Skip to content

How to maintain and optimize a WordPress website

One of the easiest methods to get a website up and running for the average individual is to make use of WordPress. WordPress is what is known as a CMS, or Content Management System. Why WordPress is one of the most popular choices for individuals creating their own personal websites or even business with simple, static web-page based needs is that it allows users to easily create, upload and manage content on their website without the need for coding knowledge. With the ability to install plugins and builders, one is able to quickly and easily expand the functionality and feature set of their WordPress website.

With this freedom comes the inevitable issues of website performance being impacted as well as being exposed to security threats if one does not monitor and maintain their website diligently. There are many procedures one can follow in order to ensure their WordPress site is performing the best it possibly can, but here are a few methods that you can start with today if you haven’t already:

Pick A Reliable Hosting Provider

Let’s begin with a major contributor to your websites performance that doesn’t necessarily involve WordPress. Choosing the right hosting provider for your needs is a critical decision to make when hosting your website as this can be the deciding factor of your websites overall performance. How quickly will my website load for visitors? How often will I experience down-time? How quick and easily will their support team be able to assist and resolve my issue if and when the time arrives? These are questions one needs to ask and do research for when thinking of committing to a hosting provider.

Don’t Install Unnecessary Plugins and Add-Ons

When starting out with your website, it can be very easy to simply install every single plugin that is available for WordPress. Who wouldn’t want to add extra functionality to their website, especially when there are so many free plugins available? You might even be looking to add a specific feature for which there is a plugin available. The reality is that the more plugin that are installed, the slower your website will potentially load. This can become frustrating for visitors of your website and can even become unmanageable for you in the long term. You also potentially create potential security threats to your website by installing plugins that may not be frequently updated. Keep your WordPress installation clean and only install what is necessary.

Keep Your Plugins, Themes and WordPress Up to Date

One of the simplest methods to maintain your WordPress website is by updating your plugins, theme files and WordPress core files. One of the great features of a CMS is that it allows you to simply track your installed plugins and themes and allows you to easily update them with just a click of a button. Running old versions of plugin and theme files opens your website to the risk of security threats and a potential backdoor into your website.

Consistently Make Backups of your Website

Mistakes happen and sometimes unexpected errors occur which can cause catastrophic issues with our website where we no longer have access to our website. This is where a recently created backup file can save the day. Before making changes to a website or implementing an experimental change such as modifying a functions.php file, make a backup of your current site and download it to your local storage so that in the event that issues do occur, you can simply restore the backup file and continue where you left off.

Optimize your site speed

There are many ways to increase the speed of your WordPress site. The most popular method would be to install a Caching and Minification plugin such as W3 Total Cache. Optimizing images for your website will also greatly benefit your site load speed by ensuring images are as small as possible without degrading the image quality relative to the size of the container that’s required, and uploaded in a desired file format such as WebP.  A fast-loading website will increase your visitor retention and provide a better overall experience. A website which requires more time to load also negatively affects your SEO rank.