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.

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Because of the above, WordPress versions frequently become outdated and need to be regularly updated …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

(Troubleshooting WordPress errors is part of doing business online.)

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)

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 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 …

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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)

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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 …

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One of the unfortunate consequences of doing business in the Electronic Age is that we are continuously under the potential threat of having our websites and social media accounts being infected by malicious software and our business and personal data stolen, manipulated or erased.

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

If you own or manage anything where information can be visited online like a business website, then you need to pay careful attention to digital security and the importance of implementing a web security and data recovery plan.

In addition to creating an online security and website recovery plan for your business, you will also want to protect your files from internal and external issues that can result in data loss and set your business back. Having a way to completely restore your site, files or data in extreme cases is something that many people only appreciate after it’s too late.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Protect Your WordPress Sites

You may also just want to save time. If your business involves setting up multiple websites or blogs, having a simple way to duplicate site data from one site to another would be quite convenient.

As any experienced webmaster eventually learns, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Backing up your WP web files, therefore, is something that every site and blog owner needs to do. The truth, however, is that left to their own devices, very few people 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 ruin your site is all part of the reality of having an online presence. If something tragic were to ever happen to you, then you would need a way to restore old content, restore your site to an earlier version, or even 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 lets you create backups of your WP database and website or blog files, clone your website to another location and restore your old site and content.

Backup Creator – Back Up, Clone And Keep Your WP Website Protected

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate & Keep Your WP Sites Protected(Backup Creator – Backup, Duplicate & Protect Your WP Sites)

Plugin Description

Backup Creator is a “one-click” solution for performing backups of your website data, cloning all of your websites and content and keeping your WordPress websites and blogs protected.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate & Protect Your WordPress Web SiteOnce the software is installed on your web site, your settings for the plugin can be easily configured. Backup Creator allows you to perform automatic backups, backups using email, backups using FTP, backups to the cloud, and even remote backups using data hosting services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon (S3).

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate & Protect Your WordPress WebsitesGo here to learn more: Backup Creator

Benefits Of Using Backup Creator

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

Ready To Use In Minutes

Backup Creator is very easy to install. Simply upload a zip folder containing the plugin to your Plugins folder via your WordPress admin user area and activate.

Enter the license code required to unlock your plugin and Backup Creator is ready to use.

Simple To Use

Backup Creator makes the whole process of backing up plus restoring and protecting your blogs and web sites very simple. All it takes is a couple of mouse clicks. This makes Backup Creator a great backup tool for non-technical users.

Time-Saving Software

Apart from saving time and the peace of mind you will experience knowing that your site can be retrieved if anything happens, Backup Creator is a massive time-saving tool for anyone who needs to set up multiple WordPress sites with similar configurations.

Just set up your master and instantly clone as many copies as you want to any new sites you have set up. That’s a lot of valuable time saved setting up new websites.

Some additional plugin benefits include:

  • Backs Up Big Websites: Often, owners of very large websites can experience problems with backups. Many users report being able to easily perform backups of large sites. Note: the plugin’s ability to perform backups above certain sizes may depend on the webhosting company you use and how your server is configured.
  • Peace Of Mind: We’ve mentioned this already, but it’s worth repeating again. Knowing that your data can be instantly restored should anything happen to your site is priceless, especially if your business depends on your site being up and running.

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

Plugin Features

Backup Creator offers many unique features to WordPress users. Here are just some:

  • Instant Backup. Click 1 button to backup your entire site. Once your site is backed up, you can then ship your backup files to the secure destination of your choice. Download it to your hard drive, send it to yourself via email, or even FTP your backup offsite.
  • Restore Instantly To Anywhere. Instantly restore your information to any destination you like. You can clone it directly from another WordPress, upload via your internet browser or even transfer using FTP, Amazon S3, or Dropbox.
  • Proprietary Technology. Backup Creator’s proprietary “Server-to-Server” technology allows rapid deployment of unlimited pre-configured client sites in only seconds, without FTP.

