Here’s a list of routine website administration tasks I complete on a regular basis for every website I maintain.
1. Backup your website.
There’s many ways to backup your website these days. However you do it, make sure you do it! Also, keep an eye on how many backups are saved in your server, these can take up a lot of space.
I like to use Backup Buddy to backup all of my websites. With this premium plugin you can schedule complete or partial backups and automatically delete old backup files. It also has some great website migration features for if and when you need to move your website to another server.
2. Upgrade to the newest version of WordPress.
To keep your website secure and running efficiently, I recommend always keeping your WordPress version up-to-date.
3. Update your WordPress theme.
Always stay updated on new theme version releases, and update your theme when the new releases come out!
I recommend using a theme framework you can trust like Studiopress, and create a custom child theme for your style edits. This way, you can keep the framework updated without over-writing any code.
4. Update all WordPress plugins.
WordPress will usually show you notifications when plugins come out with new versions, and a lot of the times you will have to manually update premium plugins. I recommend keeping a log of plugin updates as well as good documentation on how to update the premium plugins you use.
If you have to manage more than one website, these updates can seem never-ending. I like to use iTheme’s sync module to easily backup and update multiple websites in one place.
5. Optimize the website database.
I’ve been using the WP-DBManager plugin for website database management. The plugin author recommends that your website’s database should be optimized once every month. Activate the plugin, go to the “Optimize DB” setting and click OPTIMIZE! This plugin also does database backups, and has the ability to drop tables if needed.
6. Check your security settings.
This really is a whole other post about how to keep your site secure, and it’s worth mentioning that checking your security settings routinely is always a good idea and should be part of the maintenance process. Plugin settings change and evolve when plugin updates come out, so I always like to keep an eye on the security settings to make sure I’m running the iTheme security plugin at it’s highest potential.
7. Delete all un-used files.
This is really a bonus step that I’ve found to be necessary for some websites. Sometimes old unused files end up on your server, I’ve seen it happen! You may find a duplicate copy of your website backed up on your server, or someone may have moved an old plugin or theme folder to a different folder preventing them from receiving the recommended updates.
Routinely make sure you delete these extra files from your server, and only do this if you know what you are doing! Keeping your website directory free of static files will help keep your website secure. It will also speed up your website as well, so why not trim the fat from your website!?
Whenever I’m troubleshooting websites for any problems, these steps above are necessary when finding solutions. For example, it’s hard to get answers from support forums when you are running out-dated software versions. Backup your website, stay secure and up to date and you’ll have less problems!