The number one reason for WordPress users not performing their own WordPress maintenance is because they don’t understand what it takes to do so. Often this means that they don’t know how to search, delete or patch their software. Some simply don’t realize that WordPress maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult if they know what they’re doing.
WordPress is a pretty complex program. In fact, there are hundreds of tools and extensions that are “out there” that can help you customize your site or take it to the next level. And by extension, I mean the userland – not the application itself.
Getting started with WordPress maintenance will involve researching what tools are available and what functions you can perform. It’s best to use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or Apple Pages to begin with so that you can track changes or even see what you’ve already done.
If you can install Word’s search box on your blog, then that’s a great start. You can quickly see what’s out there and where you can go for help. The search box lets you search for keywords and get specific information about the plugins, themes and pages you are interested in. It’s important to find the ones that will be most helpful to you and your blog.
It’s important to choose plugins that are compatible with your operating system. For example, if you want to install a plugin, you’ll need to run a Windows command such as ‘adpunch.exe’. Plugins typically provide additional functionality for your site. For example, the WordPress template system allows for plug-ins to change many different aspects of your site such as the color scheme, features, layouts and themes.
Once you’ve installed your plugins, check to make sure that they’re enabled, otherwise you may find yourself unsure of what your site administrator has done. Also, make sure you’re sure that the versions are compatible as well. Most plugins will have “release notes” that tell you what’s changed and why.
One thing you’ll notice if you’re not familiar with the WordPress code is the confusingly named “postmen”post meta” commands. These allow you to review, edit and create the various “tags” for each post you publish.
This isn’t a list of all the plugins available in WordPress but a brief overview of a few that I find useful. The best tools to use are ones that allow you to customize your content without having to learn the inner workings of WordPress. These allow you to do things like tag a post or put an image in a post without going through and learning each “tag” function.
Another good tool for WordPress maintenance is the “Plugin War Room” built into the WordPress admin. It provides an easy way to view all the plugins in your software and monitor their activity.
There’s a great addon called WP-Introspection (and it works with all versions) that lets you easily configure which plugins and themes you want on your site without having to read all the code. So, this allows you to keep a general overview of what you want to have up.
You can also utilize plugins and add-ons that offer help for WordPress, including basic programming or easier customization. Using these plugins will enable you to maintain your WordPress blog with ease.
While WordPress maintenance isn’t a difficult task to do, it will take some time to learn. Once you’re comfortable with it, the next step is to become an expert. Once you master it, your blog will literally grow with you!