Whether you’ve invested a lot of time or money (or both) into building your website, protect that investment and your online presence by keeping up basic maintenance on your site. Like with anything in our lives, we must put some effort in on an ongoing basis to avert huge investment at once. From spring cleaning our homes to our own bodies, maintenance is the healthiest way to care and benefit.
Spending just a few minutes a month to follow these simple suggestions can prevent your website from slowing down, becoming glitchy, or worst case, not working at all. Remember: we are not tech experts by any means, but we are all about efficiency, and this article outlines what we do for ourselves.
First of all, here’s why you should be updating everything.
Developers are constantly trying to make their products better by releasing updates to plugins, themes, and even WordPress as a whole. These updates can include new features, or they may just be a smoother-operating version of the last update.
Either way, you’ll want to stay up-to-date to ensure your website stays secure (and that it can work with newer themes and plugins)! Don’t worry; we would never advise you to do something that should be left for a professional: these are updates that you can safely and simply access on your own.
Not to scare you but…
One very good reason to update WordPress is that it’s often a target for security threats, since it’s used by millions of people around the world. Usually, security flaws are found and fixed as soon as possible, but updating your WordPress will help keep your website safe.
WordPress will tell you when there are updates available.
When updates are released, WordPress will have a message shown at the top of almost every page within your dashboard (and often at the bottom of these pages too). It will say something to the effect of “WordPress 4.0 is available! Please update now.”
When there are updates available for WordPress, a plugin, or a theme you use, you’ll also notice a little circled number beside the Updates tab.
Update your WordPress in 5 minutes
Go to the Updates section of your Dashboard. If there’s a newer version of WordPress, you will see ‘An updated version of WordPress is available’. Click “Update Now”. You will be taken to a new page which tracks the update’s progress. (In the back end, WordPress will be deactivating your plugins, replacing the files, and reactivating your plugins).
The Updates page will show you the Plugins and Themes you use that require updates. Simply click “Update Plugins” or “Update Themes”. You’ll be taken to a new page tracking the progress of these updates too.
Why we recommend doing it yourself
Having someone manage these updates for you can be very expensive, and we’ve never had an issues updating any of our sites ourselves using this method.
If or when the unexpected happens and you do encounter a problem, challenge, or issue beyond your ability of repair or understanding, please deal with it right away by contacting your host (Bluehost is great and is the host we use)
Whether you host with Bluehost, or another service provider, it’s always a good idea to have a backup of your site on your hard drive before you run any updates. Bluehost takes automatic backups of your account every night, so you can get it restored by following these instructions).
Other best practices
To keep your website safe and running smoothly, we also recommend deleting spam comments and changing your passwords at least twice a year.
We wish you the best in online health + wellness. Don’t let the glitches get you down – they happen – just set yourself up to have someone or a company to rely on!
Kindly note: We don’t like to refer to ourselves as “experts”, but we do take great pride in sharing our business advice, distilled down from our extensive research and (often) mind-blowingly frustrating experiences we’ve endured and learned from. We try our best to create a clear and humble approach to good business tactics that you and your teams can understand and turn into effective and productive revenue streams. We are actual, real people and look forward to supporting you in any way we can, whether it’s on the topic of this post, or other business development and marketing communications you may be involved in, or considering. We are proud of the services we provide; if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask us – we also take pride in being super responsive!