The holiday season will soon be upon us. That means visiting with family and friends, eating way too much and maybe even exchanging a gift or two. While those things should of course be your top priority, you may also want to take a few minutes of your downtime to give your WordPress site some much-deserved love.
Here are a few tasks you might want to tackle between eating and celebrating (or celebrating the fact that you’re eating!)…
WordPress 4.1 recently came out and contained some new features, along with bug fixes. Now would be a good time to ensure that you’re running the very latest version. The same thing goes for plugins, as well. While many sites running version 4.0 were automatically updated, there are some older server configurations where that doesn’t happen. Now would be a good time to ensure that you’re running the very latest version. The same thing goes for plugins, as well.
Trim Excess Fat
No, I’m not talking about food (this time). I’m talking about the unused plugins and sloppy databases that make your site slow down like your uncle after a few too many holiday spirits. Here are a few things you should do:
- Take a look at what plugins are running (or, worse yet, aren’t running) on your site. If there are any that are no longer needed or aren’t even activated, then you might as well toss them in the trash, right?
- And when, might I ask, was the last time you optimized your database? Databases need love too, after all. Optimizing through a plugin like this will help keep things running smoothly. And for extra credit, maybe you could back up that database as well?
This is a really quick one and I know you can do it. Take a few seconds and change your site’s administrator password. Make it long, complicated and include a # or a ! or maybe even a few %‘s as well. It’s a small step but one that can make things just that much harder for a bot to hack into your site. Just please make sure to remember what that password is after you change it.
Get a Little Testy
Just that title alone brings back memories of holiday quarrels past. Well, even if the family doesn’t always get along this time of year, you can certainly make sure your website gets along by testing it.
Depending upon what type of website you’re running, the holidays can often bring lower traffic numbers. So take this time to test the various functions of your website to ensure they’re working properly. Shopping carts, contact forms, photo galleries, members-only areas, etc. can really benefit from a good review. Make sure everything is working by testing in multiple web browsers and (if possible) mobile devices. A service like BrowserStack can be very helpful for this.
Click yourself to every corner of the site and you may be surprised to find that some items may not be working as well as you’d hoped.
Try Something New
While many of us have a New Year’s Resolution (I’ve been getting in shape for 12 straight years!), not all of us have set up new goals for our websites. This year, it’ll be different. Take a moment to think about what you’d like to improve on your site. Maybe there’s a great new WordPress plugin that adds that extra bit of functionality. It could even be time for a new theme to spice things up.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be a drastic change. It could be a matter of just cleaning up some little messes we’ve made during the year. Whatever it is, think it through and then achieve it!
Sit Back and Enjoy
Now that you’ve gone through your WordPress site with a fine-toothed comb, you can sit back and enjoy all that hard work. Celebrate with the ones you love and, who knows, maybe even eat something. Happy holidays!
Header & Social Image: Seamless New Year and Christmas Pattern by nikiteev.