WordPress Maintenance Process

Learn how to perform a complete WordPress Maintenance routine to keep your WordPress site updated and your files and data fully backed up and protected.

The WordPress Site Maintenance Process

The focus of our WordPress Management, WordPress Optimization, and WordPress Security tutorials is to help you create an effective system that will allow you to perform a regular WordPress site maintenance routine to ensure that your WordPress software, plugins, data, and files are kept regularly up-to-date and fully backed up, and protect your website from malicious attacks, security risks, vulnerable exploits, and other potential online threats.

The WordPress Maintenance Process

WordPress Site Maintenance Process

(WordPress Site Maintenance Process)

This training module explains why performing regular WordPress site maintenance is important, describes the main components of the WordPress maintenance process, and shows you how to put everything together.

In other tutorials, we:

  • Discuss methods for performing WordPress data backup and recovery and how to automate these,
  • Provide step-by-step instructions on how to backup and restore your WordPress data and settings manually,
  • Provide troubleshooting tips and solutions to common WordPress problems
  • Explore ways to optimize and keep your WordPress site secure
  • Show you how to completely restore or reinstall your site if required.

Useful Information

Our tutorials take you through a complete WordPress Maintenance routine. Please do not skip any of the tutorials in this training module.

Why WordPress Site Maintenance Is Important

Unlike many static websites, WordPress sites and blogs are dynamic. Having a dynamic web presence means having more things to look after and maintain more often.

WordPress constantly updates its core software application in order to:

  • Prevent malicious users from exploiting vulnerabilities that would allow them to hack into millions of WordPress sites,
  • Fix bugs discovered in previous versions, and
  • Provide new enhancements and improved features to users

Because of the above, WordPress versions frequently become outdated and need to be regularly updated …

WordPress sites need to be kept up-to-date

(WordPress sites need to be kept up-to-date)

If you are a WordPress user, this creates a number of maintenance issues. For example:

Maintenance Issue #1 – Keeping Your WordPress Site Regularly Updated

WordPress updates its software frequently (every few months) to provide improved security to your site, bug fixes and new features (which means that you need to keep your site updated too for maximum security and optimal performance) …

WordPress regularly provides updates to fix bugs and improve security

(WordPress regularly provides updates to fix bugs and improve security)

Keeping your WordPress site up-to-date is very important to make sure that all maintenance and security releases are installed. Neglect this important task and your site will become exposed to many exploits and security vulnerabilities from previous versions …

Don't neglect updating WordPress!

(Don’t neglect updating WordPress!)

Maintenance Issue #2 – Keeping Your WordPress Plugins & Themes Regularly Updated

Whenever WordPress updates its core software, some of your WordPress plugins and/or themes may also become outdated and may need to be upgraded to prevent conflicts and errors …

Plugins need to be regularly updated

(Plugins need to be regularly updated)

In fact, as I was putting this tutorial together, I received the email below from a WordPress developer about a WordPress plugin that I have installed on many of my sites …

Updates to WordPress also affect many WordPress plugins

(Updates to WordPress also affect many WordPress plugins)

As you can see from the above screenshot, the plugin needed to be updated because an incompatibility issue was discovered after WordPress released an updated version.

This is not uncommon. As you add more plugins to your WordPress site, you will see that many of these plugins will need to be updated every time WordPress releases a new version.

Even Google sends out notifications to WordPress users with reminders to keep sites updated … and Google doesn’t even own WordPress!

Even Google will notify you of updates to WordPress

(Even Google will notify you of updates to WordPress)

Maintenance Issue #3 – Protecting Your Site From Security Vulnerabilities

Performing regular maintenance protects your WordPress site from hackers and malicious users. Hackers love a challenge and they love opportunities to brag to their peers about their exploits.

Imagine, therefore, what would happen if they found a vulnerability in the WordPress software that could be exploited – a platform used by over 20 million businesses and individual users.

Hackers can easily code scripts that will scour the web searching for sites that use the installation version with the vulnerability and can potentially wreak unimaginable havoc on those sites …

Updating WordPress protects your site from hackers and malicious users.

(Updating WordPress protects your site from hackers and malicious users.)

Maintenance Issue #4 – Troubleshooting Common WordPress Problems & Errors

As part of your regular maintenance, expect to run into issues and problems that will need troubleshooting when upgrades, installations and other things go wrong with your WordPress site …

Like all software, expect to run into occasional problems.

