WordPress Maintenance Checklist

Neil Forrester

July 19, 2022

WordPress Maintenance Checklist

Click to download a PDF version of this WordPress Website Checklist.

WordPress Maintenance Checklist

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System powering over 455 million websites around the world! It popularity and success means that there are many plugins and themes to transform WordPress into a site that’s right for you.

There is also a flip side to its popularity. With so many businesses now using WordPress for their website it makes it the system more vulnerable to hackers who exploit outdated plugins, themes and WordPress itself.

The best way to prevent your website being hacked or failing is to keep it maintained, backed up and secure. This post explains the correct updating process and plugins you can use to protect your business website and investment.

If you prefer someone else to do this for you, we provide Managed WordPress Hosting service on our website.

WordPress Maintenance Checklist

Managed WordPress Hosting is a service we provide that ensures your website hosting has enough resources, disk space and allows us to look after your website like it was our own!

Maintenance Mode

Before applying any updates put your website into Maintenance Mode. To enable maintenance mode you will need a plugin. Plugins can be found at: wordpress.org/plugins/

WordPress sites need to go into maintenance before applying updates so that visitors are not trying to place orders or complete forms during this process.

Recommended Maintenance Mode Plugins

  • WP Maintenance Mode & Coming Soon
  • SeedProd Under Construction

Disable & Clear Cache

Disable & flush any cache service you have installed on your website. Some web hosting companies install a cache service on your CPANEL. If this is the case login to your CPANEL and disable & flush the cache plugin there.

Backup your website

Once your website is in maintenance mode, create a full working backup of your website and save the file to your computer.

Recommended Backup Plugins

  • All-in-One WP Migration
  • UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin.

Note: If you have an ecommerce website it might be worth cloning your website and applying updates on a staging platfom to ensure everything works as required. If all is well, apply the updates to your ‘live’ website.

Update Plugins, Theme & WordPress

With your website in maintenance mode and fully backed up we can now begin the process of safely applying updates.

Go to Plugins / Installed Plugins

  1. Update none WooCommerce plugins
  2. Update WooCommerce related plugins
  3. Update WooCommerce.

Update your website theme.

Go to: Dashboard / Appearance / Themes Update all theme to their latest version.

Update the WordPress operating system.

Go to: Dashboard / Updates Update WordPress to the latest version.

Test

View your website at the fron end and check:

  • The layout looks correct.
  • Forms submit correctly.
  • Ordering is working correctly on WooCommerce websites.

Disable Maintenance Mode

Disable maintenance mode to make your website live.

Re-enable Cache

Re-enable & flush your website cache again.

How Often Should You Update Your Website?

You should apply updates to your WordPress site at least once per month. In some instances updates need to be applied straight away if a know vulnerability has been detected and your website uses it.

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