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
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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:
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:
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:
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