(Like all software, expect to run into occasional problems.)

Maintenance Issue #5 – Restoring Your Website Files / Reinstalling Your WordPress Site

Unlike regular websites, not only are you required to back up all of your site’s files in case you need to restore or reinstall your site …

WordPress files need to be regularly backed up

(WordPress files need to be regularly backed up)

But all of your site’s data (i.e. the content and information inside your posts, pages, comments, categories, settings, etc.) are stored in a MySQL database, which you will also need to back up on a regular basis …

All of your WordPress data is stored in a MySQL database

(All of your WordPress data is stored in a MySQL database)

Maintenance Issue #6 – Preventing Loss Of Valuable Data

Last, but not least, MySQL databases can and often do fail …

WordPress databases can and do fail

(WordPress databases can and do fail)

As you can see, maintaining a WordPress site regularly updated, backed up and fully protected requires a lot more work than maintaining a regular static website …

What about website maintenance?

(What about website maintenance?)

If you’re not performing regular WordPress maintenance, then you are seriously putting your online presence and business at risk.

Why Is WordPress Maintenance Important? Video Summary

The video below provides a summary of the importance of performing WordPress mainenance on a regular basis …

The WordPress Maintenance Process – Overview

The WordPress site maintenance routine described in these tutorials follows a specific sequence of steps designed to save time and help you avoid problems.

For example …

You should not update your WordPress plugins before updating your WordPress installation – upgrading to later plugin versions on older WordPress installations may cause problems with conflicting software.

But …

If you update your WordPress installation before backing up your WordPress database and something goes wrong, you may have to restore your data, or completely reinstall your site.

However …

You should not backup your WordPress database before cleaning up and optimizing your WordPress data – unnecessary data not only increases your database size, it can also cause errors when re-importing data.

As you can see, having an effective system for performing regular WordPress maintenance tasks is important.

This also applies to other areas of WordPress site maintenance. For example, you will want to create an organized system for storing and retrieving old plugins and previous installation upgrades in case you experience problems and need to troubleshoot errors on your site.

To complete your WordPress maintenance routine as efficient as possible, we recommend learning to perform all of the tasks shown in the tutorials in this module in their suggested order.

WordPress Maintenance Process – Flowchart

The flowchart below shows an overview of the processes involved in performing a complete WordPress site maintenance routine:

The WordPress Maintenance Process

(The WordPress Maintenance Process – click above to enlarge image)

Practical Tip

Although the above may look complicated and time-consuming, it’s not! You only need to set up the system once and many areas of the WordPress maintenance process can be automated using inexpensive solutions.  Once you have performed the maintenance routine a few times (we provide a checklist in later tutorials), it will only take you a few minutes each month to keep your WordPress site fully maintained and up-to-date.

WordPress Site Maintenance Process – Main Components

There are 5 main components in the WordPress Site Maintenance process:

  1. Removing unnecessary data from your site (e.g. SPAM)
  2. Backing up all data and files before performing any updates
  3. Checking to see if updates are required
  4. Updating / upgrading site components to their latest versions
  5. Restoring / reinstalling data if required

1) Remove Unnecessary Data From Your WordPress Site

Before backing up your WordPress data, it’s a good idea to first delete anything that is unnecessary on your site. This could include Comment Spam, inactive plugins, obsolete posts, etc …

Deleting unnecessary data from your site before backing up your MySQL database not only helps to reduce your backup file size but more importantly, if you have to restore your data later, you won’t be re-importing things like spam and other unwanted data into your site.

To learn more about this step, see the tutorial below:

2) Back Up All Data And Files

After removing all unwanted data from your site, the next step is to back up both your MySQL database and your WordPress files before performing upgrades. This step is important, as it will allow you to restore your data or reinstall your site if any errors occur after upgrading your site or plugins.

Even if no components of your site need to be updated or upgraded, it is still important to complete this step. Performing regular file and data backups is part of having an effective site maintenance program.

As you will learn in subsequent modules, there are automated methods you can use to perform WordPress site backups. We will cover these in detail later. We will also provide a step-by-step tutorial for performing manual backups if your server or hosting configuration doesn’t allow you to automate these tasks, or if you want to be absolutely sure that your data and files have actually been backed up properly (automation can fail).

