with proper schedule. you’ve shared great tips for maintaining a wordpress blog. The most of important one would be posting article frequently on a schedule.

    Thanks

  8. HI Sriram,

    Great Post. WordPress blog is really flexible CMS. You can convert it into any website from E-commerce to a blog. But maintaining it is a most critical. There are lots of things you have to take care of.

    Thank you for your great post buddy…… 🙂

    1. You are right buddy. Maintaining WP is a time taking job. Having a backup of your blog is the foremost task to do before you do any changes to your blog (even before you do other tasks). Thanks for the comment Nikhil 🙂

  9. Blog maintenance is one of the most effective ways to update to optimize blogs.
    Working with WordPress platform is always interesting and exciting because there are always good plugins available.
    Thank you for sharing a good post. This will be worth reading it.

  10. WordPress is really wonderful and useful platforum ! I’m totally agree with Titles “WordPress Maintenance Tasks: Making your Blogging a pleasant one’ WordPress has great features and option which makes is more easy to use. I do see many Blogs those have been created in WordPress only. So WordPress is really Wonderful.

    1. Checking for HTML errors and removing unwanted tables from DB are essential tasks but are necessary only when you change your theme and remove a plugin.

      And thanks for mentioning the broken link dude! Fixed that!

  11. Hi Sriram,
    Nicest of the things required to keep wordpress up and running. I’d been doing all of these instead of checking HTML and CSS errors.
    Sometimes, I even think of doing it but again sit back to my chair. What if your site has a lot of errors? Any way to correct them in no time?

    Thanks, Shashank

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