8 Steps for Cleaning up Your WordPress Website


by Kristal Reagan

Fall season is approaching us and with the fall season comes maintenance, house maintenance, HVAC maintenance, car maintenance and we do this maintenance to get ready and prepared for the weather conditions of winter. We want to find any problems before we are left stuck, without heat or a reliable car.

What are you doing to maintain your WordPress website this season? Anything? Your website is a huge investment of time and money and it’s the backbone to your business so shouldn’t you have a maintenance plan in place?

The maintenance you should be performing on your site is:

  1. Backup your site-you should have regular backups scheduled behind the scenes for your site. How frequent your updates are will depend on how frequently you blog or update your site. Monthly may work for some and for others, you may want weekly and very busy membership sites may choose daily. Plugin: Backup Buddy by iThemes
  2. Update Your site-Make sure your WordPress Core is up-to-date and make sure ALL your plugins and themes are up-to-date. (Tip: complete a full backup first and download it, update ONE thing at a time and each time check your site before going to the next one.)
  3. Check your plugin list-Do you see any plugins in your list that you are no longer using? Delete them!
  4. Delete unused Themes-remember all those themes you downloaded before you found the right one? Delete the ones you are not using. (PS keep the WordPress core themes like twenty-eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen)
  5. Scan for MalwareWordfence is a great plugin with a built-in malware scan
  6. Check spam comments/pings– Check for any spam or pings that may have been missed by your spam protection. Plugin: Akismet (which does come installed with WordPress by default, you’ll need to activate it to get a key and get protected)
  7. Check for any broken links/missing images– We all delete irrelevant things or make updates to refresh and some of us even move our sites so we want to make sure all the links in our site are working and that we don’t have any missing images, it happens! Plugin: Broken Link Checker
  8. Then backup (full backup) again!

Why backup again? Because the update before you did the maintenance is insurance if something goes wrong in your maintenance process. The after update is so that if something goes wrong tomorrow you won’t have to re-do the maintenance.




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4 Replies to “8 Steps for Cleaning up Your WordPress Website”

  1. Rachel

    Hi Kristal. Thanks for this info. I just recently started blogging and there’s so much to learn, particularly when technology is not my thing. I just like writing! Little by little I’m picking up tips on how to do this. I’ll check out some of the links for plugins that you suggest.

    1. Kristal Reagan

      Hey Rachel! You’re welcome and thank you for stopping by to comment. I hope you find that some of the plugins make your life easier in the world of WordPress. Speaking of picking up tips, if you click on my name it will take you to my site and right on the home page you’ll see an icon that takes you to some free training videos and quick tips on my YouTube channel. Maybe it can be a resource for you.

  2. Reginald

    Hi Kristal,

    Excellent write and thank you. I used not to do any clean ups but when my blogs hit over 100 posts, cleaning up is really insane.

    So my advice is start as soon as possible! There’s nothing more important than that.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kristal Reagan

      You are right Reginald. I had a client that had over 2000 spam comments even with the help of a plugin that was insane to get through! Thanks for posting!

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