PTBA Blog

How to Keep Your WordPress Healthy

WordpressKeeping your WordPress healthy will save you time and energy to create quality content instead of spending that time trying to fix your site. Here are some tips to keeping your WordPress healthy.

Delete Unnecessary Plugins
Some of the most common issues bloggers have with WordPress are caused by plugins. Because WordPress is open-source, there are thousands of plugins to customize your site in every way imaginable, but what many don’t realize is that plugins can hurt your site too.

Having too many plugins can cause your site to run slowly. Consolidating and deleting plugins that you no longer need is one of the best things you can do to keeping your site running fast. If a plugin hasn’t been updated in the last two years, you should consider deleting and finding an alternative plugin. Be sure to delete plugins that are inactive as well.

Delete Unused Themes

When starting your blog you may have tried a dozen different themes to get the look and feel you have today. Although the unused themes are deactivated, they might contain vulnerabilities that are easy for a hacker to take control and inject malware throughout your entire site. Delete any unused themes but keep the most recent WordPress default theme as a backup incase something happens and you need to switch back.

Update Everything Always

It might sound scary to update everything but this is really important. The more updates you skip, the more likely a new update is going to break something. Additionally, WordPress is the most used CMS software in the world and hackers are attacking WordPress sites everyday looking for outdated installations, themes, and plugins. Keeping everything up to date makes it harder for them to break in.

When a major WordPress update becomes available, I generally wait a few days for the plugins to catch up to the update. If the WordPress update is a security patch, you should update right away.

Disable “Anyone Can Register” Function

Unless you have a membership based site, there’s no reason you should be allowing others to register on your site. There’s a good chance that if you do have this feature enabled that all of them will be spam bots attempting to login to your site. Make sure it’s disabled by going to Settings > General > and uncheck “anyone can register”.

Once you’re done, go to Users and delete all users that are under Subscribed.

Plugins You Should Use

WP-Optimize: A simple plugin that will delete all post revisions and optimize your database. Run this once and delete the plugin once you’re done. Run this about once a month for a fast running database.

Limit Login Attempts: Another simple plugin that will lock users out if they attempt to hack into your site by guessing your user ID and password. There are bots that will attempt hundreds of times to guess your password but by using this plugin, it will lock them out after a few tries.

If you’re really interested in maintaining a healthy site, head over to Travel Blog Success for more tips on WordPress and blogging.

About the author: Michael Tieso travels around the world writing, photographing, and filming his adventures. He loves adventure, food, and music. He is the Editor-in-chief of Art of Backpacking.

 

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The views in this post represent those of the author and not necessarily those of the PTBA or its Board of Directors.

6 Responses to How to Keep Your WordPress Healthy

  1. Jennifer July 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Very useful! Thank you, Michael. Site load speed is one of the more important aspects of blog/website maintenance — disabling relatively unused plugins is a good way to get our pages to load faster.

  2. rtwdave July 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I like WP Optimize a lot, but for some reason, didn’t have it installed on either of my blogs so this was a nice reminder.

    I cleared out over 5,000 post revisions on Medellin Living.

    On Go Backpacking, hosted by WPEngine, I’m getting a gateway error message when I try to optimize my database. Is that them, or is it the fact that I have some very big entries in my database that the plugin is trying to optimize?

  3. Muzi July 26, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    In case you run multiple blogs, I recently discovered wpremote which is a lifesaver for updating plugins, themes etc in one central dashboard.

  4. Tim Redman March 8, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Excellent post with some useful tips. Nothing is more important as a fast loading site as this is now one of the criteria that Google looks at when ranking websites.

  5. Jenny August 26, 2015 at 8:20 am #

    I didn’t know that I have to keep my WP healthy. Thanks for the tips especially the bit about plugins and themes.

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