The following is a list of maintenance tasks to keep your WordPress site running smoothly. While every site is different such that it may make sense to do some tasks more or less often then what I have listed, this is a good place to start for a full-spectrum WP maintenance schedule checklist. Or have a professional perform maintenance on your site (get a quote).
- scheduled backup of the database (many hosts have MySQL backup services, or you can use the WP-Database Manager plugin)
(for busy or developing sites)
- Check traffic stats for incoming link activity (may enlighten one to emerging trends and sources of traffic)
(some of these might be ‘monthly’ on less busy sites)
- review wp-admin Dashboard messages
- check functionality of all contact forms
- Scan 1 of every page type to make sure each template is functioning (home, index, archive, cat, search results, author pages)
- archive example: yoursite.com/2011/
- year: yoursite.com/2011/
- month: yoursite.com/2011/01/
- day: yoursite.com/2011/01/01
- cat example: yoursite.com/category/a-category-on-your-site
- search results example: yoursite.com/?s=the
- author page example: yoursite.com/?author=1 (or replace with known user ID who has a published article)
(some of these may be ‘weekly’ or bi-weekly on busier sites)
- backup site, perform any WordPress or plugin updates
- check file permission settings (for the most part files should be set to 644 and folders to 755. the .htaccess file should be 755 or 644 for extra security)
- broken link check (try one of each page type outlined above in a broken link checker, don’t set recursion depth too high or you’ll be waiting a long time)
- re-validate HTML and CSS
- Repair and Optimize database tables (If you have WP-Database Manager or similar installed, go to Database>Repair, then Database>Optimize. Otherwise you can perform these operations from PhpMyAdmin)
- check for fake ‘admin’ users (While in the database I also scan the newest entries in the wp_users table for any usernames with ‘admin’, as these are attempts to hack into the backend, which are commonly found on larger sites. This goes more into Security and Hardening of WordPress, but a good maintenance schedule should do basic security checks like this as well.)
(could be done less often, but optimally these will be done monthly)
- backup files (download the latest files in the ..wp-content/ directory to your computer)
- review error logs (most hosts will have an icon or link for ‘Error logs’ or ‘Logs’ visible from the main control panel)
- make notes for site improvement
- if you have a Google Webmaster Tools account, login, select your domain, check ‘your site on the web’ and ‘diagnostics’ for errors or suggestions. Also, check sitemaps under ‘site configuration’. If you do not already have an XML sitemap, install the Google XMP Sitemaps plugin and be sure to visit the Settings>XML-Sitemap page and build the sitemap for the first time.
- if you have Google Adsense ads, check to see if you are getting relevant ads. If not, you may need to implement section targeting (it’s super easy).
Affordable Professional Maintenance
- WordPress and plugin upgrades (and all items in checklist above)
- free site assessment and tune up!
- validation/re-validation of HTML/CSS included!
- plugin incompatibility fixes included!
Our maintenance plans not only include the above checks, but also HTML re-validation, CSS re-validation, plus credit toward plugin compatibility work if it is required during monthly upgrades of WordPress and the plugins on your site. These additional services alone save the average client hundreds of dollars in web design work each year.
site assessment and tune-up
If you sign-up for a WordPress maintenance plan, we will perform monthly maintenance twice the first month (after sign up and at the end of the month), as well as assess your site’s performance overall. In most cases there are adjustments to be made, and these will be included. In some cases there may be optional recommendations to improve your site. For such recommendations we offer a 20% discount to maintenance plan clients.
If your site’s HTML code and stylesheets have not been validated, this is included free after 6 months of maintenance. Each month thereafter (or from the beginning for nearly-valid sites), HTML and CSS will be re-validated (meaning, the HTML and CSS will be fixed up to pass validation)
plugin incompatibility and other fixes
If we find an incompatible plugin we will search for a comparable plugin and install/configure it for you. Likewise, if we find any Dashboard warning or errors, in many cases we can fix things up while performing your scheduled maintenance. If a larger problem crops up, you will receive a 20% discount off the regular web development rate of $55/hour.
Get a Maintenance Plan
In addition to the basics above, we offer custom maintenance and security plans…maybe your site is extremely busy and requires more frequent maintenance, or perhaps you want to have us harden the security of your site as well so tell us the details–> get a maintenance quote — and we’ll get back to you with a proposal.
Discounts on multiple site maintenance plans, with prices as low as $10 per-site-per-month!