A Comprehensive Checklist for Monthly WordPress Maintenance

Ensuring that your WordPress website functions smoothly is no small feat; it requires consistent and meticulous attention. This guide concentrates on the functional aspects of monthly maintenance tasks for a WordPress site, including database optimization, identifying broken links, and updating content and media files.

Database Optimization

An optimized database ensures quicker query responses and faster page loading times, directly affecting your website’s performance and user experience.

Database Checklist

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  • Backup Database: Always backup before making changes.
  • Run Optimization Tools: Use plugins like WP-Optimize to clean the database.
  • Remove Overhead: Eliminate unnecessary tables and overheads.
  • Query Monitoring: Use tools to monitor slow queries and optimize them.

Checking Broken Links

Broken links interrupt user navigation and can lead to loss of customer trust. Moreover, they negatively impact your SEO rankings.

Link Checklist

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  • Automated Scans: Run a plugin like Broken Link Checker to find broken links.
  • Google Search Console: Check for 404 errors and other crawl issues.
  • Manually Check Important Pages: Audit high-traffic pages for broken links.
  • Implement Redirects: Use 301 redirects for any broken URLs.

Media Cleanup

Media files like images, videos, and audio clips are essential for enriching user experience but can become a liability if not managed correctly. Unused or orphaned media files take up valuable storage space and can slow down your website, affecting both its functionality and SEO performance.

Media Cleanup Checklist

Install and Configure Media Cleaner Plugin

Deleting Data
  1. Download and Activate: The first step is to download and activate the Media Cleaner plugin from the WordPress repository.
  2. Run Initial Scan: Once installed, run an initial scan to identify unused and orphaned media files.
  3. Backup: Before deleting anything, make sure to backup your media files. The Media Cleaner plugin offers a ‘Restore’ option, but it’s always better to be safe.

Assess and Take Action

  1. Review Scan Results: After the scan, review the list of media files flagged by the plugin.
  2. Manual Verification: It’s advisable to manually verify that the identified media files are genuinely unused. Sometimes, files that are part of your theme or are used outside posts can be mistakenly flagged.
  3. Bulk or Individual Deletion: Delete with caution and always create a backup first. Media Cleaner allows you to delete files in bulk or individually. Make your selection based on your manual verification.

Additional Cleanup Steps

  1. Run Additional Scans: Sometimes, media files linked to deleted or draft posts remain. Conduct additional scans after deleting unused posts.
  2. Check File References: The plugin can also check if the media files are still being referred to in your CSS or JavaScript files. Make sure those references are cleaned up as well.
  3. Clear Cache: After the cleanup, clear your website’s cache to ensure that all changes are applied effectively.

Regularly performing media cleanup using a reliable plugin like Media Cleaner is integral to maintaining the functionality of your WordPress website. It helps you declutter your media library, freeing up storage space and enhancing site speed. These optimizations directly contribute to a better user experience and improved SEO, making it a must-add item in your monthly WordPress maintenance checklist. And with the support of WordSecured’s maintenance services, you can streamline these tasks for even more efficient website operation.

Testing Web Forms

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Web forms are the gateways through which your visitors interact with your website, be it for subscription sign-ups, inquiries, or feedback. If these forms are not functioning correctly, not only do you risk missing valuable leads, but you also compromise the user experience. Moreover, forms that don’t direct submissions to the intended recipients can result in critical business oversights.

Web Forms Checklist

Initial Testing

  1. Identify Critical Forms: Make a list of all the essential forms on your site. This includes contact forms, subscription forms, and any other forms that capture user data.
  2. Perform Dummy Submissions: Fill out and submit these forms to ensure that they are capturing and storing data as expected.
  3. Check for Error Messages: Make sure that any validation error messages are displaying correctly to guide users who may fill out the form incorrectly.

Email Routing Testing

  1. Confirm Recipient Email: Ensure that the recipient email address configured in the form settings is correct.
  2. Test Email Functionality: After submitting a form, check the designated email account to ensure that the email has been received.
  3. Validate Email Content: Confirm that the email received contains all the necessary details submitted through the form.

Additional Steps

  1. Check Auto-Responses: If your form setup includes an auto-responder or confirmation email to the user, make sure those are functioning and reaching the submitter’s inbox.
  2. Review Third-party Integrations: If the forms are integrated with CRM systems or email marketing tools, verify that the data is flowing into these systems correctly.
  3. Perform Mobile Testing: Many users will access your forms via mobile devices. Ensure that the forms are mobile-responsive and test the submission process on various devices.

Regularly testing the functionality of your web forms is crucial for maintaining an efficient, user-friendly WordPress site. The process not only verifies that the forms are capturing data correctly but also ensures that notifications and data are reaching the right places. With WordSecured by your side, you can automate many of these checks, ensuring that your website functions flawlessly and that you never miss an opportunity to connect with your audience. Therefore, make web form testing an indispensable part of your monthly WordPress maintenance checklist for optimal website functionality.

Example Maintenance Checklist

By following this checklist, you not only ensure your WordPress site runs smoothly, but you also set a strong foundation for SEO success.

Weekly Tasks

  1. Update Plugins & Themes: Keep plugins and themes up-to-date for security and optimal performance.
  2. Check for Broken Links: Use a tool like Broken Link Checker to maintain site quality.
  3. Review User Comments: Moderate and respond to user comments to keep engagement high.

Monthly Tasks

  1. Backup Your Website: Use a service like UpdraftPlus to create complete backups.
  2. Review SEO Performance: Analyze keyword rankings and make adjustments as needed.
  3. Audit User Access: Ensure only necessary users have access to your site’s backend.
  4. Optimize Database: Use a plugin like WP-Optimize to clean your database.
  5. Media Cleanup: Use a plugin like Media Cleaner to scan for orphan media files, quarantine them and remove them from your site if they are not in use.
  6. Test Web Forms: Ensure your web forms are submitting and that they are emailing the proper recipient. For web forms in WordPress we recommend Gravity Forms.
  7. Check Load Speed: Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check for improvements.

Quarterly Tasks

  1. Update Content: Refresh old blog posts with new information and keywords.
  2. Check Compatibility: Make sure your theme and plugins are still working well together.
  3. Review Security Measures: Use security plugins like Wordfence to perform a comprehensive scan.
  4. Conduct A/B Tests: Optimize for user engagement and conversion.

Bi-Annual Tasks

  1. Update WordPress Version: Keep the WordPress core up-to-date for the latest features and security.
  2. Review & Update SEO Strategy: Based on performance metrics, adjust your long-term SEO plan.
  3. Check for 404 Errors: Use Google Search Console to identify and fix 404 errors.

Annual Tasks

  1. Review Site Design: Make sure your site’s design is still contemporary and user-friendly.
  2. Conduct Full SEO Audit: Use advanced tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs for a thorough audit.

WordSecured: Enhancing Functionality Through Maintenance

It’s worth mentioning that WordSecured specializes in WordPress maintenance that boosts website functionality. We align our services with crucial maintenance tasks, making it easier for you to achieve a high-performing, error-free website.

Functionality is the backbone of any successful WordPress site. The monthly maintenance tasks outlined above not only boost your site’s performance but also enhance user satisfaction and SEO rankings. With specialized services like those offered by WordSecured, keeping your site in optimal condition becomes a hassle-free experience. By strictly following this focused checklist, you can maintain and even elevate the functionality of your WordPress website.