wordpress maintenance

WordPress maintenance, how does your website stay up to date?

You built a website yourself once or had your site built by a webdesigner. But have you also thought about the years after that? Who maintains the website, when was the last time you did an update and how do you do that? A website is just like a house, over the years it really needs maintenance. In this article we will explain what you need to pay attention to with WordPress maintenance and how to do it.

Why your WordPress website needs maintenance

Maintenance of your website ensures that your website continues to work properly and remains usable for your visitors. Technical maintenance ensures that everything works properly, the website is secure and remains accessible on all types of computers, laptops and smartphones. Maintenance is not only necessary for your website but also for the server on which the website runs.

WordPress maintenance mode

When your website is updated it can be useful to put the website in maintenance mode so that visitors get a message that work is being done. It is not always necessary to put your website in maintenance mode, but it can be very useful. 

As soon as your website is in maintenance mode, you tell visitors and search engines that the website is temporarily unavailable, but will soon be functional again. When updating a plugin, theme or WordPress itself, WordPess is automatically put in maintenance mode. This is a page that WordPress generates itself (see below):

WordPress' default message is rather boring and gives little information, that's why there are maintenance mode plugins you can use. The plugin: Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode is free and allows you to communicate clearly what maintenance is being done and how long it will take (e.g. with a timer).

As soon as you are going to perform maintenance on your website, we advise you to put your website in maintenance mode so that it is clear that the website is temporarily out of use and therefore has not crashed. 

Backing up your WordPress site

Backing up is one of the most important 
 

Updates: WordPress, Theme and Plug-ins

WordPress releases updates quite often. The updates close security holes, improve the user experience or make the website work faster and better. Small crucial updates are usually performed automatically. Larger updates require you to do this manually. Before you perform an update of WordPress, the theme or a plug-in, it is important to check that the update will not cause any errors and will destroy the website. This can best be prevented by making a temporary copy of the website on which you can test the update(s). Will the test website continue to work properly after the updates? Then you can also perform the updates on the live site.

Hosting/Server maintenance

Your website is usually hosted by a hosting company on a server. It is very important that the server is up to date and secure. One of the most important things is the PHP version. Since WordPress 5.0 at least version 5.6 is needed. This year this will probably be increased to 7.0 or higher. This new version of PHP ensures that WordPress can run faster and more securely.

SSL Certificate

It is very important to have an SSL certificate for your website. An SSL certificate makes it possible that your website can be visited through a secure connection. Over time, it may be that your SSL certificate expires. Make sure you renew it on time, you can often ask your hosting provider if they can help you with this.

Pants Links

Over the years, a website can grow and become more and more complex. Often new pages are created or things change on the website. It is important that when you link from one page to another, these links also work well. Sometimes the URL of a page changes and you need to change the link on other pages. To check this we recommend a Broken Links Checker plugin. This plugin runs through your entire website and checks if all links are still correct. After that you can repair the broken links yourself so that your website works optimally again for visitors and in the search engines.

Content of your website

A website performs best if you keep its content up to date. Do you have a blog or news section on the website? Make sure there is always a (fairly) recent article available, this will keep search engines interested in your website and it will make sure that returning visitors can read something new. With other content such as company information or address details it is important that these are always correct. Do you no longer offer certain services? Take them off the site. Are you selling new products or serving a new market? Put them on the site. This will keep your website up to date, giving it a professional look and feel.

Outsource the maintenance of your WordPress site

Of course you can maintain your website yourself. But are you sure you are doing it well (enough)? And what if something goes wrong? If you don't have time for WordPress maintenance or no experience, you can outsource it. This is usually called Managed WordPress Hosting. Surver offers Managed WordPress Hosting so companies don't have to worry about the technical aspect of their website. Surver has WordPress maintenance packages for every type of WordPress website. Are you self-employed, do you have a webshop or corporate website, Surver makes sure your website stays up to date. We update WordPress, the theme and the plug-ins. We also take care of the security, backups and basically everything that comes with maintaining a WordPress website.

Do you have a question about WordPress maintenance? Ask our team!