Are you frustrated because your WordPress sites seem to load at a snail’s pace? Given the various security threats out there, are you concerned that they may be vulnerable to attack? Or are you simply mindful of the fact that your sites are getting clogged up with a huge amount of redundant data?
If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, then this article (and its second installment) were written with you in mind.
WordPress on Wheels
Think of your WordPress website as a car.
In order for it to work efficiently, you need to check the oil and tyre pressure every now and then. But more importantly, it needs a periodical service where its inner workings are checked and optimized accordingly. If you are not doing this, your WordPress site probably isn’t “road-worthy”. If you think that your site may be exempt from the necessity for a periodical service, think again.
Here’s the problem – both WordPress and the interactive world that it occupies are highly dynamic. The database files associated with a WordPress website of any notable size grows on a daily basis – even if you do not touch the site yourself. Not only that, your site has to process external data – friendly or otherwise. It’s a dangerous world out there – are you confident that your site is optimized accordingly?
If not, check out the six simple steps below that you can take to redress the situation. Even if these steps seem familiar to you, you may want to take a moment to verify that you really are actioning them all on a regular basis.
1. Backup WordPress
The first thing you want to do before you make any major changes to your site is to back it up. This is easily done across multiple sites with ManageWP’s backup scheduling feature, so there really is no excuse.
The potential repercussions of not backing up really is unthinkable, so save yourself potential heartbreak and make sure you get it done. How often you back up is your call, but I would recommend a full backup at least once per week.
2. Update WordPress
In my opinion, you should update WordPress as soon as a new version is released. Even if you are not particularly interested in what new features an update has to offer, the logic behind my thinking is simple – any update that features security improvements effectively advertises the vulnerabilit(ies) of the previous release. The longer you stick with an older version of WordPress, the more likely you are to be subject to attack.
If you have multiple WordPress sites, updating to a new version can be a real time suck. But if you are a ManageWP user, there is no excuse – multiple upgrades is a one click affair.
3. Delete Unwanted Plugins
If you take a look at your WordPress sites now, you’ll probably find plugins that you simply don’t need. Moreover, many people make the mistake of deactivating (but not uninstalling) unwanted plugins, which leaves option settings in place.
If you don’t need a plugin, uninstall it. If this seems like a time-intensive chore, check out ManageWP’s themes and plugins management tool, which gives you the power to manage and delete plugins across multiple sites with the click of a button.
4. Delete Resource-Intensive Plugins
You may think that you need certain plugins, but you might change your mind if you discovered how resource-intensive they are. You can do so by installing the Plugin Performance Profiler plugin, which offers a plethora of reports relating to plugin performance. It was number one in our March Plugins of the Month post for a reason – it is a must-have for any WordPress user.
5. Update Plugins
This is another necessary task that is often neglected. But just like with updating WordPress, you have no excuse as a ManageWP user – one click updates of all plugins across your entire site portfolio makes this previously time-consuming task a cinch.
6. Delete Spam
Spam is the scourge of many a WordPress blog. Fortunately, the absolute nightmare scenario of manually handling spam comments is mitigated largely by plugins such as Akismet and Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin.
Nonetheless, you should make it a habit to check your spam folder and deleting all spam comments on a regular basis. Otherwise, your database will get clogged up with hundreds (or even thousands) of spam comments.
7. Delete Post Revisions
Just like spam, post revisions are typically of no use, and serve as nothing else but a drain on your WordPress site’s resources. Having said that, if you are still working on posts and may want to revert to a previous version, you should be careful in how you treat your existing post revisions. But so long as you are happy that you will not be losing any important data, you can use ManageWP’s one click functionality to clear post revisions across all of your sites.
What Do YOU Do?
Next week we’re going to focus on other ways in which you can ensure the security and cleanliness of your WordPress sites. In the mean time, we’d love to know what you do beyond the steps above to keep your WordPress sites in order. Let us know in the comments section!