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.

Important

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Because of the above, WordPress versions frequently become outdated and need to be regularly updated …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

(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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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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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.

One of the downsides of doing business in the Digital Age is that we are constantly under the potential threat of becoming victims of electronic theft, having our business information being infected by malicious viruses and our business and personal data stolen and manipulated.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Keep Your WP Website Protected

If you own or manage any online assets like a website for your organization, then you need to carefully consider digital security and the urgency of implementing an online security and site recovery plan.

As well as having an online security and site recovery plan for your business, you will also want to protect your data from errors that can result in data loss 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 can only be appreciated once tragedy has struck.

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

Then again, you may just want to save time. If your business requires setting up a number of websites or blogs, having an efficient way to duplicate website information from one site to another can be very convenient.

As any wise website manager has learnt, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Backing up your WordPress blog, therefore, is imperative. The truth, however, is that left to their own devices, website owners almost never do it, or don’t do it as often as it should be done.

Let’s face it … getting your web site hacked, losing data, and accidentally changing things that end up breaking your site is all part of doing business online. If something this tragic were to ever happen to you, then you would need a quick and easy way to recover lost files, get back an earlier version of your site, or complete reinstall your site and information.

Fortunately, if your website or blog is powered by WordPress, then it’s easy to create backups of your WP database and site files, copy your site to another location and restore your old site and content.

Backup Creator – Backup, Duplicate & Keep Your WordPress Web Site Protected

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

Plugin Description

Backup Creator is a simple-to-use WP plugin that lets you schedule and automate your site backups, duplicate your websites and keep your WP web sites protected with just a few clicks.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate & Keep Your WordPress Websites And Blogs ProtectedOnce Backup Creator has been installed and activated on your WordPress web site, it’s really easy to configure your settings for the plugin. The plugin lets you set up backups to run automatically, backups via email, FTP backups, backups in the cloud, or remote backups using external storage solutions from Dropbox, Google Drive, or Amazon S3.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate And Protect Your WP SitesFor more details, visit the plugin site here: 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 site:

Quick Installation

Backup Creator is really easy to install. Just upload a zip file containing the plugin files to your Plugins folder via your admin section and activate.

Enter the license key required to unlock your plugin and the software is ready to use.

Very Simple To Use

Backup Creator makes the entire process of creating regular backups plus restoring and protecting your blogs and websites very simple. Everything can be done in a few simple mouse clicks. No coding experience is necessary.

Save Time

As well as saving time and benefiting from the peace of mind of knowing that your website data can be quickly and easily restored should your site ever suffer any kind of disaster, Backup Creator can be especially useful for anyone who needs to set up multiple WordPress sites with similar configurations.

Once you’ve set up your master , you can instantly clone as many duplicates as you need to any new sites you have set up on other domains. That’s a lot of valuable time saved setting up and configuring new sites.

Additional benefits and advantages include:

  • Perform Large Backups: Often, owners of sites that contain lots data can experience problems with backups. Many Backup Creator customers report being able to easily perform large site backups. Note: the plugin’s ability to perform backups above certain sizes depends on the webhosting company you use and how your server has been configured.
  • Peace Of Mind: We’ve mentioned this already, but it’s worth repeating again. Knowing that your data and files can be instantly restored should anything happen to your site is priceless, especially when things depend on having a site that is always available to visitors.

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

Features

Backup Creator offers many features to website owners. Here are just a few of these:

  • Instant Backup. One button is all you need to click to back up your site. Once your site is backed up, you can then send it to the secure destination of your choice. You can download the backup to your hard drive, send it to yourself via email, or even FTP the backup to an offsite destination.
  • Restore Backups To Any Destination. Instantly restore your web site or blog to any destination you like. You can copy all content and files straight from another WordPress, upload using your browser or even transfer remotely using FTP, Amazon S3, or Dropbox.
  • Proprietary Technology. Backup Creator’s proprietary “Server-to-Server” technology allows fast deployment of unlimited preconfigured client sites in seconds, without requiring FTP.

