20 WordPress Website Maintenance Checklist to Run Your Site at Full Capacity!

Nazmul Asif

Updated: January 26, 2023
Table of Contents

Just like a house, your website also needs maintenance.

I’m not kidding!!!!

Imagine how your home looks if you skip cleaning tasks for a while.

Exterior disrepair, leaks at the window sill, peeling paint, roof leaks- continues on and on!!!!!

The same is true for a website!!!!

Love ’em or hate ’em… If you don’t maintain your website well, it will not perform at its best. And eventually, it will slowly start to lose visitors.

And what’s even more terrible? It may lose its position in the search engine as well.

You can’t just sit back after making a website, dude. The website needs constant care, like a baby, even after going live. And wondering what should be included in website maintenance?

Well, we prepare a proven WordPress website maintenance checklist and break it down into tiny portions like weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly maintenance with a detailed guide.

In a Rush? Here is a Sneak Peek of Website Maintenance Checklist

Weekly MaintenanceMonthly MaintenanceQuarterly MaintenanceYearly Maintenance
Schedule updatesCheck website performance through GA & GSCDevice & browser compatibility & responsivenessRenew domain, hosting, SSL
Solve 404 errors & damaged linksLook into speed and optimise if neededDo a complete website auditUpdate site information
BackupCheck SEOWork on your low-performing pages
Take care of the commentsUpdate old content & publish new contentDelete useless plugin and theme
Scan & review security logsTest forms, downloadable assets linksCheck UX
Uptime downtime monitorDatabase cleanupReview user accounts & WordPress password

Disclaimer: Depending on the website’s size, some may even need daily checkups.

What Does Website Maintenance Mean Exactly? Why Do You Need Website Maintenance?

Website maintenance can be broadly defined as a website’s ongoing care and upkeep.

And in plain words……..A set of activities or actions for your website is to keep it up-to-date. Websites are essential to every business, and maintenance is crucial.

We categorized Website maintenance into 3 main groups: security, marketing, and technical.

Security Maintenance:

The first thing to care about on your website is security maintenance. This maintenance includes…..

  • Website data protection
  • Server stability
  • Protecting the personal information of customers
  • Regular backups
  • Fixing security patches, etc.
  • Visitors to your website will feel protected when surfing your website.

Marketing Maintenance: 

Sales are actually the main goal at the end of the day, right?

And this marketing maintenance is all about that. Marketing converts potential visitors into customers and develops a brand image. 

Even search engines care about it!!!!

If you maintain a Google-friendly marketing policy, there is a high chance that you can rank your website on the SERP as well.

But the question is……how to do that? 

Don’t worry; there is no need to buy any fancy tools. Simply by looking at the Google Search Console and Analytics data, you can deeply understand the behavior of customers and valuable information about your website. 

Cool, isn’t it?

Based on the data, you can take the following actions:

  • Updating website using SEO KW
  • Publishing content visitors interact with
  • Creating new offers, etc.

Following the above marketing maintenance steps, your website’s visibility and traffic will certainly increase.

Technical Maintenance: 

Let us confess this first…….this is a complicated aspect of website support. 

Your website layout can break anytime, or the page load can be slow. Fixing these problems is included in technical maintenance. So, take care of your website’s technical aspects, such as,

  • Speed optimization
  • Platform installation
  • Module updates, etc.

OK, I know what you are thinking- why will you put yourself through this process? Here are some benefits you can expect from investing your time in this matter.

  • Higher reliability and security
  • Excellent UX
  • Increase the possibility of ranking in Google and other search engines!

Let’s jump right into the checklist……

What are the Steps in Website Maintenance?

Don’t get overwhelmed seeing that long list.

In order to make the process straightforward, I shared all the tasks step-by-step, from weekly to yearly. So, shall we start?

Weekly Maintenance Checklist

#1. Go for a Thorough Updates

Tell us something…….

What do you see first when opening the dashboard of your site?

A couple of red warnings for various updates, right?

Don’t ignore this!!!!

Updates of security patches, plugins, themes, etc., happen regularly. Therefore, a prompt update is mandatory, guaranteeing your site’s smooth functioning.

And doing this on WordPress is super easy. All you have to do is click the update button, and the work is done in just a few minutes.

