Complete guide on how to maintain a website
Our today’s topic is how to maintain a website. We will tell you about it, provide you tips on website maintenance and tell which points are crucial. Firstly, let us research what website maintenance is. As you know WordPress is open source software which means that it has regular updates. Website security, performance, stability, and new features are added in these updates. With WordPress core updates taking place, plugins, and themes, also have updates for those same reasons.
Frequently website owners ignore, try to do these updates on their own, or are even unaware of them. So the website becomes outdated, meaning it can break down or get hacked! To avoid that it is better to use the help of those who provide website maintenance as one of their services. You can read more about the importance of website maintenance on a separate page.
Tips on Website Maintenance:
1. Website Backup, how often should you do it
The idea of backup is nothing new since they are basically insurance for the information you need if the original source stops working properly or gets damaged. If your website got hacked or crashes, you can always bring it up from a backup. Useful advice is to create a backup on a third-party source, that is not related to your site. The frequency of backups is determined by the purpose of your website and how often you add new data to it.
If it serves as an informative website and you rarely add something, you can do backups either daily or weekly, since the content of your website is not changing. If you add new posts, items, data, etc. it is highly recommended to set the frequency to hourly or daily so that if your website suddenly stops working, you can rewind it to how it was an hour before. To ease this task you can use plugins, WordPress provides a variety of them for you to choose from.
2. Website Form Injections, what to beware
If you have a form on your website where users can type anything they want and submit it, you need to be sure that your website is protected. One of the easiest ways hackers can get into your website is through scripts. When they are in they can delete or steal information that is of great importance or is not supposed to be in the hands of anyone else. The larger your company is the more likely you will be targeted on a daily basis. Not too long ago Toyota announced that intruders breached their computer system in the main office and gained data on 3.1 million Toyota and Lexus car owners whose life can be endangered. This is happening not only to Toyota but to other large companies as well: eBay, Sony, Yahoo, etc.
The best solution for you is to be sure that your code is fully formed and has no points to be breached and ask your website development company to procure periodic health checks of the website.
3. Hide Admin Website URL Login
Most websites resort to the default login URL that is generated when the website is created. For WordPress users, that URL is in the form of www.yoursite.com/wp-admin. Without changing this login access URL, hackers have one less thing to figure out. You absolutely do not want it and that is why it is important to change the URL to something custom that only you would know. Also, you can use the Protect Your Admin plugin. Once installed, just go to plugin settings and choose your new URL slug, check the “Enable” box and click “Save Settings”.
4. Optimize the Website Load Time Speed
Whether or not your website is fully up to date, ensuring it runs smoothly and quickly is a priority on the list. By doing the optimization of the load speed you also find out areas that require attention anyway. To maintain the highest level of website standards, full optimization will not only keep your website always live but also deliver your content fast to the audience.
5. How To Keep Website Up-To-Date And Secure
One of the mistakes websites owners make while maintaining websites is when they fail to perform routine updates on their website. Regular updates optimize site load speed, ensure stable functionality, keep your website running smoothly, and prevent malware. It does not matter what kind of platform you use when an update shows up it will be shown in a way to catch your attention. Before updating be sure that you made a backup, as it really helps if something goes wrong during the update. If you are not sure that you can make it by yourself, the best way to keep the website up and running is to contact the developing company to do constant updates.
6. Website in Maintenance Mode
When you plan to put your website on maintenance it is important to let users know that works are happening or even better it is to inform them beforehand that there will be technical works proceeded during the particular time period. It can be done by installing the WordPress Maintenance Mode plugin.
7. Make Sure Your Website is SSL Certified
While you think about how to maintain your website it is normal to get a security question. Here is another important thing for your website: it is the SSL Certificate. In fact, it is important to that point that Google standards require your website to have it if you want to rank at the top of your potential. If a website is certified with SSL it will be shown as a locked padlock on the left side of the browser bar. For people who visit your site, it is a symbol of security and trust since their data is protected. If your website has fields that provide credit card payments, it is crucial to have SSL. If customers’ data will be leaked to third parties it may lead to legal action towards your company.
8. Set up a Website Firewall
If you have a website you probably heard about the term bots and web crawlers. There are both good and bad ones, good is helping search engines to get data about your website, and bad are doing exactly the opposite. On top of that bad term, bots are loading your server, which can lead to your servers shut down due to excessive overload.
9. Monitor Errors and Downtime
Server maintenance considers monitor errors and downtime too. You want to know when and for how long your site was down. Even if you have done great with security and backups, there are still technological issues. Having a backup can definitely save time and put things back to how they were, but it is important to know what happened so we can eliminate the possibility of it happening again. There are many different tools out there that can check for errors and warnings that you should pay attention to. Not fixing them, can cause the website to crash or show broken pages, which is definitely not something you want visitors to see.
10. Scan for Website Malware
Even if you take all necessary security steps, you still can get malware. It can reside in the deepest folders of your website and prevent it from working correctly. Creating backup won’t help since malware is already inside your site. The best idea for you is to run an anti-malware scan on your website.
11. Get a Strong and Reliable Server
Another point you think about when you ask yourself a question on how to maintain the website is about servers. The best choice of server for you is obviously a dedicated server. Unlike a shared server, dedicated is hosting only your website. That means that there are no risks of cross-contamination and a decreased chance of downtime. Moreover, your server will not be affected by a problem with the heavy load traffic. If you host it on shared there is a high risk that load speed will be really high and not at the fault of your site.
12. Clear Trashed Content, Revisions, and Spam When Performing Website Maintenance
Over time your website gets packed with old and outdated data. Spam comments, content changes, user page movements, all these elements accumulate and load valuable resources. If the website collects too much junk it will slow down or even crash. To avoid it you can use a plugin to clean these elements from time to time.
13. Track, Limit Logins, and Get Alerted
If you want to be sure that only you log in to the admin’s panel, you can put an IP tracker. With the IP tracker, you will know who tried to log in to your site. Moreover, you can set a limit on how many attempts to allow the user to try to enter. If the user fails multiple times in a row, he will be blocked for a set amount of time. With this information, you can and permanently ban suspicious users from your website to reduce the possibility of attacks. If you do not plan to do business with certain countries you can block access to your site from those countries.
14. Maintain a Strong Password
Another common mistake “weak” password. Some people are establishing “weak” but easy to remember password and hoping no-one will guess it. But the reality is harsh and each password must be unique and it must not repeat anywhere else. As well as it should be changed regularly. With this, you will have peace in mind that your website is safe.
15. Add a Website Login 2 Factor Authentication
Even after you set up different security systems, it is never too late to install a double login authenticator. If a hacker tries to break into your site by somehow ‘lockpicking” your username and password, he will be greeted with another field that requires 6 digit code. You can get this code only when you have google authenticator for example. It is a program that requires you to install 1 app on your phone. After you install it, you can find and scan the unique QR code that will show 6 digit numbers that change once in a minute.
16. Don’t Neglect The Little Things
If you stumble upon small errors or minor problems, do not neglect them. You let loose one, second, and so on. After some time they end up piling together into the big problem. To prevent this from happening you can hire a website maintenance service or ask website developers to maintain your website for you.
Let’s sum up.
After reading our tips on website maintenance you’ve learned maintaining the website is a time-consuming engagement that requires intermediate software and hardware knowledge. If you are not confident in your abilities it is recommended to hire a website maintenance service or ask your website developers if they can also maintain it for you. We hope that after reading our post on how to maintain a website you found some answers.