Developing & running a WordPress website is hassle-free & convenient. Yes, we all know that.
But did you know that maintaining a WordPress website could also turn into a nightmare if not managed properly? Those who have been already using a WordPress website will better understand what we are talking about here.
As a web design company in India, we receive several emails from different webmasters complaining about their WordPress website showing errors out of a blue and they have no clue about them. They seek our assistance to fix those errors for them.
Some of these errors are not severe but most of them are really critical. You can live with some minor errors on your website but when the errors are critical, they can affect your business as well.
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So, we thought to write a blog post and share some useful tips for you to prevent errors on your WordPress.
In this blog post, we have shared 6 tips for you or your website developer to prevent errors to happen on your WordPress website.
In order to avoid any kind of chaos, you must ensure to have a regular backup of your website. In other words, you must always have the latest & fully-functional backup of your website with you always.
Why backup is so important?
A backup will enable you to restore your website and make it normal in case of any unpredictable or unforeseen situations or errors.
If you have already engaged a web development company or a web developer to maintain your website, they should be taking regular backups of your website. So, you don’t have to worry about it.
But if you manage your website yourself, then you must back up your WordPress website regularly especially after making any changes to your site.
You can install a plugin like UpdraftPlus that will not only help you to take regular backups of your website but will also enable you to restore your website with the latest backup in case of any chaos.
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#2 Update systematically
Your WordPress website may show the notifications to update your theme or some of your plugin(s) and we all know that updating them is as easy as a single click. But you don’t have to take swift action here.
There could be a possibility that while building your website, your website developer may have customized some of your plugins or themes in order to meet your specific requirements. Updating these plugins/themes to their latest versions can remove those customized codes and your website may look or behave in an unexpected manner.
What’s the solution here.
- You need to take a backup of your website first.
- You need to check with your website builder if he or she has customized any of the plugins.
- If there are too many customizations that have been done by your developer, you may avoid updating your plugin or theme if it’s not too critical. If you really need to update them, you may hire a website builder to do this job for you.
#3 Don't edit any file
If you are not tech-savvy or confident in managing PHP codes, you shouldn’t even try to edit any of the theme or plugin files directly. A single character if removed or added to any crucial file can break your website.
While showing a warning message on the browser, WordPress may indicate the exact file name and the line number of the faulty code(s) which is causing the errors on your website. But don’t just proceed to open that file and make changes if you are not good at PHP coding.
Even if you try to make any changes in the codes, just make sure to back up the file first just in case you need it to restore.
Again, if it looks too intimidating for you to resolve the issue yourself, do hire a WordPress developer instead of causing further errors.
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#4 Update WordPress version
It’s important for you to keep updating your WordPress CMS to its latest version. If you delay or don’t update your WordPress version regularly, your website may be prone to several vulnerabilities or different kinds of security threats.
Why updating your WordPress version is so important?
Well, here is the logic.
Whenever the WordPress team updates their platform with a new security patch, they do let people know about the vulnerability for which they have released the patch.
This means now everyone knows that the previous version had security issues and it becomes easier for hackers to crack the websites that haven’t been updated yet.
#5 Update your email address
Updating your email address in the user settings of the WordPress backend is very important.
Most webmasters never change the user’s email address in their WordPress website which still has the email ID of their web developers.
Why you must ensure that the WordPress admin has your own email address?
- You will receive important messages & notifications from WordPress regularly.
- You can easily reset the admin password whenever you want.
#6 Never work on live website
Website development is an ongoing thing. You can’t set it up, shut it and forget it. You may want new features to be added to your WordPress website from time to time.
But working on your live website directly could show error warnings to your users which can affect your conversions & sales.
Therefore, you must ask your website developer to always work on a staging website so that you can check everything before deploying the new changes to your live website.
Perhaps your website builder can clone your live website and deploy it to his own testing server and show you the progress so that you can check all the new features on his test server rather than on your live website.
Once all the changes have been done and checked, then your web developer can migrate them to your live website.