#2. Solve 404 Errors & Broken Links

Imagine yourself as a user….. You click the page, and it says ‘404 Not Found‘.

Most annoying things to come across as a visitor, right?

And this is why you have to solve this issue as soon as possible.

Broken links affect the user experience and SEO. Visitors will surely get frustrated if they don’t see anything in the result.

……….(Just like you).

Even an indexed page can get de-indexed when Google discovers the broken links. So yeah, Google considers those pages suspicious.

And how do I find these links?

Well, the Google Search Console is your friend (as always)!!!

Weekly check the Webmaster reports. Fix those broken links or redirect the 404 errors immediately once you find them.

#3. Take Care of the Comments

Thinking, are comments really that important?

Well, well, well…. don’t underestimate the power of those tiny conversations, honey.

Comments on websites are a huge part of the discussion around the site. And most importantly, a very effective way to get connected with your audience.

Some tips for taking care of comments:

  • Remove spam comments as soon as you find them. 
  • Keep track of which posts have received the most comments to determine which posts attract the most conversation and engagement.
  • Respond quickly to commenters– even if it’s just thanking them for comments, asking them to stop spamming your comments section with links to unrelated articles, or just cracking some jokes to have fun!

Pro Tips: Try not to get bogged down in commenting wars with opposing viewpoints.

#4. Make Backing Up the Site a Habit

Website data is actually your main asset.

So we gotta save this one anyway.

A website contains tons of data and content that would be costly if you lost it. Keeping a backup gives you peace of mind that if something happens wrong, you can quickly restore your site to its previous state.

So……what should you back up?

  • Database
  • Core files
  • Configuration files
  • Theme, plugins, uploads
  • Other valuable information

Yeah, literally everything.

The good news is that hosting also stores automatic backups every day. So if your hosting provides those features and benefits, that’s great. And if not, you should definitely do it manually once a week.

#5. Scan & Review Security Logs

There is a movement going on for cyber security.

Even November 30th marks as Computer Securities Day.

And that’s really appreciated.

Most probably, you are using WordPress. But keep in mind that WordPress, on its own, has little security.

Scanning security logs weekly is a practical way to help detect and prevent common security issues. By reviewing the security log, you can quickly identify and fix any issues that may have occurred. 

Here are 4 major factors to monitor in WordPress security logs…….

  1. Brute force attract
  2. File changes
  3. Malware scan
  4. User Activity

#6. Uptime Downtime Monitor

Nothing is more annoying than you clicking that order button, and the website shuts down or crashes.

Admit at.

And when you are a website owner, you should be more concerned about it. Here is why just one minute of downtime can cost your business thousands of dollars.

The moral of the story: 

You gotta avoid downtown anyhow. So what is Uptime/Downtime? Well, it usually shows in percentage and indicates how often your site is available and functioning at full capacity. So here are some tips to Prevent Excessive Downtime.

  • Try to use better hosting.
  • Consider the geographical location of the hosting provider.
  • Don’t pack your content with unnecessary videos or images, as it impacts speed.
  • Choose the platform (whether it’s WordPress, another CMS, or custom-made)

You can use free tools like DownNotifier and Super Monitoring if you want to check your Uptime Downtime percentage. However, for better insight, there are some reliable tools like Site24x7 or Pingdom.

Monthly Maintenance Checklist

#7. Check Website Performance through GA & GSC

Pay attention to your site’s Google Analytics and Search Console report at least once a month. 

What to look at?

Track traffic changes, analyze conversion and bounce rates, etc., to confirm a consistent performance. The main purpose is to know what is happening on your site.

Here is an awesome trick…….

Create a comparison chart of earlier months or years’ key metrics. This will let you identify problematic areas, make a decision, and take necessary steps accordingly. The good news is you can now connect your GA and GSC together and get complete insight in one place.

#8. Speed Up the Website!

The time had long passed when page speed was a minor thing.

It’s kinda a big deal nowadays.

Page-load speed is one of the most crucial factors for ranking. And not just Google or other search engines. Studies show that even as small as a few extra tenths of a second can adversely affect usability.

And guess what?

