It is not good to be complacent in any scenario, especially when operating a website. The reason for this is that technological mistakes tend to occur when we least expect them. To avert staying in the comfort zone it is vital to do regular audits despite things running smoothly. This will bring to your attention areas of concern before they turn into a disaster.
Your website needs to be audited at least once a month for top-notch performance. There are various factors to look into in a website audit. If any of these elements is not in conformity with the agreed standards it would be hazardous to your website and could have serious consequences to your number of sales and visitors.
Backup, backup … and again, make a full backup
First and foremost, do backup. Ideally, you have a daily backup, but before you start to do any updates or changes, do another backup manually.
Check the plugins and software versions
WordPress including themes and plugins needs to be updated to fix security problems and bugs to maintain optimum performance. You can figure out if you are using the latest WordPress version in “Updates” on the dashboard. It also shows if your plugins are updated. You will be required to click on the associated update buttons. Ensure that you’re newest versions are compatible with your hosting settings (e.g. PHP version) and with your 3rd party systems integrations (e.g. API integrations).
Check the speed
Speed is very important in the performance of a website. Fast websites have more conversions and better UX. The faster the website the better the search engine performance. Slower websites are penalized and rank low in search engines. You can use GTmetrix or PageSpeed Insights to assess your website’s speed. On the GTmetrix website please remember to choose the right option where and how you want to analyse the webpage.
Check content and blogs
Adding new blogs and content to your website shows search engines and users that you have an active and interesting website worth checking out. You can check the date of your latest published blogs in the “Posts” part of the dashboard. The frequency of publishing content relies on the goals of your business. You should also check the comments section to determine which comments should be published or deleted.
Check the security
Frequently scan your website for suspicious code, malware, and viruses. If your website is infected it could lead to serious problems in terms of reputation and finances. You can install a plug-in which comes with a firewall for blocking suspicious traffic, hardening your website security, and scanning for malware. If you are using WordPress premium managed hosting probably most of the security jobs are done by the hosting provider.
Check broken links
A broken link denotes a link to a page that is not functional. It can be detrimental for users to be taken to a 404 error page prompting them to exit your website. This is also a negative message to search engines. If you have any broken links go to the page and remove it.
You should perform broken link WordPress maintenance monthly if you make lots of content. You can install the WordPress redirection plugin to create redirects for old URLs.
How you can maintain high-performance websites
Conducting a website audit provides you with an idea of how your website is functioning and highlights areas that require maintenance or improvement. You can use tools and information to help you directly from the Google search console and Google PageSpeed tools. On the other hand, if you need expert website audit and maintenance, you can get in touch and ask a reputable web design agency to assist. It is always a compilation of people’s knowledge and experience with tools and technology.