Additional features include:

  • Automatic Scheduling: Set up your backup schedule one time and the software takes over. There are no cron jobs to set up or files to upload and no 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. Store all of your data backups in one single offsite location and from anywhere 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 easily perform “one-click” backups …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Websites And Blogs ProtectedThe plugin performs your backup in seconds …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate And Protect Your WP Web SiteYou can restore your backed up data whenever you want using a number of data restore methods …

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Protect Your WP Web SiteYou can also store your backup files in different locations …

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Keep Your WordPress Web Site ProtectedFeedback From Customers

Below are just a few of the testimonials and feedback that customers have published about Backup Creator:

”You saved me 30 minutes just by using it once, as I get paid $50 an hour, this product is definitely worth it.” Martin Capodici, SydneyWebGuy.com

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”Just wanted to say that I’m impressed! Installed the latest version before doing some work on one of my sites for a webinar launch I gotta get done this week, and I LOVE the new feature that sends an email will all the relevant links. Sweet!” Gabrielle Fontaine, VirtualBookkeepersGuide.com

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”Now one of the 10 best software tools so far for WordPress!” David Povilaitis, SonomaRealEstate4U.com

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Plugin Tips

Here are some great uses for Backup Creator:

Document Your Site Processes Live.

Instead of spending loads of time documenting all the processes you would normally have to go through in order to set up new sites, you can simply set up your site exactly how you want it, back it up|copy your site and then restore it somewhere else and you’ve now got an exact, “documented” copy of your site setup.

For example, let’s say that you want to set up various blogs which use identical plugins and settings in different niches. This could be for a national food service outlet, or a real estate agency with offices in several locations, where each office will run their own separate blog. Think of all the time you’ve spent tweaking and finetuning your discussion settings, widgets and sidebars, configuring different plugins and navigation menus, creating the main content sections, customizing your theme, etc. Now you can save lots of time and install a fully-functioning, perfectly configured blog every single time with only a couple of mouse clicks.

Restore A Backup On A Different Location With Correct Destination Links.

Simply downloading WordPress files and restoring file backups won’t clone your websites or blogs successfully. You also have to copy the WP database and ensure that your data references the new domain. Otherwise, your WP database data will be restored to another domain, but still be pointing back to the old domain. This is why you need to have a backup plugin that has been specifically designed to clone sites. This allows you to perform a backup of site ”A” in seconds and restore it to site “B” with all the theme customizations, plugins, settings and configurations intact, and everything will be pointing to the new site (i.e. site “B”), instead of the old one (site “A”).

Don’t Fix Serious Problems … Restore!

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

Here’s one more final tip:

Archive Your Site’s Changes Over Time.

Imagine a few years from now that your business has grown and transformed into an online success. Wouldn’t it be great to show people how everything began? Or maybe you’ve made your site so complex and would like to restore things to a place of simplicity. Perhaps you’ve accidentally deleted a bunch of articles and want to get those back.

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

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Protect Your WP SitesBackup Creator Plugin Support

Backup Creator is a robust and well-supported WP plugin. It was created 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, 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.

I just have to write and give a HUGE testimonial to Robert for the level of his support. I am one of the purchasers who wanted to copy my blog from one of the less than popular hosts to one of the more popular hosts. To make matter worse, my blog is quite complex. I encountered problem after problem each time I went to make my backup copy. I reported this via the support desk and almost immediately I began receiving support including updates of the software. It took several iterations before the problem was solved but Robert never stopped working to get it right for my site. The level of support has been stellar. So, Robert, I say “Thank You” once again for support that is platinum level.” Eddie Durham, InfiniteCashMachine.com

Product Cost

The plugin is available in the following editions:

  • Express License – 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 License – Backup Creator Ultimate edition lets you install the plugin on unlimited personal sites, as well as perform automatic backups, email backups as an attachment, use the plugin with FTP, Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc., restore backups from browser uploads and choose which folders are backed up. Price = $47.00.
  • Developer – Backup Creator developer edition lets you install the plugin on unlimited personal and client domains. You can also flip websites with the plugin installed. Note: Developer edition is only available as an upgrade after purchasing one of the other editions. Cost = $100.00 (+ the cost of purchasing either the Express or Ultimate plugin editions).

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Keep Your WordPress Websites And Blogs ProtectedNote: The price of the product depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time specials being offered. The price above was current at the time this content was written. This may not be the actual price set by the plugin 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 current pricing details:

Additional Plugin Info

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

Our Recommendation

Performing regular backups of your WP website is an important part of doing business online and ensuring that your information remains protected from disaster. There are many great backup plugins available for WordPress, but BackUp Creator doesn’t just perform backups, it also allows you to properly clone your sites and preconfigured WP installations.

For this reason, we strongly recommend using Backup Creator to backup, clone and protect your WordPress websites and blogs.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Protect Your WP SiteFor more information, visit the plugin website here: Backup Creator – Back Up, Clone And Protect Your WordPress Website

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

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