5 Steps to Avoid a WordPress Mess

If you’re using WordPress as the platform upon which to write your blog or display any other type of website, one of the first things you should consider is protecting your asset from disaster.

You are not necessarily protecting your site from hackers, who seem to get the majority of the spotlight; you’re protecting your site from hosting errors, update mistakes, theme issues, and plugin crashes.  The list of pitfalls that threaten the life of your WordPress site can go on and on!

 

Here are some steps you should take right now to avoid a WordPress mess:

1.  BACKUP YOUR SITE!

This is one of the most important and often overlooked tasks that should be completed at regular intervals.

There are numerous free and paid options available to accomplish this task.  A good free option is through the use of a Plugin called “Duplicator”.  Though it may seem a bit daunting to use at first, there is nothing like the feeling of having a complete backup ready to be implemented at a moment’s notice! 🙂

2.  Secure your site.

Providing adequate security for your site will discourage the casual hackers that everyone seems to be worried about.  If you feel you have more important data to protect that may be a target for professional hackers, seek an industrial strength solution that incorporates the use of firewalls to protect your server topology.

From the “Plugins” tab within WordPress, search for “Bulletproof Security” as a free option and good starting point for shoring up your site security.

3.  Clone your site.

This is very similar to creating a backup of your site, with the exception that your backup is implemented as a live clone of your original site.

With a clone, you can safely test out plugin and theme updates, changes, and additions.  You can find out how your site will look and behave prior to making those changes “permanent” to the original site.

The “Duplicator” plugin mentioned in Step #1 can also be used to create a clone of your WordPress site.

 

4.  Use “Child Themes”.

This step is somewhat advanced.  If you are new to WordPress and not much of a “techie” or coder, then you will probably have someone else make changes to the look and “feel” of your site.

Try to ensure that the person who is modifying your site is doing so through the use of Child Themes, where applicable.

Think of a Child Theme as a copy of your main (Parent) theme that can be modified and displayed in place of the main theme.  It still has all the characteristics of the main theme.  However, it adds your visual or functional enhancements to the final presentation.

Implementing the use of Child Themes is considered to be the recommended way of making modifications to the main theme.  Make sure that you, your coder, or other WordPress expert uses child themes to make customizations; one update to your main theme could potentially wipe out all of your hard work and effort!

5.  Update Themes and Plugins Regularly.

Completing Step #4 should make the step a worry-free endeavor.

Many themes will notify you of updates via the WordPress dashboard.

Some theme and plugin vendors will send you an email on update availability.  Others require you to check their website from time to time to determine if an update is available and necessary.

How well you keep up with these updates could have an impact on your site’s security and vulnerability.

Following the above 5 steps can greatly decrease the possibility that you would suffer a significant loss in (or of) your WordPress site.

Following the above 5 steps can also greatly increase your peace of mind when it comes to knowing that your site is all the more safe and secure. 🙂

Enjoy!



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