Steps to Maintaining Your WordPress Site or Blog
As an administrator to several blogs including my own as well as some of my clients’ blogs, I’ve learned that you cannot simply create a blog, write posts, and expect everything else to be fine. As nice and simple as that would be, this just isn’t the case. Regular maintenance is necessary on a blog, and this is a step that’s very often missed.
With WordPress, there are many free (and paid) plugins available that add functionality to your blog or website and make it more versatile, such as plugins for social media bookmarks, for search engine optimization (SEO), for adding google analytics (so you can see how many visitors go to your site), for creating photo albums, etc. For myself, there are certain plugins that are a “must have”, especially for social media and SEO, which help with marketing your site and driving traffic to your site or blog.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining your blog is making sure your plugins are always up-to-date. If you don’t update the plugins when an update is available, the world (or your blog) will not come crashing down on you, however, the possibility of having an issue (such as a “bug” or problem) is greater. Generally speaking, plugin updates are provided to either fix bugs (issues) that others have encountered, or to add new functionality, or even both.
Thankfully, WordPress makes it easy for you to update your plugins by letting you know right in your dashboard. Below are some screenshots from a WordPress blog showing what you will see on the left menu area for the plugins section. The screenshot on the left shows what you see when you’re not in the plugins section, and the image on the right shows what you see when you’ve clicked on the plugin section:
You don’t have to be technical to actually update the plugin – all you need to do is click on where it says “Plugins”, and from there you will see your list of installed plugins. If there is an update, below the plugin description, you will see something like this:
There is a link that says “upgrade automatically”, and that’s all you need to click on! From there, you will see the status of the upgrade taking place – the system will automatically deactivate the plugin (if it was already active), download the plugin, install it, and reactivate the plugin, all within a matter of seconds! As you can see, it’s very easy!
Another aspect of keeping your blog/site up-to-date is ensuring you have the latest version of WordPress. When you first log into your dashboard, if there is a new version of WordPress available, you will see a message in the top-center area of your dashboard, along with a link that you click on, just as when you’re updating plugins.
Remember that is is very important to back-up your blog/site regularly as well, just in case something were to go wrong while updating and maintaining things. I use a plugin called “WordPress Database Backup“. I’ve had to use the backup from this plugin in the past for a site that needed to be restored, so I can vouch for its usefulness and functionality – it does exactly what it says! For more information on this plugin, click here (link opens in a new tab or window).
These are basically the steps I take to ensure my blogs and sites are up-to-date. There are other maintenance steps that have less to do with WordPress and more to do with posts or articles instead, such as making sure you use appropriate tags, have appropriate keywords associated with your post (for SEO), etc.
What are some of the step you take to maintain your blog?