Keep Your WordPress Happy: Essential Tips – March 2017

Website Superhero - Keep Your WordPress Happy Essential Tips - March 2017

Welcome to the third ever Keep Your WordPress Happy: Essential Tips monthly column! (See the January column here and the February column here.)

Every month this year I’m covering any big news in the WordPress world, new favorite tools, and maintenance tips & best practices to keep your WordPress happy and your website makin’ that moolah for yo’ biz.

So YOU can more easily easily & smoothly have a business website that’s your reliable 24/7 salesperson bringing in leads while you snooze.

Ready? Leggo!

Keep Your WordPress Happy: Essential Tips – March 2017

What’s up in the WordPress world?

  • WordCamp Miami is this weekend! Find a WordCamp near you here. Not sold about going to a conference yet? Here’s a post I wrote a year ago on creativity after attending my first tech conference on how deeply it inspired me and my business!
  • Haven’t updated to WordPress 4.7.3 yet? Do it ASAP because this version patches up 6 security vulnerabilities that exist in 4.7.2 as well as previous versions. Do this on a test site if possible before doing it on your live site to avoid breaking something.
  • Increase site speed and tighten up security by updating your PHP version to 7. The makers of the Yoast SEO plugin urged users this week to make sure their website software is running on the latest version of PHP, which is 7. As a website user, this has to do with your hosting provider. Log into your hosting account or call them to check what PHP version your websites are on, and if they’re at less than 7, ask them if they can upgrade you to PHP 7. If they can’t help you, consider switching to a better host, like Siteground, Flywheel, or WP Engine.

New favorite WordPress tools

UpdraftPlus

If all you need are simple backups and maybe restoring your website if you break something, you can get away with UpdraftPlus and even its free version. It’ll be enough for you to schedule automatic database and full backups (copies of your website in case a tech calamity strikes) and even restore a backup. However, if you want to restore a backup to another location, you’ll need to purchase one of the paid extensions.

After using Backup Buddy for years, I can safely say that it’s useful and practical when it works, but it is frequently buggy. If you’re struggling with Backup Buddy (or just want a free option) give UpdraftPlus a shot.

Psst… read this if you don’t have backups going.

Got Spam?

Who doesn’t these days?! For a spam filterer, try Akismet (free or cheap) or Antispam Bee (free). I can tell you from experience that both are pretty great.

And consider switching off your comments altogether if it’s really bad; if your theme doesn’t make it easy to turn them off, you can use a plugin like Disable Comments (free) to disable them sitewide.

Your Monthly WordPress Maintenance

Have 5 minutes? That’s okay! Got 30? Even better! Either way, we can help keep WordPress happy and your website humming along helping your biz grow.

Here’s what you need to do this month to keep your WordPress happy:

  • If you’re not on a secure, managed server that handles your security (like Flywheel or WP Engine) then make sure you’re using a security plugin like Wordfence and once a month quickly run your site through a security filter like Sucuri’s: http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/
  • Check for broken links automatically with this free plugin: Broken Link Checker
  • Make sure your backups are running smoothly so you have a Plan B if disaster strikes (I like Backup Buddy and UpdraftPlus). Ideally, take the time to restore one every month and make sure everything you need is there in case you ever do need to bring your website back to life via one of ’em backups.
  • Haven’t gotten a message through your contact form in the past few weeks? Test it!
  • Haven’t gotten a new subscriber in a little while? Test your opt-in forms! And work on increasing your website traffic and optimizing your social media traffic while you’re at it if you want to convert visitors into more signups ;)
Wanna get serious about keeping your website business-ready & proactive in getting your leads? The tech’s gonna run properly, there’s no way around it.
Check out the FREE 5-day “Superclean Your Website” Challenge to get on the right path. (Beginners welcome!)
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