Maintaining Your WordPress Website

The WordPress CMS, like all website software applications, requires maintenance to keep everything tuned and working well. There are several aspects to that, including;

WordPress Security & Features

Its important to apply updates to the WordPress core and plugins as they are available, because these  include bug fixes, and sometimes recently discovered security vulnerabilities. Of course, updates also include feature enhancements, so you are able to now do what was previously impossible. In many cases, what once required a plugin is now part of the core functionality. Keeping the CMS up to date is smart!

Unused Uploads

Images in particular can become a serious problem. When you replace an image, be it in a post, a gallery, or a featured image, the original image remains in place. Over time, sites accumulate megabytes of unused files that do nothing but consume your hosting account’s disk space allocation.

There’s actually an easy, built-in way to deal with this particular issue. The Media / Library has an “Unattached” option that identifies those images that are not linked to from a page or a post.

Use this tool to eliminate the garbage taking up valuable space in your Uploads directories.

Unused Plugins

Does your site have plugins installed but deactivated, and you can’t remember why on earth you had them in the first place… These are just taking up valuable disk space, and are best removed as part of the housekeeping process.

The Plugins section allows you to select multiple items and delete them. Once that’s done, run the Plugin Garbage Collector referred to in the next section, to remove any surplus database tables.

Unused Tables

As your site develops, you will invariably install plugin applications that generate additional database tables. Removing the plugin often leaves the table in place, resulting in undesirable database bloat.

The Plugins Garbage Collector provides tools to remove all the unwanted debris left behind by deactivated and removed plugins.

The non-WordPress tables are identified – active ones are shown in green, unused tables are shown in red. By default nothing is selected – check those you know are unwanted and delete them.

Read the warnings carefully – take a backup, because that’s the only way to reverse an inadvertent table deletion!

The  WP CleanFix plugin provides an Admin interface for optimizing database tables, eliminating excess revisions and sundry other  issues with posts, users, comments and more!

 Page Revisions

The default installation of WordPress provides a much-needed safety net for page and post content, with an Auto-Save and Revisions facility. Every time you open a post or page, you get either an auto-saved copy  and/or an incremental post revision! These accumulate over time, and can soon amount to hundreds or thousands of backup page and post copies.

Once again, there’s several rescue packages available that prevents excessive accumulation of revisions! The plugin I use is called Revision Control and it allows you to set site-wide parameters on maximum revisions per page or post etc.

Wordpress Maintenance - Revision Control plugin

Summary

Applying those few remedial efforts towards maintenance of your website will keep it lean & mean and functioning at maximum efficiency. Note that we have a WordPress Website Maintenance Plan available – read more…

NOTE: ALWAYS DO A BACKUP BEFORE YOU DO ANY MAJOR HOUSEKEEPING…