Additional features include:

  • Automatic Scheduling: Once you set up your backup schedule, the software takes over. No FTP or cron jobs are required and there are no files to upload. Just select your schedule and you’re done.
  • Back Up With Remote FTP Or Cloud Storage Services Like Dropbox, Google Drive, And Amazon S3. You can store all of your data backups 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 “one-click” backups anytime you need …

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

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Keep Your WP Website ProtectedYou can restore your site backups quickly and easily any time you want using various data restore methods …

Backup Creator - Back Up, Duplicate And Protect Your WordPress SiteYou can also store your backup files remotely, or in the cloud …

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

Here are a few of the testimonials and feedback that users have provided for the Backup Creator plugin:

”It’s amazing! Cloning instead of making new membership sites from scratch, which is what I used to do. Now I just clone it and transfer it. It’s simply amazing how everything transfers intact!” Juan Mitre, BlogMasterTraining.com

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”One of my best purchases this year. I’m building hundreds of evergreen and minisites over the next year or so and this will save me a ton of time and money. I was lucky enough to see the power and potential of buying this right away and got it for $7, incredible!! I appreciate that you made us a version of backing up our sites that is very inexpensive (even now) and has so many applications. Thanks again and I’m sure this will be a tool that I will be using for years to come.” Morris Murphy, MobulIsNoBull.mobi

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

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Useful Tips

Here are some great uses for the Backup Creator plugin:

Document Your Website Processes As You Go.

Instead of spending so much time documenting all of the processes you would normally have to document when setting up a new site, you can simply set up your website or blog exactly the way you want it, make a backup copy|reproduce the site and then restore it somewhere else and you’ve now got an exact, “documented” copy of your blog setup.

For example, let’s say that you want to set up a number of websites including identical plugins and settings in other niches. This could be for a nationwide food service outlet, or a travel agency with branches in different locations, where each store will manage the content of their own separate blog. Think of all the time you’ve spent tweaking and fine-tuning your discussion settings, widgets and sidebars, configuring SEO plugins and navigation menus, creating site categories, customizing the theme, etc. Now you can save loads of time and install a fully-functioning, perfectly configured site every single time with just a few mouse clicks.

Restore A Backup On A Different Domain With Correct Internal Reference Links.

Simply backing up WordPress files and restoring file backups won’t clone your websites or blogs successfully. You also have to copy the WordPress database and make sure that your links point to the new domain. Otherwise, your WP database data will be restored to another site, but still be pointing back to the old domain. This is why you need to use a WordPress backup plugin that was specifically developed to clone sites. This allows you to perform a backup of site ”A” in seconds and restore it to site ”B” in minutes with all the themes, plugin and site 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 Waste Time Fixing Serious Problems … Restore!

Here’s another useful time-saving tip: if your site did get hacked, or an unauthorized user somehow gets in and does any kind of damage to your site, instead of spending days or weeks trying to repair the problem, just make a backup of your files and database, delete your old site, then restore a previous working version. Your site is now up and running again and you can then send the damaged files to a WordPress troubleshooting expert who can then try to figure out how your site got broken into and how to fix or report any vulnerabilities.

Here’s one more final tip:

Keep A Record Of Your Website’s Evolution.

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 it all got started? Or maybe you’ve made your site so complicated and would like to restore things to a simpler place. 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 content are almost negligible because you no longer need to be concerned about where everything has been stored or organized. Just recall the time when you remember you had that file, restore your backup (note: your backup can be anywhere, even on a test site) and retrieve the data you need.

Backup Creator - Back Up, Clone & Protect Your WordPress SitesSupport

Backup Creator is a robust and well-supported WordPress 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 installation and user guide, video tutorials, support helpdesk and one year of free upgrades and new releases with their purchase, backed by a no-risk, sixty day, full refund guarantee.

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

“Your service is fantastic!” Steve Dougherty, WP3Guide.com

Plugin Cost

Backup Creator is available in the following editions:

  • Express License – Backup Creator Express license lets you install the plugin on up to 5 personal sites that you own. You can perform unlimited backups and restores only. Price = $7.00.
  • Ultimate Edition – Backup Creator Ultimate license lets you install the plugin on unlimited personal domains, as well as perform automatic backups, send email backups as an attachment, use the plugin with FTP, Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc., restore backups from browser uploads and choose which folders get backed up. Price = $47.00.
  • Developer – Backup Creator developer license allows you to install the plugin on unlimited personal and client sites. You can also flip 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 - Back Up, Clone And Protect Your WP WebsitesNote: The price of the Backup Creator plugin depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time specials being offered. When we last checked, the product retails for the prices shown above. This may not be the actual pricing set by the product seller when you visit the site and there may be additional upsells or one-time offers after your purchase.

Check the plugin’s website for current pricing details:

Additional Info

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

We Recommend

Performing regular backups of your website’s data and files is an integral 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.

For this reason, we highly recommend using Backup Creator to backup, clone and protect your WP sites.

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Protect Your WordPress Web SiteFor more information, visit the plugin website here: Backup Creator – Back Up, Duplicate & Keep Your WordPress Website Protected

Backup Creator - Backup, Duplicate & Protect Your WordPress Websites And Blogs***

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