3) Check To See If Updates Are Required

After completing Step 2, the next step is to go through your site and check if you need to upgrade your WordPress site, plugins, or themes to the latest version.

Part of this process may involve making a decision not to upgrade your site or a particular plugin to their latest version. The reasons for this will be explained in later tutorials.

4) Update / Upgrade Site Components

After establishing that your site and/or plugins and themes need to be updated, the next step is to perform the actual upgrades.

Some of the regular maintenance that you should always perform on your blog is to make sure that your WordPress application, plugins, and themes are always updated to their latest version. This ensures that nothing conflicts with one another and that everything runs smoothly inside your WordPress installation. If everything is kept updated to the most recent version, nothing in your site is going to slow down over time and cause you issues or problems.

As you will learn in other tutorials in this training module, there are automated methods you can use to perform WordPress updates. We will cover these methods in detail and provide a step-by-step tutorial for performing manual updates and upgrades if your server or hosting configuration doesn’t allow you to automate these tasks, or if you prefer to do things manually.

5) Restore / Reinstall Site Data (If Required)

Sometimes things go wrong and you may need to restore some or all of your data, or even reinstall your site completely.

Knowing how to restore or reinstall your site is also useful if you are migrating your site to another location, domain or web server (e.g. changing web hosting providers).

WordPress Maintenance Process Overview – Video Summary

The video below provides a summary of the WordPress Maintenance process described in this tutorial …

***

Congratulations on completing this tutorial! You should now have a clear understanding of the WordPress Site maintenance process and why it is important to perform regular website maintenance and follow a maintenance routine.

Now that you understand the WordPress maintenance process, the next step is to create a system that will help you get organized so you can perform your WordPress maintenance routine quickly and effectively.

To learn how to create a system on your hard drive for downloading, archiving and retrieving your WordPress data and files, see the tutorial below:

The WordPress Site Maintenance Process

(Source: Pixabay)

***

"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya

***

Backup Creator – WordPress Backup Plugin

Backup Creator is an easy-to-use plugin that allows you to backup your WordPress data, clone your websites, and protect your sites against data loss.

One of the serious consequences of doing business in the Internet Age is that we are constantly under the potential threat of having our business assets hacked into and our business and personal data stolen.

Backup Creator - Backup, Clone And Protect Your WP Sites

If you own anything where data can be viewed online like a blog or company website, then you need to prioritize online security and the importance of implementing an digital business security and site recovery plan.

In addition to having an internet security plan for your business, you will also want to prevent data loss from human mistakes that can cause significant damage or disruption to your business. Having a way to fully restore your site, files or data in extreme cases is something that most people only appreciate once tragedy has struck.

Backup Creator - Backup, Clone And Protect Your WP Website

Then again, you may also want to save time. If parts of your business require setting up multiple websites or blogs, having a time-saving way to clone website information from one site to another would be most convenient.

As the old adage goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Backing up your WP website, therefore, is absolutely essential. The truth, however, is that left to their own devices, people rarely do it, or don’t do it as often as these things should be done.

Let’s face it … getting your web site hacked, losing data, and installing scripts that disrupt your site is all part of doing business online. If disaster ever strikes, then you will need an easy and quick way to restore lost data, restore your site to an earlier version, or even complete reinstall your site and information.

Fortunately, if you own a WP-powered web site, then there’s a simple tool that allows you to create backups of your WordPress database and site files, clone your website to another location and restore your old site and data.

Backup Creator – Backup, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Site Protected

Backup Creator - Backup, Clone And Protect Your WP Sites(Backup Creator – Back Up, Clone And Keep Your WP Website Protected)

Plugin Description

Backup Creator is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows you to schedule and automate your site and file back ups, duplicate your websites and blogs and keep your WordPress web sites protected.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Site ProtectedAfter installing and activating Backup Creator on your WP site, your settings for the plugin can be quickly and easily configured. The plugin lets you set up backups to run automatically, email backups, backups via FTP, cloud backups, or even store backups remotely using third-party hosting solutions such as Amazon S3, Google Drive, and Dropbox.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate And Protect Your WP WebsitesMore info: Backup Creator

Benefits Of Using Backup Creator

Here are just some of the benefits of using Backup Creator to schedule and automate WordPress backups on your web site:

Ready To Start Using In Very Little Time

Backup Creator is really easy to install. Simply upload the plugin file to your Plugin folder via your admin user section and activate.

