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10 WordPress Maintenance Activities to Keep Your Blog Running Smoothly

WordPress Cleanup Activities You Should Be Doing

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There are many WordPress maintenance activities you should be doing to ensure your blog looks great and works correctly. If you skip these maintenance steps, the user experience on your blog is likely to suffer, and that means fewer people will visit your blog. Ten of the most important WordPress cleanup activities you should be doing are listed below. If you do nothing else to ensure your blog is running smoothly, do the ten things in this list.

Keep in mind, if you use the WordPress-hosted application at WordPress.com, many of these activities are done for you by WordPress. Bloggers who self-host using the application from WordPress.org will need to perform all of these activities themselves.

1. Update to the Newest Version of WordPress

When you see a message in your WordPress dashboard telling you that a new version of WordPress is available, click the Update button and perform the upgrade. The newest version of WordPress will have all of the latest features, including security features, and it will fix any vulnerabilities found in previous versions. Don't miss an upgrade, because skipping upgrades can cause more problems in the future.

2. Backup Your WordPress Blog

There are a variety of free and paid plugins that you can use to backup your WordPress blog. One of the best is VaultPress, which is offered by WordPress for a small monthly fee. If your blog is extremely important to you, it's worth it to pay for a comprehensive backup tool like VaultPress. If you'd prefer to use a free plugin, WP-DBManager is a good option.

3. Update WordPress Plugins

When updates are available for your installed WordPress plugins, you should always perform the upgrades to ensure the most stable and useful version of each plugin is installed on your blog. You should also delete inactive plugins.

4. Delete Spam Comments

Comments that have been flagged as spam accumulate over time and should be deleted to keep your blog running smoothly. Navigate to the Comments section of your WordPress dashboard where you can clear all spam comments from your blog with a single click of the mouse.

5. Fix Broken Links

Broken links can damage the user experience on your blog and should be fixed whenever possible. There are a variety of free link checker tools that you can use to scan your blog for broken links such as the free W3C check link utility.

6. Review Pages, Sidebar, and Footer Content

Bloggers are usually so busy creating new posts that they forget to keep their pages, sidebars, and footer content up-to-date. Review all of the content on any pages included in your WordPress blog, as well as the content in your blog's sidebar and footer, to ensure it's timely and accurate.

7. Check Your Blog's RSS Feed

Is your RSS feed working? When people subscribe to your blog's RSS feed via email, are they receiving the email messages at the right time and do those messages look good? These are all things you should monitor. If you created your RSS feed using FeedBurner, you can log into your FeedBurner account to make any changes within minutes.

8. Confirm Social Feeds are Working

If you use tools to automatically publish your blog post content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or other social sites, you should check to make sure all of those feeds are working correctly and fix any problems you encounter.

9. Check Contact Form and Any Other Forms

If you have a contact form or any other type of forms on your blog, fill them out and make sure they're working correctly.

10. Clean up User Access Controls

If you've given anyone else access to your WordPress dashboard, then you should review the list of users and edit their user roles or delete them as needed.
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