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.

Info

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Because of the above, WordPress versions frequently become outdated and need to be regularly updated …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

Hackers will exploit security vulnerabilities in older version of WordPress.

(Hackers will exploit security vulnerabilities in older version of WordPress.)

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)

Useful 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 upgraded 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)

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

***

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 …

Living and doing business in the Internet Age has many advantages. However, we also live in an environment where we are continuously under the potential threat of having our web information hacked into and our business and personal data stolen and manipulated.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Web Sites Protected

If you manage anything where data can be accessed online like a blog or website, then you need to prioritize online security and the urgency of having an internet security plan.

As well as developing an online security plan for your business, you will also want to protect your files from errors that can result in losing important data and cause significant damage or disruption to your business. Having a way to restore your site, files or data in extreme situations is something that most people only appreciate once it’s too late.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Keep Your WP Websites Protected

Then again, you may also want to save time. If you need to set up a number of websites or blogs, having an efficient way of cloning web site data from one site to another can be really convenient.

As the wise old adage goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Backing up your WordPress website, therefore, is something that everyone should do. The truth, however, is that left to their own devices, very few website owners ever do it, or don’t do it as often as it should be done.

Let’s face it … getting your website hacked, losing data, and making errors that can corrupt your site is all part of running an online presence. If something tragic were to ever happen to you, then you would need an easy and quick way to recover old files, restore your site to an earlier version, or complete reinstall your site and data.

Fortunately, if your website or blog is powered by WordPress, then there’s a simple and inexpensive plugin that allows you to create backups of your WordPress database and web site files, copy your site to another location and restore previous backups of your site.

Backup Creator – Backup, Clone & Protect Your WP Websites And Blogs

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WP Website Protected(Backup Creator – Backup, Duplicate & Keep Your WP Site Protected)

Plugin Description

Backup Creator is a “one-click” solution for backing up your site files, cloning all of your sites and content and keeping your WP websites protected.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone And Protect Your WP Websites And BlogsAfter installing and activating the software on your site, the plugin settings can be easily configured. You can set up backups to run automatically, email backups, FTP backups, cloud backups, or even store backups remotely using 3rd-party hosting solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Amazon (S3).

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Protect Your WP Websites And BlogsLearn more here: Backup Creator

Plugin Benefits

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

Quick Installation

Backup Creator installs like every plugin. Simply upload it to your Plugins folder via your WP dashboard and activate.

After entering your license code, the plugin unlocks and the application will be ready to use.

Simple To Use

Backup Creator makes the whole process of creating backups and restoring and protecting your blogs and sites really simple. All it takes is a few simple mouse clicks. This makes Backup Creator an ideal backup tool for non-technical users.

Time-Saving Software

Apart from saving time restoring your site should your site ever suffer some kind of tragic circumstance, Backup Creator is an especially useful and time-saving tool for anyone who needs to set up multiple WordPress sites with similar settings.

Just set up your prototype site and instantly create as many copies as you want to any new sites you have set up on other locations. That’s a lot of time saved setting up new websites.

Some additional benefits include the following:

  • Perform Large Backups: Often, owners of very large websites can experience serious difficulties performing backups. Many customers report being able to easily perform data backups of large sites. Note: the plugin’s ability to back up sites containing large amounts of data depends on your webhost and your server configuration.
  • Peace Of Mind: We’ve mentioned this point already, but it’s worth repeating again. Knowing that your information can be easily recovered should any kind of problem affect your site is a priceless benefit, especially when things depend on having a site that is always available to visitors.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone And Keep Your WP Websites Protected

Features

Backup Creator provides a number of great features to WordPress users. Here are just some of these:

  • Instant Site Backups. Click one button to backup your entire website or blog. Once your site is backed up, you can then ship it securely to the destination of your choice. You can download the backup file to your hard drive, send it to yourself via email, or even FTP your backup offsite.
  • Restore Backups Instantly To Any Destination. Instantly restore your WordPress data and files to any destination you like. You can clone files directly from another WP site, upload using your browser or even transfer via FTP, Amazon S3, or Dropbox.
  • Proprietary Server-to-Server Technology. Backup Creator’s proprietary “Server-to-Server” technology allows you to deploy unlimited number of client sites pre-configured in seconds, without FTP.

Additional features include:

  • Set Up Automatic Back Up Schedules: Set up your backup schedule one time and the plugin takes over and does the job automatically. No cron or FTP is required. Simply select your schedule and you are done.
  • Use Remote FTP Or Cloud Storage Solutions Like Dropbox, Google Drive, And Amazon S3. Store, restore, and manage all of your backups in one single offsite storage location and from any place in 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.)

