For those managing WordPress sites for clients, adhering to a regular maintenance routine is crucial. This protocol details our primary approach. For specific challenges encountered during maintenance, refer to our WordPress Troubleshooting Checklist.
In our maintenance tools, we meticulously record project details, tasks, important information, and time allocations.
- Timing: Conduct maintenance during off-peak times, like nights or weekends, and inform customers as needed.
- Resource Preparation: Ensure resources are prepared, projects are properly tagged, and the maintenance environment is seamless.
- Project Selection: Start with established development sites and less frequented projects with common plugins and configurations. Generally, prioritize individual site updates, opting for batch processes where beneficial.
Backup and Site Health
We use two backup plugins, with at least one configured for automatic cloud backups and one also utilized for staging sites. Some projects may include a reset plugin.
- Auto Backups: Verify backups run on schedule. Delete non-auto-removed backups. Proposed schedule: Files – 10 weekly and 1 daily incremental; Databases – 70 daily. For compatible plugins: Files – 10 weekly, then 1 every 4 weeks after 5 weeks. Databases – 20 daily, then 1 every 4 weeks post 14 days.
- Manual Backups: Initiate a database backup using the main auto backup or reset plugin. Next, complete a site backup with the other plugin. Choose cloud storage or download as needed. Address minor tasks during the backup but delay updates until finished.
- Restore Point: After the manual backup, create a restore point from the recent backup, provided the server is compatible and has sufficient resources.
- Enhanced Backups: Use advanced backup routines as previously agreed.
- Site Health: Monitor site health, note actions, verify security settings, and address security alerts. Occasionally, spot-check backup completeness, focusing on the theme and uploads.
- Pre-Update Check: Before updates, review project status including time frame, overtime, special agreements, and related notes.
Prioritize software updates considering their urgency, maintenance time, client needs, and security. Refer to project notes for any constraints.
- Environment Setup: Consider setting up a staging site or activating maintenance mode based on the risk assessment and details of the agreement.
- Plugin Updates: Update plugins based on priority, considering changelogs and overall time. Typically, favor maintenance releases over early feature updates.
- Core and Theme Updates: Update WordPress core and themes as appropriate, giving priority to maintenance releases.
Evaluation and Repair
We inspect for visual issues and problem areas. Interactive elements are checked based on enhanced agreements; otherwise, we address them upon client feedback.
- Basic Testing: Clear the server cache, then evaluate site design, general functionality, and speed in logged-out mode. For major style changes, cross-verify on multiple browsers and devices as required.
- Enhanced Testing: Perform additional evaluations as specified in the agreement, addressing interactive functionality, integrations, administrative checks, and more.
- Resolving Issues: Efficiently address and resolve any identified issues. This might involve considering options like roll-backs, delaying updates, or discussing potential additional costs with the client.
Special Project Tasks
Specific projects have distinct maintenance specifications and additional to-dos. Check the project documentation for details.
- Site-Specific Tasks: Perform site-specific standard tasks based on project notes.
- Group Tasks: Refer to maintenance notes for tasks that apply across multiple sites or the entire collection.
- Enhanced Optimization: Implement services as per the enhanced agreements, which cover advanced maintenance tasks tailored to the site’s specific needs, such as database optimization, SEO checks, performance analysis, and more.
- Scheduled Services: Seize this opportunity to complete any additional scheduled tasks, especially non-urgent repairs or feature introductions unless a specific developer is designated.
Regularly assess the maintenance timeframe. If it’s too short for major tasks, consider extending it or noting separate support services.
- Post-Testing Cleanup: Remove all test submissions, orders, and entries to uphold site integrity, which includes tasks like resetting invoice numbers and deactivating sandbox payment modes.
- Environment Cleanup: Remove any existing staging sites. If maintenance mode was enabled, disable it. Then, clear the server cache and verify site accessibility in logged-out mode.
- Final Backup: Initiate a site backup with the main auto backup plugin when all code-related tasks are completed.
- Reporting: Complete maintenance reports for both internal use and client communication. Directly address the client if there’s crucial information or pending tasks.
- Version Control: If the project uses version control, commit any code modifications.
- Project Details: Schedule the project for the next maintenance period and revise other project details and tags.
After completing maintenance for all sites, transition to overarching procedures for data consolidation and system optimization.
- Consolidated Backup: Sync backups from the cloud, retaining a local copy. Spot-check for backup presence.
- Environment & Resources: Rectify detected anomalies in the maintenance tools and environment. Backup essential app data and documents.
By following this checklist, we ensure optimal performance and security for all our WordPress sites. For challenges encountered during maintenance, our WordPress Troubleshooting Checklist is available for guidance.
Maintenance Service Information
The following linked articles about our maintenance services are written in German.