When it comes to creating a monthly maintenance plan for your WordPress websites, the task demands organizing the tasks you perform on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. These need to be categorized into the following sections:
- WordPress Core Updates
- Plugin Maintenance
- Theme Maintenance
- Overall Site Health
- Content Health
Here’s how you can go about it:
It is important to perform WordPress backups on a regular basis. Experts recommend taking backups daily. Weekly backups are considered good. However, a month is the longest one should wait to backup a site. ManageWP facilitates you to offer daily incremental backups. This is offered as a service to clients without any requirement for manually backing up each and every site.
WordPress plugin maintenance usually involves two major components:
- Plugin Updates
- Plugin Audit
WordPress recommends checking for and applying updates to plugins regularly (every 3 to 6 months). However, for a WordPress developer, this is not a prudent advice as they need their WordPress sites to function properly on a daily basis. Scheduling plugin updates regularly will help. Combining WordPress core update check daily with plugin update check day is a great idea.
The maintenance task is a little different as compared to simply checking for and installing plugin updates. It involves ensuring that there are no unused plugins installed and activated on sites you manage. There may be some clients who get tempted to try out new features without your consent. You need to take a note of plugins which haven’t received updates in a while. Unupdated plugins face hold the risk of becoming unsupported, which also create security risks. Hence, it is important to help your client find a suitable replacement for unsupported plugin.
Keeping a vigilant eye on plugin quality is also crucial. Watch out for better plugins if a specific plugin performs poorly. The reviewing plugins directory folder will ensure any plugin you or your client has uninstalled completely uninstalled itself.
This is yet another area where you must use your experience as a developer to determine the tasks you accomplish and regularity you use to conduct theme audits. The process is very similar to a plugin audit involving inspection to make sure there are no unused themes.
In case, you are using your own theme, going over your template files and stylesheets for making sure everything is in order is crucial. Also make sure your code is still validated. For a third-party theme, ensure that the developer keeps pace with the code. He/she should not add bloated code. A close check on whether the developer is still offering support is also needed.
The frequency options for this WordPress website maintenance service is 3 Months, 6 Months and 1 Year. The users may also opt for their own development schedule when using their own theme or styles.
Overall Website Health
ManageWP users are fully aware of the Vulnerability Updates feature it comes equipped with. It alerts about the vulnerable plugin, WordPress core files, and theme. The feature facilitates you to keep tabs on uptime performance of a monitor. Daily monitoring of vulnerabilities is recommended by experts.
Another famous feature ManageWP comes with is a Security Check feature. It allows for conducting malware scans at any time. 24/7 security monitoring is also possible through premium version. This type of monitoring is recommended at least once a day, several times a day and even 24/7.
It is also important to consider the overall performance of a site. This means you should optimize its scores, page load time, and size. ManageWP includes this feature and Performance Scan (with premium version). Monthly scans are recommended.
Here, you may require working together with your client. You need to closely collaborate with clients than in any other task. This has less to do with WordPress development. However, they should still be deliberated. The process includes checking for broken links, 404 errors, and making sure client optimizes their 404 pages. The maintenance service should be offered on a monthly.
Content auditing is another important aspect wherein you need to work with your client to see if they have any media items they aren’t using. You should also see if they have any blog posts they can combine. Checking for any posts containing outdated content also helps.
Keeping an eye on their SEO rankings is also crucial. Your client’s success is your success.