In many cases, I see people that have developed their website and not thinking about the future, leaning back, and enjoying life. Then one day they reach out to the developer in despair that a big crisis exists.
The analogy is similar to that of our own health. We only go to the doctor if we get sick. This is very sad because prevention is always more effective than the treatment itself. But let's start at the beginning.
Biology of WordPress
Because WordPress is an open-source CMS system, many people write their source code to keep up to date with current technological changes (such as adapting to programming languages) or to polish something, discover a new bug, vulnerability, and so on.
The situation is similar to the themes and extensions used on WordPress pages. There are always newer and newer updates for these as well. These include fixes that make our site more secure.
Additionally, these updates include new features that developers will add to the new version of the add-on or theme.
This is how WordPress gets older and, unlike us, gets better and better (this isn’t necessarily true since Gutenberg).
Like everything on the web, our WordPress website is vulnerable to attacks. The best way to protect them in the first round is to keep your plugin and so-called core file up-to-date on all the topics related to your website. Otherwise, the basic precautions are no longer in place.
Of course, the user can perform the updates itself, but just like with a Windows update, there is a possibility that something will go wrong and crash. Because the update may not run for some reason, there may be a compatibility issue between the extensions, a compatibility issue with the server (such as PHP version number support, etc.), and there may be several other reasons why our attempt may fail. That's why we need to back up our website in all cases, so it's a good idea to have it done by a professional. He/she already has a routine in it and even if he/she doesn’t know everything, he/she knows right away where to look.
Like everything else, our car, our apartment, our email account, so our website needs cleaning too. For example, if you use a cache plugin, you may want to delete the cache sometimes (The cache plugin helps us load our site faster). The comment section is worth checking out because in vain we can imagine that your spambots have burst into the blog with their comments. Unnecessary or unused extensions can be deleted. The database tables on the website should also be cleaned up. This includes revisions, entries, and so on. contains earlier versions. These are used to restore an earlier backup, for example from an entry. But in many cases, the tables of plugins previously installed and deleted since then remain here, which are no longer useful to us, they just “take up space” in the database. You can also empty the trash of this website. Deleted articles, trash entries, etc.
You may also want to delete unused media files to help you keep track of your trash.
Run firewalls, malware, and anti-virus plugins. In many cases, they work automatically and require no intervention. However, during such maintenance, we can run it for safety.
Create a backup
I cannot stress the importance of this. Whatever happens to our site, if you have a backup, you can always restore the latest saved version from there. Even for a static website with no content change, it's a good idea to make one backup per month. In the case of pages where content is uploaded on a daily/weekly basis, it is worth doing this on a weekly basis. Of course, there are those who do this once every night.
Although this post only partially touched on the topic of maintaining WordPress websites, we can see that maintenance is not just about three clicks. It comes with a lot of responsibilities. Yet many people do not perform maintenance on their site for months or years. Of course, they can say that there is nothing wrong with the site, but it is a bit like Russian roulette. There are updates every day, bad guys can try to crack your page every day. There can be a server failure every day or anything else. If you don't have a backup, your entire website is gone. You can always take a risk, but it’s worth appreciating and caring about our website a bit, as we created it to present us in the online world. It’s worth taking the time and money to go to the doctor at least once a month.
Because one apple a day keeps the doctor away...