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WordPress Maintenance – How to maintain a WordPress, prevent not cure

Many of you come to me for advice on long-term WordPress maintenance. This is not necessarily easy when you know nothing about it and the jungle of tutorials and WordPress plugins of all kinds does not help to have a clean WordPress.

Getting started with WordPress

Accommodation

It may seem like a trivial matter, but the choice of host is not trivial in the life of your WordPress blog / showcase / online store. Indeed, even if you do not want to pay too much, some hosts are better than others. For small budgets, I recommend O2Switch, which offers a quality turnkey offer for € 5 / month.

In any case, I advise you to take a hosting that offers daily backups over 7 rolling days (files and database!). You can sleep with peace of mind and not worry about losing your source of income.

Consider getting a fairly powerful hosting that can hold the number of visitors you expect.

Extensions

For plugins, I’m not going to go into more detail than that since I dedicated an article to the best WordPress plugins to start well a while ago.

Be sure to choose the plugins with which you will start, they will be decisive in the health of your WordPress installation.

Some install new tables in the database, others have a significant impact on your performance.

The theme

Some WordPress themes can be the worst bane in history! Why ? Because WordPress is largely focused on themes, which can independently activate / install additional features.

While you have to be careful in choosing your extensions, you have to be even more careful in choosing your theme! Some themes, whether paid or not, have a phenomenal number of features and dependencies that will surely pollute your WordPress.

Just because you bought a $ 90 theme from ThemeForest or TemplateMonster doesn’t mean that it is of good quality. Some are, but not all.

The cruising speed

Theoretically, the cruising speed, as its name suggests, should be fairly quiet. You just need to create editorial content for your blog or manage your catalog and orders if you have an e-commerce with WordPress.

The only thing you need to pay attention to is the updates. WordPress offers an automatic update system, I’m not a fan of it, I prefer to be in control and be able to do my usage checks before each update.

WordPress updates

Like any CMS (Content Manager System), WordPress is updated regularly. For what reasons ? Simply to bring new features, then updates to fix the bugs in these new features 😃.

There are minor updates regularly, which are harmless and which I recommend doing! Major updates are a bit riskier, that’s why I always recommend backing up your site completely (again, file and database!) Before updating. These major updates bring new features but also allow WordPress to implement new versions of PHP, which are generally more secure than obsolete versions.

Updates to plugins and themes

For the same reasons as the WordPress CMS, plugins and themes may receive updates. Usually without side effects, I had a few surprises from time to time.

Feel free to browse the changelog for each plugin / theme to quickly determine if the update might have side effects. In most cases, you won’t have to worry.

Adding new features

Whether it is via a change of theme or a plugin, the addition of a feature must be done by taking the necessary precautions. Do not hesitate to make a backup of your site (files and database!) Before doing so. I have already had customers who suddenly wanted to change the theme, the latter completely crashed their site and could not go back, access to the back office was inoperative.

If you (or the professional who manages your site) have a preproduction site, use it! It is preferable that it is the latter which acts as a crash test.

What to do if your WordPress is hacked?

If you realize that your WordPress has been hacked / hacked, I advise you not to panic. It’s easy to say, but rest assured, all is not lost. There are a few basic things you can do quickly to “stem” the problem before doing anything else:

  • Change your FTP username and password
  • Change the name of the database, the user and the password
  • Modify your WordPress identifiers (before or after the repair depending on the case)

I won’t go into the full detail of how to fix your hacked site, however, there are usually two solutions. You can either restore a backup of your site (hence the usefulness of a good web host), or clean it by hand. Whatever the case, it is crucial to modify the accesses and identifiers, as listed above. This will decrease the chances of recurrence.

You can contact a WordPress professional, it won’t be too much. Some sites are hacked due to faults in the code of the themes or plugins they use and it is quite complicated to diagnose. Only a professional with a keen eye will be able to determine the cause of this hack. In some cases, it will also be necessary to migrate your WordPress to a new, more secure host.

Conclusion

It is, a priori, not complicated to manage and maintain a WordPress site, whether it is a blog, showcase site or an online store. However, you have to take precautions from the start and not overuse themes and plugins that will pollute your site, which will become harder to maintain and which will be all the slower.

Some professionals, including myself, offer WordPress maintenances (also called TMA / Third Party Maintenance Applicative) to help you and relieve you of this responsibility. They will thus be able to guarantee you continuity of your services in all circumstances!

Do not hesitate to ask your questions, on WordPress or other, to which I will answer with pleasure! 😀

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