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Do you own a WordPress website like I do? I follow these 6 steps to maintain WordPress website that helps me boost my organic rankings.
Steps we need to take for maintenance of WordPress website:
- Regular health check
- Google webmaster tools
- Update WordPress
- Load time
Regular Health Check
You should regularly visit your site and make sure your website is not facing any major issues.
Some of these major issues like website hacked, bandwidth quota reached, server configuration error, hosting or domain account expired. These are some of the major barriers in the context of website visitors and search engines.
Additionally, you should install Broken link checker plugin and search throughout the site for resources that are no longer available and throwing 404 errors. It’s always a good idea to fix them instead of having 404 errors.
If you are operating your WordPress website for a long time you may find it necessary to retire old content and permanently redirect users and search engine to newer content.
You better establish 301 redirect rules for those old pages to new pages. You can use 301 redirect plugin or write in .htaccess files manually if you want.
Google Webmaster Tools
If you are new to Google webmaster tools then the first thing you should do is to sign-up for the service.
It’s free and recommended for any webmaster or website owner. You can sign-up here if you haven’t already, you basically need a Google account.
The first most important thing you need to do is to submit your property. You will find a text box where you need to write you website and hit Add button. Google will ask you to verify your ownership. Follow your preferred way and authenticate your ownership.
You can follow this simple guide to setup your property in Google Search Console.
The tool will help you find many important things like how good your site is indexing. It will alert you when google finds some malware or any major issues with your website.
You can submit a sitemap to help google know about your site and index it for search rankings. You can also see which keyword are performing well and which pages are getting more clicks.
This is just to get you started with Google webmaster tool. Signup and add your property. Make yourself comfortable with this tool. You will find a host of other features eventually as you start using it. It’s must for any webmaster or site owner.
WordPress regularly offers framework updates, please make sure you keep your WordPress framework up to date. The updates usually contain core framework code, features, security and performance updates.
There are two ways WordPress offers updates:
Minor updates are like small updates on top of stable major framework release. These update generally contains security updates and bug fixes. WordPress automatically updates itself for these minor updates and inform you via email saying your version has been upgraded.
The minor updates like 4.6.x this “x” is for minor update version.
Major updates are framework updates. These updates introduce some new functionality, security updates and bug fixes. They are large in size and requires your action for an update. You may just need to press update button to rest the platform will handle.
Major updates look like 4.7 or 5.1
It’s always good practice to look for your website’s loading time. You can rely on Google speed test and Pingdom tools. Make sure you write down somewhere your test score each time. It will help you track down your website’s loading time in a period of time.
Make sure you write down somewhere your test score each time. It will help you track down your website’s loading time in a period of time.
Google search engine loves the faster website and you may get an extra edge over the competition if your site is loading fast. Because site speed is one of the ranking factors for the Google.
Web sites loading under 2 seconds gets more favor by both the visitors and the search engines.
Because site speed is one of the ranking factors for the Google. Sites loading under 2 seconds gets more favor by both the visitors and the search engines.
How to improve load time?
Images: Optimize the image size you upload to your WordPress website. Making images 600-650px wide with 72 dpi would bring the size consistency on the website, images will be optimized and improve the loading speed.
Minify: Minify the CSS and js like static resources. What is actually does is it removes the newline and whitespaces from the file. It helps you save few kilobytes which result into a faster loading website.
Cache: Images, CSS, and js are the statics element which may not change quite often. Leveraging the client browser caching would help them reopen your website lightning fast. As they don’t need to reload all static resources every time the page loads.
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. The main purpose of this is to deliver the static content like images, CSS, js, document files, programs, music files and other streaming resources at the fastest possible speed.
You would probably use this to make your WordPress website load faster. There are tons of CDN hosting provider, you may find a provider matching your requirement and budget.
How is CDN helpful to speed up your WordPress website?
Well CDN providers have servers in various geographic locations. When you hand over a file they mirror your file across all their servers. Now when a user from any geo-location ask for that resource the CDN provider finds the nearest server and deliver the content.
CDN rescues wait time, allows concurrent resource requests and reduces the website loading time. You should opt for CDN service if you have graphics/images heavy website where there are plenty of resources are to load on single request.
There are some CDN providers offering a month free demo of their services, you find you need one it’s work check those out before making the final decision.
Some of them are:
Consider a case you invested a year building your dream site, you made all possible efforts SEO optimize your website. You have done all above steps to maintain the website fast and zippy.
But what if a small mistake vanish your entire website or a hacking attack destroys your website.
Take a regular backup of your WordPress website and the database. If needed you may invest in premium WordPress backup tools or you can simply take backup right from CPanel.
You may find it a tedious task to take backups regularly but it will definitely back you up in the case of hacking or failover issues.
If you take regular backup of your site, you have a definite way to restore everything thing to the previous backup state.
You don’t need to start over again and spend hundreds of hours building up an awesome website again. All you need to do is to make changes that you made after the full backup. Super easy and less frustrating way.
We all want a faster and responsive website.
If you are on WordPress platform and looking for ways to maintain your website, above are the 6 definite ways you can maintain your WordPress business website and boost your organic rankings.
All you need to do is check your website health status, check google webmaster tools, update WordPress framework and keep backing up your website at a safe place regularly.
Let us know in the comments that how you maintain your website(s).