At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: a fast, secure site that easily to maintain. While that is possible – we also need to spend some time on occasion reviewing the current theme, plugins, database, and your hosting environment.
Generally I recommend doing this with each major release of WordPress since you have to spend some time updating WordPress anyway.
Things to consider in order to make sure your site performs at it’s best:
- Is WordPress up to date?
- Do you have automatic updates enabled for security updates?
- Did you read about the changes in the most recent versions of WordPress so you know what changed/what to look for?
- Are there any users that need to be deleted?
- Are your plugins up to date?
- Do you have plugins that you no longer use? (if so DELETE them – don’t just de-activate them)
- Are there plugins you can eliminate?
- Are there other plugins out there that might work better/more efficiently?
- Do any of your plugins rely on an outdated version of jQuery or other libraries?(hopefully not – but I have seen some break after WordPress updates)
- Does your theme still function as expected after the update (custom views, etc)
- Is there any new functionality you can add to it from the most recent update?
- Are there functions/depreciated code you can eliminate?
- Do you have any custom tables that are no longer needed?
- Do you have any old options in your options table that are no longer used?
- Are your tables optimized?
Your Hosting Environment
- Is your host still a good fit?
- What sort of errors are in the web server error log?
- Are you up to date with PHP/MySQL/security updates?
- Are you sure…really sure you have backups running and can easily access them?
By going through questions like the ones above a few times a year – you will ensure your site runs smoothly and as efficiently as possible. It will also be considerably easier to troubleshoot when/if something goes wrong. Just remember – the end goal is to keep it simple and clean.