Any machinery, in order to work perfectly requires proper maintenance and fine tuning, without which you’re going to end up with a rickety one. This holds true for your WordPress site too or any website for that matter.
Periodic/scheduled maintenance job would require you perform all the below on your WordPress site: WordPress has being found to be vulnerable to security threats, primarily due to outdated software versions that put your site at risk of hacking or virus/malware attack or other serious security problems. The most effective option to counter this threat is to have your WordPress site backed up regularly. Your files include everything that you can see on the screen or the various elements that give your site its form; the “front-end”. Your database is the data that is connected to your files; the “back-end”. It’s advisable to have your backup on your local machine in order to avoid unnecessary complications while retrieving it from your host server.
Backing up your files
While there are more than one option to backup your files, the ideal one would be to use FTP clients such as FileZilla to save the entire directory to your computer. Other means to backup your files are:
- Using a backing up software.
- Aligning your computer with your server
Backing up your MySql
Using phpMyAdmin is the manual method of backing up your MySql. MySql administration is done with the help of phpMyAdmin; it can be accessed from the control panel (Cpanel). Here’s how you go about it.
- Once you’re inside phpMyAdmin, select the database that houses your WordPress data and click on the Export.
- Under Structure you’ve to check Add DROP TABLE/VIEW/PROCEDURE/FUNCTION, Add IF NOT EXISTS, Add AUTO_INCREMENT Value, Enclose table and field names with backquotes and Add CREATE PROCEDURE/FUNCTION
- You have to select the Save as file type as .sql format.
- Clicking on the Go button would save the database onto your computer.
Restoring your database
Your database can be restored easily onto the server with an FTP client. The steps are as under:
- Inside phpMyAdmin, select the database into which you wish to import your data and click on the Import tab.
- In the following screen, browse to locate the .sql format file in your computer.
- Check the Partial Import section.
- Under Format of imported file check SQL button and click on Go
In addition to the periodic backing up exercise, a structured maintenance schedule, consisting of the following, can plug serious issues.
Keeping your WordPress site up-to-date:
Being an open source platform, you can always expect patches and upgrades released by the developer community. You can automate the upgrades, but it’s advisable to do it manually by yourself.
Latest on WordPress:
In order to be abreast with the latest developments relating to WordPress, you need to be regularly checking the various online WordPress forums. These discussion forums help you have the recent news on WordPress. Meanwhile, you might participate in these discussions to provide suggestions or solutions to the issues others face.
Regular backing up:
This is the most important aspect of the maintenance routine. Your files and its database should be backed up on a regular basis on both your server and computer. This goes a long way in incubating your site from being lost on account of any unforeseeable event. The frequency of this operation varies according to the amount of data that is being added to your site, but generally you can consider backing up on a monthly basis.
Making your website light:
Your site could be heavy due to the accumulation of suspected spams in the spam plugins. These plugins, generally, empties itself after a period; but certain plugins don’t. Hence, you can make your site function smoothly by deleting these spams at regular intervals.
Your site functions well under increased traffic only, if you test its functionality regularly. Hence, you should be doing this as and when you make major changes to your site.
Alternatively, you can schedule automatic backups using WordPress plugins. Preferably you can have multiple copies of your backup, to be stored in different devices in case one becomes unusable. While automatic backups do the job without any need for manual intervention, it’s highly recommended that you manually backup your site once in a while to avoid any anomaly. After all an extra amount of vigilance doesn’t go waste.