Maintenance Checklist for Bloggers

By Cathy Tibbles
– Guest post –

Have you ever looked at the cobwebs building up in a dark corner somewhere and wondered where, on earth, they came from? And don’t tell me it’s a spider, because you can’t see a spider!  But you know it was there cause the proof is in the gifts left behind!

Every so often, a blogger will come to us, with a sneaking suspicion that something’s wrong with the site: things are slower than before, there are notices in the dashboard, other people talk about things they’re not familiar with, like SSL and caching. There is no malware, there are no ‘spiders’ per se, but things just don’t work like they should.

Friends, I have your maintenance checklists today – just for you – the blogger. And you’ll be happy to learn its far easier than your real life cob-web cleaning checklist.

Let’s start with the seasonal checklist – if this stuff is kept up to date, you won’t have a problem going forward.

Seasonal Maintenance Checklist for Bloggers:

I recommend you do this 3-4 times per year.

check backups, make one extra just before going through the list
check antivirus software on all computers with access to your dashboard
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress
change admin passwords
delete all administrators that don’t need access
check caching is installed and configured if necessary
check SEO plugin & settings
run virus scan using sucuri.net
 run speed check with tools.pingdom.net
Google Analytics:
working properly
Google Search Console:
check messages and/or errors
check sitemap is submitted & error free
Host Company:
check your current account storage against the amount in your package
check the error logs
get a mani – pedi

Monthly Maintenance Checklist for Bloggers:

create extra backup before proceeding
download backup to your hard drive
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress
check database optimization plugin is working correctly (we recommend WP Optimize)
check image optimization plugin is working correctly (we recommend short pixel)
check for broken links in Google Search Console – crawl tab & fix them
check for spam and delete
test contact form
get a latte

Weekly Maintenance:

if upgrades needed, then check backup is working
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress
check Google Analytics to make sure referrals are still coming from Social Media (nothing’s wrong)
check Google Analytics to be sure you catch a spike in any SEO performance and capitalize on it
check that any scheduled posts went out
answer any comments
have a cupcake

Daily Maintenance (or on Publish days):

check the last backup did not have errors
upgrade plugins, theme, then WordPress if necessary
check that all images have alt tags & titles
check for no-follow tags if you are compensated for links
pour yourself a glass of wine

I know this seems like a lot – but save yourself the money and headache that goes into troubleshooting an issue that could have been prevented!  These checklists are only laborious the first couple of times, after that you’ll get a feel for the areas that you need to check, and when. As long as the site is backed up and upgraded, you really can’t go wrong!

If you have any questions, or want someone to run through the Seasonal list for you, feel free to contact the friendly girlfriends at WP Barista!

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