How to Properly Maintain a WordPress Website

maintain wordpress siteCountless websites run on the WordPress CMS platform – and with good reason. However, properly maintaining your WordPress site or blog is more important than you may realize. And it’s not just about adding new posts or content.

WordPress consistently updates its CMS platform. Staying up-to-date with these latest releases can ensure your site is working properly along with providing additional security protection.

If you self-manage your WordPress site of blog, then definitely pay attention to the info within this post.


Keeping Your Website or Blog Secure and Healthy

security lock New WordPress releases usually include more robust features. They also often include things such as security updates. These security updates can offer further protections for your site. So it’s a good idea to stay on top of the latest WordPress releases.

If you do not have any type of ongoing database back-ups in place for your WP site or blog, you are playing with fire!

You CAN lose your entire WordPress website or blog without any way to retrieve it! Trust me I know. You’ll only make that mistake once!


Be Sure Your Database is Regularly Backed-up

As noted above, database back-ups for your WP site or blog are extremely important! So if you are a DIYER (do-it-yourselfer) who built their site on the WP platform, are you backing-up your database on a regular basis? Do you even know how to do this or which plug-in to use?

Setting up and scheduling database back-ups to perform consistently is a must-do. It’s a layer or protection you want in place. Database back-ups can help to prevent content loss. It’s especially important to back-up your database prior to applying a new release of WordPress! This cannot be stressed enough!


Themes and Plug-ins Need to be Updated too!

Most WP sites/blogs are built off of an existing Theme foundation (free or paid) which are then further customized. However, some are built custom from the ground up. Regardless, there can be conflicts and compatibility issues with new WP releases and your Theme – especially if the Theme author does not stay on top of of new WP releases with updates.

Plug-ins (which just about every WP site/blog utilizes for expanded functionality) can be problematic as well. Plug-in authors also have a responsibility to keep them updated.

It is often advised to disable all of your plug-ins PRIOR to updating to a new release of WP. Then you can slowly enable them one at a time to be sure there are no issues. It’s a good practice which can avoid a lot of headaches AND the White Screen of Death.


Avoiding the WP White Screen of Death

computer monitor with skull, crossbonesThere are a variety of reasons why this can happen and further drives the point home of why you should consistently back-up your site!

The WSOD (White Screen of Death) can be caused due to conflicts wth your hosting provider or it could be a plugin that’s not functioning properly.

It could also be caused by the theme you’re currently using. The theme author may not be keeping it updated in accordance with new releases of WP. This can apply to plug-ins you may be running too.

Since the problem can be caused by any number of things, it will likely require some troubleshooting.


Maintaining Your WordPress Site/Blog*

Regardless of the platform, a site that is maintained will serve you much better than one that is not. This is true for a host of reasons beyond just security measures.

Maintaining your WordPress site or blog can ensure it’s secure and working properly:
• You’re staying current with the latest WP releases.
• Your database is being backed-up on a regular basis.
• Your Theme is updated (checking for any compatibility issues).
• AND your plug-ins (which allow for additional functionality) are updated as well.

*No time or expertise to update/maintain your WordPress site/blog? Inquire about WordPress site maintenance services here.


eco-conscious graphic designer barbara rogersWritten by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Graphic Designer and Nature Inspired Art photographer visually enhancing client’s print and digital media. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place.