Owning a website is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing! Websites take regular maintenance and work to keep them looking and performing their best. If you’re not very tech-savvy then this might sound overwhelming, but I promise you that my easy routine for website maintenance is quick and painless! I highly recommend that you follow my three step process once a month, and be sure to implement the bonus tips as well. Be sure to scroll down to watch the Facebook Live broadcast I did on this exact topic!
Step 1: Update Plug-Ins
It’s crucial that you regularly update your website plug-ins, because outdated plug-ins can become a serious security breach. The trick to properly updating plug-ins, is to make sure that you update them one at a time. This ensures that in the off chance that you update a faulty plug-in and (temporarily) crash your website, you’ll know exactly which plug-in was the culprit.
Step 2: Check For Broken Links
The second step in my easy routine for website maintenance is to check for broken links. Broken links are bad for your website for two reasons: it hurts your SEO performance, and it makes you look unreliable to new readers/ potential customers. To scan my website for broken links, I use a free website called BrokenLinkCheck.com. If you’d like to automate this process, then you can check out a free plug-in called Broken Link Checker.
After a bit more research, I’ve decided to keep doing this manually because I believe that too many plug-ins can really effect your website loading speed, security, etc.
Step 3: Check Your Page Speed
My last step, is to check the website page speed! I do this using a free website called GTmetrix.com. Simply input your URL and let the website run it’s test to analyze your speed. Not only does it give you detailed suggestions for improving your page speed, but I also use the results as an indicator is something funny is going on with my theme or plug-ins. For example, if I have a dramatic change in page speed then I know something is starting to breakdown behind the scenes of my website… and chances are, I can fix it before it becomes a serious problem.
- Get automatic daily back-ups of your website using a paid service like VaultPress. What I love about this service, is that if I accidentally make a major mistake on my website (or crash it with a faulty plug-in!) I can restore to yesterday’s backup to erase my mistakes.
- Create an Emergency Website Checklist so that your most crucial log-in information is readily available. You can read more about this in an article I wrote called “Can You Answer These Questions About Your Website?” and you can grab the Emergency Website Checklist right here!