How Your WordPress Site is Like Your Car

Kim PierceallRunning a Business, Website Design, Web Management

web site mainenance


As a youth, my idea of a great car was one that got you where you wanted to go. From my jet black Chevy wagon (which sucked through a quart of oil per week) to my Dodge Duster (where the brakes rusted into the trunk held in place only by the lid), I didn’t fuss much with looks or maintenance. I learned my lesson.

Now, regardless of time or cashflow, my trusty old sedan gets regular check-ups. Oil gets changed, tires get rotated, problems get solved. Instead of finding myself stranded with a crisis breakdown or trying to offload a dead hunk of metal, I have a smoothly running car. Better for me. Better for the environment.

WordPressSame goes for your web site, especially if it is running on the WordPress platform. (Okay, the environment part might be a stretch.)

The platform runs on a zippy active database out there on the server. Instead of web pages built in a program on a desktop and “posted” to the server, everything in WordPress happens on the fly. The immediacy and flexibility were borne out of the needs of the original blogging community.

If you are not blogging regularly—and even if you are—log into your Dashboard at least once each month and see which items are highlighted for updates. Be sure to run a fresh back up before you do anything. (We recommend Back-Up Buddy from iThemes.) And keep a second tab open with the live site showing. After each update, refresh that tab to be sure the site is still functioning properly with the new update activated.

WordPress Web Site Maintenance Checklist

  • Platform
    You may need an upgrade for the latest version of WordPress or for your professional theme, such as the Genesis Framework. Update to the latest version.
  • Plug-ins
    Whether you paid for the plug-in or it is free/shareware, the best ones are regularly updated to keep up with WordPress and other changes. Keep them up-to-date, too.
  • Comments
    Manage new comments as quickly as possible to keep the conversation going. But even if your site isn’t geared toward that type of interaction, check this section of your Dashboard regularly to clean out spam and make sure your filters (like Akismet and JetPack) are working. Plus, no matter how good the blockers will be, new hacks happen. Trash interlopers accordingly.
  • Contents
    Look fresh, not static. Some part of your site could always use an update, even if it is designed to be simple “brochure-ware”. It’s good for SEO (search engine optimization) and keeps visitors engaged when they return, no matter what type of business you have.