Once you’ve entered the license key, the plugin unlocks and the application will be ready to use.

Very Simple To Use

Backup Creator makes the whole process of creating regular backups as well as restoring and protecting your blogs and WordPress web sites very simple. Everything can be done with a few mouse clicks. Backup Creator is an ideal backup tool for non-technical users.

Saves Loads Of Time

As well as saving time and benefiting from the peace of mind of knowing that your data and files can be quickly recovered in case of disaster, Backup Creator is especially useful for anyone who needs to set up multiple WordPress sites with identical configurations.

Once you’ve set up your prototype site, you can then clone as many copies as you want. That’s a lot of time saved setting up and configuring new sites.

Some additional benefits of the plugin include the following:

  • Perform Large Backups: Quite often, owners of very large websites can experience problems with backups. Plugin customers report being able to easily perform data backups of large sites. Note: the plugin’s ability to perform backups above certain sizes may depend on your webhost and how your server is configured.
  • Peace Of Mind: We’ve mentioned this point already, but it’s worth repeating again. Knowing that your data and files can be easily recovered should anything happen to your site is priceless, especially when things depend on your site being up and running.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone And Protect Your WordPress Web Sites

Features

Backup Creator offers many great features to WP users. Here are just some of these:

  • Instant Backup. Click 1 button to backup your site. Once your site is backed up, you can then ship it securely to the destination of your choice. Download the backup to your hard drive, send it to yourself via email, or even FTP the backup offsite.
  • Instant Backup Restore. Instantly restore your WordPress web site or blog to any destination you like. You can copy it directly from another website, upload via your internet browser or even transfer via FTP, Amazon S3, or Dropbox.
  • Server-to-Server Technology. Backup Creator’s proprietary “Server-to-Server” technology ensures that you can quickly and easily deploy any number of client sites pre-configured in a few seconds, without the use of FTP.

Additional features include:

  • One-Time Automatic Backup Schedules: Once you set up your backup schedule, the software does the automatically. There are no files to upload and no cron jobs or FTP is required. Just select your schedule and you are done.
  • Choose From Remote FTP And Cloud Storage Services Like Dropbox, Google Drive, And Amazon S3. Restore, store, and manage all of your backups and clones in one single offsite location and from any place around the world using remote FTP, Amazon S3, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

Backup offsite to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, or all of the above.

(Backup offsite to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, or all of the above.)

With BackUp Creator, you can perform backups with just one click …

Backup Creator - Backup, Clone And Protect Your WordPress Web SitesThe plugin performs your backup in seconds …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone And Keep Your WordPress Websites And Blogs ProtectedYou can restore your backups whenever you want using several restore methods …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WP Site ProtectedYou can also store your backup files remotely, or in the cloud …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate And Protect Your WordPress WebsiteUser Testimonials

Below are a couple of the testimonials that plugin customers have provided for Backup Creator:

”I installed Backup Creator on my site several weeks ago. Yesterday the company whose theme I use sent me an upgrade. I upgraded and to my surprise, all of my formatting was lost. Graphics, colors, column settings, everything. It took me the better part of two weeks to create all of this. Luckily, I used Backup Creator before I installed the upgrade. I followed the directions and in less than 5 minutes my site was recovered and back on line! Backup Creator is a life saver.” Warren Hayford, RatioWriter.com

***

“This is exactly what I was looking for! Literally 2 minutes after initial download, I had a completely cloned and perfectly set up blog … literally saving me at least 30 minutes of set up. When I combine that with the time it would have taken me to set up the dozens of sites I build each month — you get the picture. Worth its weight in gold” Jenn Dize, DollhouseSales.com

***

”You have truly created one of the finest plugins I have ever used. I believe it is the first one that has ever been as simple to use at it was shown on the sales video.”Michael Scroggins, MichaelScroggins.com

***

Useful Tips

Here are some great uses for this plugin:

Instant Documentation Of Site Processes.

Instead of spending so much time documenting all of the processes required to make your website or blog work “just right”, or writing out a website setup manual, you can just set up your blog exactly how you want it, back it up|duplicate the site and then restore it on a new location and now you’ve got an exact, “documented” copy of your site setup.

