This is definitely one of those topics which authors don’t really consider, but to have your author website working effectively for you, then you have to keep it maintained.
Think of it like maintaining your car. You have to keep it maintained and oiled to keep it running for years to come, checking the tires, checking the oil and yearly tune-ups.
The following points are a check list for your author website maintenance much in the same way. Just 5 or 10 minutes a day is all you need to keep your website running.
Note: these tips are specific to WordPress, but generally relate to all author websites. Having your own domain and hosted WordPress website is the best option for an author website.
1. Keep your WordPress author website updated to the latest version
One of the many reasons to use WordPress is because it has free regular software updates. These WordPress automatic updates include things like display updates, security updates and feature enhancements.
To update your WordPress version simply login to your WordPress dashboard and at the top you’ll see the WordPress automatic update link you can simply click. See the screenshot below.
2. Keep your plugins updated
Just like your WordPress framework, you need to keep the plugins you’ve installed up to date as well. Updates include keeping the plugin compatible with new WordPress update changes, security updates and new features.
Updating your plugins is easy by simply going to your plugins page and looking to see if there’s an ‘update notification‘ just below the plugin names. Just click the ‘update button‘ and it’ll update automatically. See the image below.
3. Remember to backup!
This is without a doubt something that’s neglected by most website owners. They don’t realise that if something happened and their website goes down (as rare that it happens) that they have nothing backed up. I’ve heard the stories of anguish from those regretting not taking 15 minutes to make a back up.
The best way to backup is to use a backup plugin such as Vaultpress or Backup Buddy. Plugins like these can be installed and setup so backups are created automatically and saved to your hosting server or hard drive. Both of these are premium plugins, which means you buy with a one off, or monthly fee for as little as $15.
I use and recommend Backup Buddy. It’s a more expensive option, but the features are excellent and it’s a onetime payment that is priceless for peace of mind. Author websites built for authors here at Book Cover Cafe come with a backup system, setup and ready to go.
4. Maintain your blog comments regularly
This is important so you don’t miss replying to any visitors that have replied to your blog articles, and also to clear out any spam that’s been caught by your spam filter. If you don’t have one, have the Akismet plugin installed right now.
Use this checklist as your guide to performing your author website maintenance and you won’t have to worry about big security holes, having to update your website manually with code, or experience website slow down.
Keeping the engine running smoothly!