WordPress Maintenance and Security

It has become more and more important to do some routine maintance to your WordPress blogs. Many people love the fact that WordPress is easy to get started with and to use to post articles. But, most of the newer users of this blogging platform have no idea of the maintenance issues involved with their website. I also have heard recently that keeping your blog updated may help with search engine results (more about that will be in another post).

Here are a few things that are recommended to do – especially for those of you that host your own blog:

1,  Keep your version updated

2.  Update/ugrade your plugins

3.  Backup your database

Easy Way to Get the Latest Version of WordPress

The older, unpatched versions of WordPress (older than 2.8.4) are not secure and are vulnerable to being attacked by a worm that will infect your site. This is what WordPress.org says about it:

Right now there is a worm making its way around old, unpatched versions of WordPress. This particular worm, like many before it, is clever: it registers a user, uses a security bug (fixed earlier in the year) to allow evaluated code to be executed through the permalink structure, makes itself an admin, then uses JavaScript to hide itself when you look at users page, attempts to clean up after itself, then goes quiet so you never notice while it inserts hidden spam and malware into your old posts.

These things are similar to doing routine maintenance on an automobile – and the ones I am recommending are as easy as putting in windshield wiper fluid or adding oil to your engine. I won’t recommend the ones that would be as difficult as doing a complete oil change (because I am too busy to do any of these things the long and boring way). So, my recommendations are to use more automated methods (which have been created by brilliant programmers for people like me to use – I am not a programmer).  I have written before about a plugin that helps you upgrade your WordPress to the latest version in an automated step-by-step process. And really, this is so easy! You don’t have to download software and know anything about programming. All you need to do is download a plugin and put it in the “plugins” folder. To get the plugin go here: Download Upgrade Plugin. Then you log into your wp-admin (WordPress admin) dashboard. Click on the Plugins on the left, activate your new plugin. Then, at the top of your WordPress administrative dashboard a prompt will appear that says, “Click Here to Automatically Upgrade WordPress to latest Version.” Basically, if you click that there will be instructions that walk you through upgrading. It’s so easy to do, and it will keep your site more secure.

Update/upgrade WordPress Plugins

I also think you should try to keep any plugins updated. Here is some good information on the WordPress.org site about site maintenance – http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Site_Maintenance. Ugrading plugins usually only requires you to click the “update now” links on the plugins page. Sometimes you may have to actually download the latest plugin and then upload it to your hosted files.

Keep Backups of your WordPress Database

After you get your site upgraded, there is also a plugin to use to have backups of the database (which holds all the posts, comments, user and other data for your blog). If you were ever to experience a site problem or hosting problem, you can use the backups to set your site back up. My favorite plugin for scheduling these backups is the WP-DB-Backup plugin. This one is really easy and can be downloaded here: WordPress Database Backup.

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I am a professional graphic designer and a huge student of Internet marketing. I will share advice about what I have learned, as well as tips for SEO for Wordpress and how to use Wordpress plugins.
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