Your business’s website is one of your most significant assets, and if it’s a WordPress website, it should be straightforward to manage and update. With the Internet being as vital as it is in our lives, it’s astonishing the number of websites that are not adequately maintained.
Too many people think having a site is a “set it and forget it” project, but it’s not that simple. Once it’s live for the world to see, it’s essential to make sure your site is secure and up-to-date on a daily basis.
Why You Need to Manage Your WordPress Website
Managing your WordPress website on a daily basis is necessary for many reasons, but they’re all tied to the same “worst case scenario”: it will go down and not be accessible to anyone. When your site is down, you’re losing money one way or another, even if it’s to pay someone to make it live again.
Whether it’s someone within a mile of your store trying to find the closest business like you or missing out on sales from your eCommerce site, there are countless ways you’ll lose money from a down website.
A poor web host can cause website downtime, but that’s just one reason it can go down. Plugins, website settings, lousy coding, spammers, and other factors could result in a down website. Because of this wide range of culprits, there’s no question that you must devote time every day to make sure your site doesn’t have a chance to crash.
3 Ways to Properly Manage a WordPress Site
We hope the above facts scared you a little bit (in a good way) and inspired you to manage your WordPress website correctly. Here are the top three ways to keep your website alive and well:
1. Choose a good web host
Hosts have a massive impact on your site’s speed and uptime, but they can also offer a secure platform to make edits to your site before going live (also known as a staging site).
If you have a WordPress site, pick a managed WordPress hosting instead of hosts that do a little bit of everything, as these companies don’t have as much WordPress expertise.
2. Back up your website daily
It’s irresponsible to think that nothing will go wrong during your website’s life, which is why backups are incredibly crucial. Without daily backups, data could get lost, hackers could creep their way in, and you could find yourself completely locked out of your site.
While website hosts do keep a backup of sites on their servers, we highly recommend backing yours up off-site, so you don’t rely on a backup from the same data center as your live one. We’ll talk about this later.
3. Keep your plugins, WordPress core, and themes updated
The elements that make your WordPress website work are continually getting updated for bugs, security, and enhancements. To keep your site running smoothly, make sure you consistently update these every chance you can.
However, a theme or plugin update could have a negative impact on your site, so make sure to test it after each update. This is why backups are necessary, as you can pull the older/working version of the plugin or theme to keep your site humming.
6 Tools to Help Manage Your WordPress Site
If keeping up with all of those moving parts sound overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. There are plenty of tools out there to simplify how you manage your WordPress website. Here are some of our favorites:
- ManageWP: The love we have for ManageWP is DEEP; it lets you update your themes, plugins and WordPress core all from one dashboard. Powered by Amazon Web Services, it also backs up your website daily, monitors your uptime, and comes with an array of additional features to streamline your website management. While this tool is not free and, in our opinion, best suited for businesses who manage multiple WordPress websites, it’s one of the best tools out there for WordPress sites.
- BlogVault: We use ManageWP to back up our clients’ sites and update their plugins/themes, but BlogVault is another option to look into for the same features. We do use BlogVault as a secondary backup system for our clients’ websites.
- Imagify: To help speed up your website and save you time, Imagify is an image optimization plugin that compresses the size of your images. This plugin will fully optimize your site images, which means you don’t need to spend the time to do it on your own.
- Akismet: Comment and form submission spam can flood your posts and be a pain to deal with. This handy plugin will rid you of that stress and do the hard work for you. Akismet will review your comments and form submissions and prevent your site from publishing malicious content.
- WP Rocket: Every WordPress site should have a caching plugin, and WP Rocket is our choice. A caching plugin will make your web pages load at lightning speed by creating static cached versions of your web content. Faster loading speeds help with your SEO, conversion rates, and so much more.
- MalCare: The same team behind BlogVault created MalCare, a multi-dimensional, automatic scanner that can protect against even the most complex hacks. With this plugin, you’ll receive immediate alerts if a problem is detected. With one click, your site will be clean and free from any malware.
Managing your WordPress website the right way is something you cannot ignore, but now you can see it doesn’t have to be a pain. When all else fails, you can work with professionals who know how to keep your website up to date and handle its maintenance.
If you want to learn more about keeping your site up to date, get a hold of GreenMellen today!