Running a blog is a huge task and sometimes Webmasters forget that to keep your blog running like clockwork, you need to perform certain maintenance jobs. These tasks are very important and keep your site free from errors and running smoothly.
It does not matter if you have a massive authority site or just a small blog, it is devastating when something happens to your precious site. Performing regular updates and maintenance jobs can help you avoid problems in the future. Also having everything organized and backed up is a bonus when disaster strikes.
Five Ways to Keep Your Blog Maintained
Keeping your website maintained is not rocket science. WordPress has improved and everything is done at the push of a button. There are plug-ins for everything, including backing up your database, securing your WordPress website and more.
1. Updating WordPress Latest Version and Plugins
One of the most important ways to keep your blog running properly is to update to the latest version of WordPress. Neglecting to do this can leave your blog open to security threats and errors with incompatibility. It is so simple to update WordPress that it is a crime.
- To check this, you need to visit your WordPress dashboard.
- Press on updates in the menu and you will see what updates you need to perform.
- In this section, all updates will be shown. This is where you can update WordPress, update plug-ins, and update themes.
- All you have to do is tick the box next to the updates you want to perform and then press the update button.
Like I said, if you fail to update WordPress blog, you will encounter various technical problems in the future. Most of the time, the updates include latest security features, and fixes for any technical vulnerabilities which have been found to exist in the previous version of WordPress.
Also the great thing about updating your plug-ins through this WordPress feature is that you can update more than one plug-in at the same time. Even if 10 plug-ins need updating, all you have to do is tick them all and then press update.
2. Backup the WordPress Blog
Another way to keep your blog running smoothly is to perform backups of your web content. There are several plugins that are available such as VaultPress that allows you to back up your files. However, this can cost you another expenses. There are free back up plugins like WP-DB Manager that do the same thing but with significant difference from VaultPress. If your blog is very important for you then we recommend you to settle with the paid back up plugins.
Another way to keep a backup is if this service is included with your hosting package. When I first started blogging I had a small hosting package that cost me $10 and now I have a dedicated hosting package that costs around $200 a month and includes backup. When your site starts earning a large income you must be even stricter about backups and security and get top WordPress website hosting to keep you safe.
3. Spam Messages and Comments
If you allow your visitors to leave comments and messages, you need to check your dashboard regularly to moderate these comments. Firstly, you do not want to accept comments from spammers as this is not good for your site's reputation. Remove these comments from your blog by pressing either the spam or trash link under the comments in your dashboard.
Then there is the spam comments that have actually already reached the spam folder. There are several spam messages and comments that can affect your blog. To avoid this, you need to navigate the comments section in your dashboard and clear all spam comments.
See the screenshot below. In my dashboard I have a choice to Spam or Trash a comment. Of course I would not do that to Anton from Social Media Marketing but I just love his avatar so I thought I would use him as an example.
4. Fixing Broken Links
If you accept comments on your blog then you also might be giving your website visitors a link back to their blogs. This is great but sometimes people put in the wrong link, therefore causing your blog to link to 404 error pages. This needs to be checked and this isn't the only way you could have broken links.
I like to install the plug-in called broken link checker. I must admit it can slow your blog down when you first install it, but then it shows you all the broken links and you can prepare them. After that I usually disable the plug-in and enable it again when I need it.
The W3C check link utility is a useful tool that can also help you in removing broken links.
Never underestimate a broken link. I have had websites drop out of the search engines completely because I had broken links. You probably would not believe it, but this has happened to me a few times over the years. I guess it gets worse when you get bigger websites.
It does not matter if it is an internal link you have built as part of your link building strategy or a link from a comment, either way it is causing errors.
5. Install Plugins
Plugins are amazing and I have some fantastic ones that keep my blog running for me. For example I have the CommentLuv premium plug-in that not only takes care of commenting but also blocks a lot of spam. Another plug-in is the WP-BDManager that backs up your data base, cleans out old tables and more. And then there are security plugins such as BulletProof Security. There are many plug-ins that are needed to help keep your blog running like clockwork. I could not even imagine having to do all this work myself as the plug-ins do it all for me.
Aside from this you can also check your RSS feed to see if it is working properly. You need to confirm the feed is showing what you expect it to. It is also important for you to check Contact forms on your blog to make sure they are working correctly. You can lose a lot of contacts all business if your forms are not working.
Unfortunately I cannot cover all aspects of blog maintenance in this one article as would almost need to write a book. I'm not saying that it is hard, but it can get detail when it comes to security and backup. But the main thing is that you are aware that you need to do these things to keep your blog running smoothly.