Once the plugin has been installed, you can perform “one-click” backups anytime you need …

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Keep Your WP Web Sites ProtectedYour site will be backed up in seconds …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Web Sites ProtectedYou can restore your site backups easily whenever you want using several data restore methods …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Websites And Blogs ProtectedYou can also store your backup files in several locations …

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Keep Your WP Web Sites ProtectedUser Testimonials

Here are a couple of the testimonials customers have submitted for the Backup Creator plugin:

”My company manages hundreds of websites in the cleaning industry. Your Backup Creator Plug-In is just what we needed. It’s changing the way we do business.” John Braun, HitManAdvertising.com

***

”I am using Hostgator, have backed up a number of wp sites at least three times with no problems. It’s amazing how fast this works. Twice when I backed up a pretty big site, the time on the back up file appearing in my email in box was within a minute to 2 minutes of when it was posted as backed up on my computer. Your manual was so complete and easy to follow I was able to figure it out and do the back up the first time with no problems at all. Often I find techies are not all that good with explaining the how to of their tools. Not you guys. It was so clear and easy to use, it was done before I knew it.” Pat Wiklund, TakeChargeAndMoveOn.com

***

“Fantastic plugin, created a site that I needed to swap over to another domain, followed your step by step video, job done in less than 5 minutes, hadn’t even opened it prior to doing this, an absolute breeze – awesome.” Tim Rees, MidWebServices.com

***

Useful Tips

Here are some great uses for Backup Creator:

Real-Time Documentation Of All Your Website Processes.

Instead of spending loads of time documenting all the processes necessary to make a website or blog work “just right”, or creating a website setup manual, you can just set up your website or blog exactly how you want it, back it up|make an identical copy of site and then restore it on another domain and you’ve now got an exact, “documented” copy of your blog setup.

For example, let’s say that you want to set up multiple websites using identical plugins, settings, and configurations in different niches. This could be for a nationwide food service outlet, or a real estate agency with offices in various locations, where each office will run their own separate website. Think of all the time you’ve spent tweaking and fine-tuning your site so that it looks just right and works exactly the way you want it to. Now you can instantly install a fully-functioning, completely configured blog every single time with only a couple of mouse clicks.

Clone A Site With Correct Referencing URLs.

Simply downloading WordPress files and restoring WP file backups won’t clone your sites successfully. You also need to copy the WP database and ensure that your site URLs point to the new domain. Otherwise, your data will be restored to another location, but still be referencing the old domain. That’s why it’s important to have a WP backup plugin that has been specifically created to clone sites. This lets you perform a backup of site “A” and restore it to site ”B” in minutes with all your themes, plugins, settings and configurations intact, once again, saving you hours – even weeks of work, and ensuring that all URLs have been configured correctly.

Don’t Fix Serious Problems … Just Restore!

Here’s another useful time-saving tip: if your blog did get hacked, or an unauthorized user somehow gets in and does any kind of damage to your site, don’t spend days or weeks trying to fix things, just make a backup of your files and database, delete everything, and restore a previous working copy. Your site is now instantly back and you can send the damaged site’s backup files to an troubleshooting expert who can then try to understand how your site got interfered with and how to repair or report any vulnerabilities.

Here’s one more final tip:

Keep A Record Of Your Website’s Progress.

Imagine in a few years that your business has grown and transformed into an online success. Wouldn’t it be great to show people how it all got started? Or maybe you’ve changed things around on your site so much and would like to return to a place of simplicity. Perhaps you’ve accidentally deleted a bunch of articles and want to get these back.

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

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Protect Your WordPress WebsitesBackup Creator Plugin Support

Backup Creator is a robust and well-supported WP plugin. It was authored 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 1 year of free software updates and new releases with their purchase, backed by a no-risk, 60 day, 100% refund guarantee.

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

”Had a problem and your respond time to help me was phenomenal. Great product too.” Daniel Altman, CarsWithDan.com

Plugin Pricing

Backup Creator is available in the following editions:

  • Express – Backup Creator Express license lets you install the plugin on up to 5 personal URLs that you own. You can perform unlimited backups and restores only. Price = $7.00.
  • Ultimate – Backup Creator Ultimate 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 get backed up. Cost = $47.00.
  • Developer – Backup Creator developer license lets you install the plugin on unlimited personal and client domains. You can also sell websites with the plugin installed. Note: Developer edition is only available as an upgrade inside your product download area. Price = $100.00 (+ the cost of purchasing either the Express or Ultimate plugin editions).

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate & Keep Your WP Site ProtectedPlease Note: The price of the Backup Creator product can vary, depending on whether there are any promotions or limited-time special offers. The above reflects the pricing when this content was written. This may not be the actual pricing charged by the software seller when you visit the product site and you may be shown additional upsells or one-time offers after purchasing.

Check the plugin’s website for the latest pricing details:

Additional Plugin Information

For ”how-to” videos of the plugin, including installation instructions and tutorials, FAQs, customer helpdesk, testimonials, contact details and more, visit the Backup Creator website.

Our Recommendation

Performing regular backups of your website is a vital aspect of doing good website maintenance and disaster prevention. There are many great backup plugins available for WordPress, but BackUp Creator doesn’t just perform backups, it also allows you to properly copy your sites and pre-configured WP installations.

For this reason, we strongly recommend choosing Backup Creator to backup, clone and protect your WordPress sites.

Backup Creator - Backup, Clone And Keep Your WP Websites ProtectedFor more details, check out the plugin here: Backup Creator – Backup, Duplicate And Keep Your WP Site Protected

Backup Creator - Backup, Clone And Keep Your WordPress Websites Protected***