The Importance Of Maintaining Your WordPress Website

April 13, 2015 . by Aaron B #WordPress Tips

So you’ve finally got your WordPress site up and running. Good job! But you should know that as you start to add more content and features to your site and as your audience grows, you may start to experience technical difficulties that can be tough to solve. But with some preparation you can fix any issues that may arise, or even prevent them from happening at all. Outlined below is information on some of the easiest steps that you can take to ensure that your site is always running smoothly.

Keeping Your Plug-Ins Updated

Updating your WordPress plug-ins is incredibly easy (so you have no excuse not to do it). In order to update your plug-ins, simply visit your WordPress dashboard and select the “Plugins” option. Here you will see all of your plug-ins listed. If one of the plug-ins needs to be updated check underneath the version number. If you see a message that reads the following: “There is a new version of plug-in title available,” you will have to update it.

Your "Plug-Ins" Tab

Your “Plug-Ins” Tab

To update your plug-in simply select the hyperlink that read “update now,” and WordPress will handle the rest.

Preventing Spam

If you have worked in web design or had a website before, you’ve probably experienced spam comments before. Apart from just being annoying, they can also prevent you from hearing your audience’s feedback on your work. The easiest way prevent spam is through the plug-in Akismet. If you want to learn more about plug-ins read this article.

Akismet comes pre-installed on any WordPress site, but it is not configured by default. To configure Askimet, you need to activate it then select the “Settings” option in your WordPress dashboard. Next you will be asked to enter a valid API key, which you can get here. While Akismet offers several different plans and pricing structures, it is free for non-commercial entities.

Get Your Akismet API Key Here

Get Your Akismet API Key Here

Once you have your API key, enter it into your Akismet plug-in conformation page when prompted. After doing that you will have the ability to select several different options, most people generally choose to set Akismet to auto-delete spam comments. If Akismet accidentally deletes a comment that isn’t spam, simply check your Akismet spam comments and you can unflag it as spam and it will reappear.

“Backing Up Your Database”

You’ve worked hard to fill your website with content, imagine how frustrating losing all of it would be. Thankfully, there is an easy way to make sure that this never happens to you. Simply search for “WordPress Backup to DropBox” on your preferred search engine. “WordPress Backup to DropBox” is a WordPress plug-in that you can set to automatically backup all of the content on your WordPress site.

The first thing that you have to do is create an account over at Dropbox. After installing the plugin just enter your Dropbox information and the plugin’s settings page will give you a host of options to back up your data.

“White Screen Of Death”

The “White Screen of Death” is an error where either you or your readers enter your WordPress site and see nothing but a blank white screen. The “White Screen of Death” is kind of complicated so I’m going to avoid the intricacies of what causes it for now as it involves WordPress’s code, which could justify an article by itself. Just remember that installing too many plug-ins or conflicting themes can mess with WordPress in a variety of ways, so try to refrain from installing ones that you don’t actually need.

To fix this issue, head over to your plugins tab in WordPress. Underneath the title of individual plug-ins, you should see a “Deactivate” option. Simply click on this to deactivate a plug-in. Follow this procedure with all of your plug-ins until you find the problematic plug-in.

In some cases however, sometimes when you try logging into WordPress you will see the “White Screen of Death” before you have the ability to disable and of your plug-ins from your dashboard. Fixing this issue can be difficult, so be sure to read through all of the following information before attempting to solve it.

Your first step is going to be renaming or removing your plug-ins files of your WordPress install “/wp-content/plugins/”. This can be done via your cPanel or FTP, before you jump right in remember to take a FULL backup of your website files.

Now try to log into WordPress and see if that solved the problem.

If it didn’t however, your next step is going to be switching to the default theme. To do this without entering your WordPress dashboard you’re going to need to rename or delete your theme from your “/wp-content/themes/” . Hopefully this fixes the issue!

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article showed you how important it is to maintain your WordPress site. If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us here or read some of the other articles on the website.

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