The 12 Vital Checks for Your WordPress Website

Do you know how your WordPress site is doing? When it comes to running a website using the WordPress platform, there are a number of different things you need to do in order to maintain your site.  This is why you need to perform a WordPress Website audit.

A WordPress Website audit may be vital for many reasons; here are some common goals that most site owners have when they do this type of checkup on their WordPress websites.  Ensuring that your site is running smoothly, protected from hackers or malware and that it continues to be search engine friendly are three common goals.

What You Need for Your WordPress Website Audit

The first step in performing an audit on your website is to gather the information you need so you can do this properly. You will want to have access to data about your site including

  • your Google Analytics data,
  • any plugins you have installed
  • a list of the URLs that are currently indexed.

It is also helpful to get information about what’s going on with your server such as disk space usage, bandwidth limits and how much memory each plugin uses.

Once you have gathered this important information it’s time to get started on the audit. This is a time-consuming process, but it’s important that you do it so your site stays healthy and continues to grow your audience.

You should work through these audits over a period of four weeks or more if needed, depending on how big your WordPress site is. You can perform either one check per week or try to knock them all out in one day, whichever works best for you.

Here are the 12 vital checks that should be completed on your WordPress site:

  1. Check your website is running the most recent version of WordPress. If you running a version of WordPress that is no longer supported or has been deprecated, you could leave your WordPress website open to security issues.
  2. Check that your web host is using the most current version of PHP that is supported by WordPress. Updating to the latest version of PHP helps ensure that your site is as secure as possible and will also allow you to take full advantage of new features WordPress releases. It can also help speed up your site as WordPress can now work as it needs to.
  3. Check plugin versions and update as needed. Always update your plugins. Not doing so leaves your website susceptible to hacker attacks.
  4. Delete any unused plugins, themes or custom content types. There is no reason to leave plugins or themes or anything else that is not in use on your website. They just take up valuable space and resources your website may need.
  5. Check the speed of your site. If it’s slower than five seconds you will need to make some changes. Google can downgrade sites that are too slow so this is important for SEO purposes as well.
  6. Examine all of your images and make sure they meet the size requirements for your theme and are optimized for quick loading. Also ensure that all of your website’s images have been properly tagged with descriptive alt text.
  7. Check to see if you have any bad or broken backlinks. These are links that are not pointing to a relevant page on your site. If so, these links should be removed asap.
  8. Fix up 404 errors that may occur on your site. 404 errors are most commonly caused by broken links. So check for broken links and fix them.
  9. Make sure all public pages of your website are accessible to search engine crawlers. Check your website’s robots.txt file to ensure that you are not inadvertently blocking crawlers from indexing your pages.
  10. Validate your website’s HTML and CSS code. This will help to improve your website's performance.
  11. Test how well your website is performing in different browsers.
  12. Test how your website is performing on different devices, such as desktop, mobile, and tablets.

Once you have completed these essential checks, you can be assured that your WordPress site is healthy and running smoothly.

Don’t let your WordPress site become a burden.

Use this list of 12 essential checks to make sure that you are maintaining it properly and getting the most out of its functionality. Whether you want to keep up with security updates or ensure that your website is ranking well on Google, these simple tasks will help you be successful in running an online business using WordPress.  If any of these seem daunting, don’t worry!  Get in touch and we can talk about maintaining your WordPress website.

 

About the Author Sarah & Kevin Arrow

Sarah & Kevin Arrow have worked in digital marketing since 2006. They share their thoughts and tips here on this site. They'd love to help you become more visible. Book in a call or ping us a message - we're waiting to hear from you!

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