Barefoot Design Collective Blog cover template with a desk and laptop "The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Care and Maintenance: How to Keep Your Website Running Smoothly"

The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Care and Maintenance: How to Keep Your Website Running Smoothly

You’ve spent countless hours working on your website content, images and design. You want your website or blog to be as professional as possible. You’ve installed the most up-to-date version of WordPress and set up a server to host it. But you can’t leave it there.

With everything you’ve done, your website is now ready to start getting traffic and earning money. Congrats!

But you need to know that your website is safe and secure.

As with most things in life, keeping your WordPress website secure isn’t something that you do once. Consistently monitor your website for updates to protect your site and keep your visitors safe. It’s crucial to keep on top of security updates, keep your site clean and spam-free, and keep your site safe from hackers.

Here are some tips you need to keep your WordPress website up-to-date, safe and secure.

Make Regular Backups

You need to make regular backups of your website. This will help you in two different ways. The first is that it will keep your content safe, even if something happens to your site. Secondly, it will help you restore your blog’s content if you accidentally delete something or if a hacker gains access to your site and deletes it.

There are free plugins that can do the work for you. These plugins will help you back up your site without interrupting anything. You can choose from dozens of plugins, but one that we recommend is UpdraftPlus.  Some website hosts also provide backups. So there’s no need for a plugin if your host already provides this service.

Secure Your Site with SSL

You’ve probably seen the green “HTTPS” or the little padlock before the URL in your browser. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and is meant to provide privacy and security when transmitting data over a network, like the internet. SSL, https, website, internet-3344700.jpg

If you have a WordPress site, you should install an SSL certificate to secure it.

This will keep your user’s information safe and prevent hackers from reading information or changing data on your site. You can get an SSL certificate by purchasing one through one of many Certificate Authorities (CAs). Learn more about SSL Certificates from Verisign. 

Install and Use a Secure Theme

Make sure that your website’s theme is up-to-date and running on a secure server. When choosing the theme for your website, make sure it’s a lightweight theme that has been recently updated. The more code and ‘bells and whistles’ in the theme, the heavier the theme will be which can cause your site speed to be impacted.

There are many beautiful themes and templates out there for sale on sites like Creative Market. Just be mindful of the amount of code in the theme, the reputation of the developer, and do you really need that fancy (and sometimes expensive) theme. There are many options available from WordPress.org without all of the crazy code to bog down your site. We like to use the Hello Elementor theme and build out our sites with the Elementor Builder.

Install Plugins with Care

Plugins can be a security risk, and they can also slow down your website tremendously. That’s why when you install plugins, make sure they are secure, updated recently, and that they don’t cause any problems on your site. It is a best practice to limit the number of plugins you use on your website to keep it in optimal health.

How often should I update my WordPress, themes and plugins?

Keeping your WordPress site up-to-date is one of the most important steps you can take to keep it safe from hackers. WordPress Core, plugins, and themes are all involved in keeping your website secure. When they’re up-to-date, these updates will often include security patches that help protect your site from intruders.

Keeping your WordPress, themes, and plugins up-to-date is a simple way to protect yourself against these latest threats.

However, not all updates are created equally. Some updates will do more than just fix bugs or security flaws, they’ll also make significant changes to the functionality of your site. These types of updates might introduce new features, remove old ones, or modify how certain features work.

Back up your website and carefully evaluate any changes before deciding whether you want to update it or not. You want to be careful so that you’re not introducing any vulnerabilities into your site that could cause your site to go down.

Bottom Line When it Comes to WordPress Care and Maintenance

Now that you’ve read this article and have a basic understanding of how to care for your WordPress website, it’s time to take action.

A well-maintained website is much more likely to avoid downtime and hacking attacks. Start by securing your site with an SSL certificate and installing a security plugin. Next, make sure you backup your site with a backup plugin. And make sure you update your WordPress, themes, and plugins at least once a month. If you keep these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your WordPress site safe and secure!

Not sure you want to handle all of this on your own? Take a look at our affordable and extensive WordPress Care packages and reach out with any questions you have.

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