Website speed significantly influences UX, impacting bounce rates, user sessions, etc.
Check the speed with PageSpeed Insights once a month. If your site speed is less than 90, follow the Google suggestions and fix them quickly.

#9. Check SEO to Elevate Your Brand’s Profile

Ranked #1.

All digital marketers’ ultimate dream!!!!

The unwritten rule-without SEO, you can’t get the top spot in search engines.

The fact is……..

Search Engine Optimization helps different search engines understand which sites rank higher in search results based on the users’ queries on their platform. In the short term, SEO activities improve your site visibility.

What are we gonna practice? Of course, white-hat SEO procedure!!!

Some of the SEO activities are,

  • On-page and off-page SEO
  • Sitemap refreshing if required
  • Reviewing the reports of Google Search Console
  • External and internal link checking
  • Image Optimization
  • Set compelling page titles, image alt tags, descriptions, etc.

#10. Update Old Content & Publish New Content

As a web developer, you’ve heard the famous quote a million times- “content is king.”

Do you know who said it first?

Bill Gates.

Even more than 20 years later, content is still the main trump card. So take content publishing seriously.

Schedule the date of upcoming content to be published; it is recommended that you publish at least 4 articles per month (1 article per week) to gain domain authority.

As content publishers, we constantly update our content to be fresh and relevant to the latest trends and changes. However, sometimes old content can still be helpful and provide valuable information for readers. To help you update your old content, here are a few tips:

  1. Remove outdated information and replace it with up-to-date, more accurate data.
  2. Check the accuracy of your data.
  3. Use correct terminology when describing your data.
  4. Use the internal link to help Google understand and navigate your site well.

#11. Test Forms & Downloadable Assets Links

We use forms and surveys on our website, such as feedback surveys, contact forms, sign-up forms, application forms, registration forms, etc. 

But often, they show error messages.

That’s because your visitors are not familiar with it and are bound to make mistakes. So make sure that the form appears on the page correctly. Also, ensure that all Downloadable Assets Links are working correctly and users are not experiencing any difficulties.

#12. Database Clean Up

Data is everything.

So true.

But that doesn’t mean useless data isn’t there.

Data scientists spend 60% of their time cleaning data. And to avoid unwanted chaos on your website, you should have one motto.

Clean up, clean up and clean up!!!!

Start your cleaning process by asking yourself this question……

  • Is there any missing or inappropriate data?
  • Am I providing the wrong information?
  • Did I offer any non-conforming data?
  • How many duplicate records are there?

Got a list? Match the criteria now, and don’t hesitate to remove the garbage data.

Quarterly Maintenance Checklist

#13. Scan & De-clutter Useless Plugins and Themes

Running a website without the plugin?

We can’t even think about it.

In fact, it’s a plugin that helps WordPress become the most popular website builder. This awesome CMS makes our blogging life a whole lot easier.

……..And smooth the way for effortless site management.

But here is the problem…….

It may seem that plugins and themes are pretty innocent. Most plugins are usually free, but when incorporated with third-party solutions, they may pose a security threat to your site. Apart from that, they come up with lots of codes that will slow down your site.

Due to this reason, examine your plugins quarterly to check whether an active plugin can benefit you. If extensions don’t offer any benefits, either switch, deactivate, or delete them.

Decluttering your site can make it easier to navigate and faster to load, improving your website’s performance.

The simple equation is…….More files on your server mean each one takes longer to load. So don’t be lazy and press that delete button on those junk plugins and themes.

#14. Do a Comprehensive Website Audit

A big disclaimer first………Some marketers do this audit at the end of the year.

But we’re not taking the risk of losing ranking (& traffic).

Instead, conduct an in-depth audit of your website’s different aspects. Audits need to be performed from a technical and visual perspective. This will help you understand what to improve on your site. The audit can be done based on the following factors:

  • Website structure
  • Navigation
  • Site content
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Web accessibility
  • Graphics and layout
  • Technology options and their appropriateness

Why are we doing this?

Well, this assessment can help to identify areas where improvements could be made, as well as potential security risks.

#15. Find and Work with Your Under-Performing Pages

No matter how much you try…….not all the pages on the website work well.

There are hundreds of websites (including yours) trying to grab the position. So don’t get upset if some of your pages perform less well than expected.