For example, let’s say that you want to set up multiple websites with identical plugins, settings, and configurations in different niche areas. This could be for a national company, or a travel agency with offices in several locations, where each office will manage the content of their own separate website. Think of all the time spent tweaking and fine-tuning your site so that it looks just right and works exactly the way you want it to. You can now instantly install a fully-functioning, perfectly configured website every single time with only a couple of mouse clicks.

Copy A Website With Correct Internal Referencing Links.

Simply backing up WordPress files and restoring WordPress file backups won’t duplicate your sites successfully. You also have to copy the WordPress database and ensure that your links reference the new domain. Otherwise, your WordPress database data will be restored to another site, but still be pointing back to the old site. This is why it’s important to have a backup plugin that was specifically developed for cloning. This lets you perform a backup of site “A” and restore it to site “B” with all your themes, plugins, settings and configurations included, and everything will point correctly to the new site (i.e. site “B”), instead of referencing the old one (site “A”).

Don’t Fix Serious Problems … Restore!

Here’s another practical time-saving tip: if your blog ever gets hacked, or an unauthorized user somehow gets in and causes some kind of damage to your site, instead of spending days or weeks trying to fix things, just make a backup of your broken site, delete your old site, then restore a previous working copy. Your site is now functional again and you can send the damaged files to a WP expert who can then try to understand how your site got broken into and how to patch up or report any vulnerabilities.

Here’s one last tip:

Archive Your Site’s Changes Over Time.

Imagine that a few years from now your business has grown and transformed into an online success. Wouldn’t it be great to show people how your digital presence began? Or maybe you’ve changed things around on your site so much and would like to bring things back to a place of simplicity. Perhaps you’ve accidentally deleted a bunch of articles or videos and want to get those back.

If you keep a weekly backup of your site, the chances of losing important information are minimal because you no longer have to worry about where everything is stored or organized. Just recall the time when you remember you had that file, restore your backup (note: your backup can be retrieved from anywhere, even on a test site) and grab the file you need.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Keep Your WP Websites ProtectedSupport

Backup Creator is a robust and well-supported plugin. It was developed by Robert Plank, lead WordPress plugin developer for Double Agent Marketing LLC. Backup Creator support includes a detailed step-by-step online user guide, video tutorials, support helpdesk and one year of free software updates and new releases with their purchase, backed by a no-risk, sixty day, 100% refund guarantee.

Note: Check the plugin website for a list of web hosts that support the plugin and any known issues with these.

”Easy install, great training material and plugin works like a dream.”Gede Kencana, AutoInsuranceZone.org

Software Cost

Backup Creator is available in the following editions:

  • Express – Backup Creator Express edition lets you install the plugin on up to 5 personal domains that you own. You can perform unlimited backups and restores only. Cost = $7.00.
  • Ultimate – Backup Creator Ultimate edition lets you install the plugin on unlimited personal URLs, as well as schedule automatic backups, send email backups as an attachment, back up and restore over FTP, Amazon S3, Dropbox and Backup Creator Cloud, restore backups from browser uploads and choose which folders to back up. Cost = $47.00.
  • Developer Edition – Backup Creator Developer lets you install the plugin on unlimited personal and client sites. You can also sell websites with the plugin installed. Note: Developer edition is only available as an upgrade inside your product download area. Cost = $100.00 (+ the cost of purchasing either the Express or Ultimate plugin editions).

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Keep Your WP Websites And Blogs ProtectedPlease Note: Price details for the Backup Creator product depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time special offers. When we last checked, the product sells for the amounts shown above. This may not be the actual pricing charged by the software author when you visit the product site and there may be additional upsells or one-time offers after you’ve purchased.

Check the plugin’s website for the latest price:

Additional Info

For ”how to” videos showing how the software works, including installation instructions and tutorials, FAQs, customer help desk, testimonials, contact details and more, visit the Backup Creator website.

We Recommend

Performing regular backups of your website is an essential aspect of doing good website maintenance and ensuring that your website remains protected from disaster. There are many great WordPress backup plugins available, but BackUp Creator doesn’t just perform backups, it also allows you to completely copy your sites and preconfigured WordPress installations.

For this reason, we strongly recommend using the Backup Creator plugin to backup, clone and protect your WP web sites.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Keep Your WP Web Sites ProtectedTo learn more, visit the plugin website here: Backup Creator – Back Up, Duplicate And Protect Your WP Website

Backup Creator - Backup, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Site Protected***

***