Top WordPress Maintenance Tips for 2022
WordPress is the most popular platform used to create blogs and presentation sites because it is easy to use but also because it is extremely flexible. This flexibility is primarily achieved through the functionality provided by the thousands of additional plugins (most of them free).
Unfortunately, this popularity combined with the fact that WordPress source code is public, it has made WordPress a platform frequently targeted by hackers, making maintenance ever more necessary. However, if you worked with a company for website design Tampa to build your website, you probably have maintenance included for the foreseeable future. If not, here are some tips.
The basics of maintenance
Basic maintenance consists of regular backups of the site, i.e. all the files that make up the site and the corresponding database. It is a good idea to keep a backup copy of your website after you launch it.
Moreover, it is recommended that you make additional backups periodically. The frequency of these backups is dictated by how often you make changes to the site. A site that is modified every 6 months might only requires 2 backups per year, but a site that is updated daily should be backed up much more often. Luckily, most web hosting providers are offering daily backups for an affordable fee.
WordPress also uses extensions, modules and plugins – components that are regularly updated by the WordPress developer community. These updates are designed to correct programming errors (bugs) or provide new functionality. It’s important to install an update whenever it’s available for your plugins, theme, and even WordPress in general.
Having an up to date website will minimize exposure to security holes. Frequent updates will allow you to easily restore it using one of the available saves, in the event that the site is hacked.
What to do if my website is infected?
If your site is compromised, the most important thing is to find out and intervene as soon as possible after the event. Ideally, we should intervene to fix the problem the same day. The sooner we find out, the less likely the site will be blacklisted.
The most common attacks on websites are: injecting scripts containing malicious links, malicious applications, etc. into the source code. These viruses can corrupt files and databases, make phishing pages (pages attempting to steal personal information), install spamming scripts (unsolicited email messages) or add malicious content (links, images, text).
If action is not taken quickly to remove these viruses and secure the site, browsers will restrict access to the site with an alert message such as: “The website you are about to access contains malware!”
Here are some tips for removing the malware:
- Investigate the http access log. Typically, a WordPress site is hacked via http and the server logs are left intact.
- Delete current files and restore them from a recent backup
- Breach the security holes that enabled the attack in the first place
- Change the password for site access (for all users), the password for database connection and any other passwords that have been exposed
A very serious consequence of these viruses is restricting access to the site from the Google search engine and subsequently removing the site from search results. After the site has been devirused, you will need to request a reassessment from Google Webmaster to remove the restriction to the site.
This is an important step, but unfortunately not the last. It may be more complicated and time-consuming, because every anti-virus has a list of infected sites. You will need to go to each anti-virus to find instructions for removing your website from their list of malicious sites. This activity is called whitelisting.
Should you outsource web maintenance?
Not everyone who has managed to install WordPress and a theme also have the inclination and training to manage and maintain a site. It is possible that during an update, a conflict may arise that generates various errors, and in the end, special training might be required to resolve the issue.
Ideally, people who don’t have the necessary know-how should outsource their website maintenance to experts so they can focus on content and marketing. The average cost of maintaining a website built on the WordPress varies from company-to-company but it is usually affordable. Such a contract gives you peace of mind about the security of your website.
WordPress expert. Divi user since 2014. I blog about WordPress and Divi, my favorite WordPress theme. When I’m not working with WordPress or writing an article for this blog, I’m probably learning Italian. You can read more about me here.