Instead of worrying, we’re gonna take action.

Analyze your traffic data to identify which pages are generating the least activity. And check out whether these pages contain outdated content. And why is that?

Is your competitor publishing a killer article or seducing Google with links? Fix any problems and ensure that your page’s content is up-to-date.

Make sure you publish up-to-date information on underperforming pages and add fresh images and videos where possible.

#16. Device & Browser Compatibility & Responsiveness

In 2012, nearly all web traffic came through desktops (89.12 percent). 

Look at the figure now……

As of May 2022, 52.79% of the total web visits are mobile, compared to 47.21% from desktops.

The total game has changed!!!!

No one likes to browse with limited screen size, reduced accessibility features, and crashing or freezing. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

You shouldn’t just be relaxed thinking that your website is already mobile-friendly.

Check each page’s cross-border and responsive testing manually once every quarter of a year to ensure that users will have a positive experience using it on their multiple devices.

Here are the 3 main pillars of responsive web design-

  • Layout
  • Media
  • Typography

#17. UX

No matter how much time you put into the designing stage, there will be some flaws in UX which may remain unnoticed.

And it goes beyond UI design.

UX design principles include:

  • Establishing an understanding of the customer’s needs.
  • Taking into account the site’s environment and its content.
  • Designing features that will engage users.

Check accessible components such as color fonts and layout, use clear icons and buttons, make sure all elements are adjacent to one another on-screen, and avoid overwhelming pages with too much information.

The goal is to create a unique visitor experience that encourages them to stick around until they find what they’re looking for or leave searching for something else.

#18. Review User Accounts & WordPress Password

Always remember that hackers are trying to steal your data.

Passwords are the keys to entering your site. Thus, user accounts and passwords are always on their radar.

And if you are a WordPress user, you should be more careful. With over 60,000 free plugins,

WordPress can also be abused if not reviewed regularly.

If you have separate accounts for users, it’s wise to review both passwords once every quarter of a year. So that attackers don’t gain access to either account. Change the password frequently and use these tricks to make the password strong……

  • Go Long
  • Mix It Up with numbers, alphabet, symbols, etc.
  • Add Two-Factor Authentication

At the same time, inactive users’ accounts are not only useless, but they also pose certain security risks. So it’s better to remove those stale user accounts. Then, schedule a reminder to clean these messes quarterly. Here is how you do it……

Users > Settings>Security tab>Inactive Account Deletion Reminder

Yearly Maintenance Checklist

#19. Time to Renew Domain, Hosting, and SSL

Domain name renewal is an essential part of online security and maintenance. 

That’s not all…

Also, you must take care of the domain, hosting, and SSL yearly. 

Generally, a domain register notifies you about renewing your SSL certificate and domain name before expiration. In addition, some of the domains provided have the auto-renew SSL feature, which is pretty convenient. 

Also, consider whether you are comfortable continuing with your current hosting plan or changing it. Hosting plays a vital role in the performance of a website. Therefore, it is recommended that you start with top-quality hosting and, if necessary, change it because it plays a significant role in speed.

#20. Update Site Information

“Nothing is constant but change.”

The same rules go for the website. 

Nothing stands still, especially when it comes to information. 

Here is why:

Imagine you call the hotline number after seeing the contact page of a site and find out it’s not in service.

What will be your impression of that site?

Obviously not a pleasing feeling.

That’s why it’s essential to take care of this information. This could be about us, contact info on the contact page, or the latest changes in the privacy policy. Have a thorough check and change the information if you need any updates.

The Bottom Line…….

It’s no secret that keeping your website up-to-date and running smoothly is key to keeping your visitors happy and coming back.

And another thing………

This website maintenance checklist is not set in stone, and you can adjust the maintenance frequency according to your website. And you can also do the steps back and forth according to your need.

And did we miss anything significant? Let us know in the comment section; we’ll be happy to add that to the checklist. 

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Ciao for Today!!!!

Nazmul Asif

Nazmul is digital marketing & SEO strategist at DiviFlash. He has been involved in data-driven digital marketing and SEO for over 8 years, specializing in growth marketing, content marketing, marketing strategy, link building and outreach. Before working for DiviFlash, he rans SEO business providing consultancy services.

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