Monthly WordPress Maintenance Tasks for Web Designers and Developers
Whether you work as a web designer, developer, or site owner there is a certain amount of maintenance that goes into running a WordPress website, whatever your level of involvement.
Websites need regular maintenance to keep them secure and performing at their best, so it’s best practice to set up a schedule of tasks to be performed periodically to ensure things are up to date and working correctly.
While your list of maintenance tasks will vary depending on your role with the website and the nature and complexity of the website itself, we’ve put together a starter list of maintenance tasks all web designers and developers should have on their to do list each month.
Update WordPress Core and Plugins
This gets the number one spot on our list for good reason. It’s imperative that your WordPress website’s core and plugins are kept up to date at all times to avoid security vulnerabilities. While it’s impossible to ever rule out hacks 100%, keeping your site up to date is the best way to prevent issues.
Scan for Broken Links
There are many tools you can use to scan your site for broken links and we recommend you run a checker you trust at least once a month. Broken links can really impact the user experience of your site so it’s best to catch these early and fix any 404s as quickly as possible, even if you simply add a redirect to the homepage.
Test Forms, Checkouts and Login Processes
Take half an hour once a month to browse the site as if you were a first time visitor. Test all contact forms to ensure they route through correctly, run through the checkout procedure to make sure all stated forms of payment are accepted and receipts are sent out in a timely manner, and test the login process (as well as password reset functionality) to make sure all interactions on your site are working as expected.
Ensure Automated Backups are Running Correctly
Whether your site backups are performed by a plugin or by your hosting provider, it’s worth checking these once a month to make sure everything is running correctly and back ups are running as frequently as you assume. After all, finding out there’s an issue with your back up service when you need access to lost changes would be far more time-consuming than a quick check once a month!
Test Page Speed
Using a service like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, analyse your site’s speeds and get recommendations of where things can be improved. Site speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to user experience, so spending time tweaking pages with slow loading speeds could help you win more business in the long run.
Review Website Users
Another security task we recommend carrying out regularly: review the users and admins you have on your site. Employees may leave or new roles may mean users who were previously admins no longer need access. Always assign users roles that give them the lowest required access, keeping admins to an absolute minimum.
Review Google Search Console Reports
Google Search Console can run a number of different reports and flag up issues as soon as they arise, so we recommend getting this set up if it isn’t already running on your site. A suite of checks will help to improve your Google Search rankings and potential issues relating to performance, security and user experience are all monitored.
Test the Site on Various Devices
One final check we recommend setting aside an hour or two a month for is to test the site on various devices. Whether you use physical devices or a tool like Browerstack is up to you but you should be regularly checking that your site performs and displays well on desktops, mobiles, tablets and a range of different browsers.
What else would you add to a list of monthly website maintenance tasks? We’d love to add your recommendations to the list, so do leave a comment below with your ideas!