WooCommerce doesn’t require a lot of day-to-day maintenance to keep it in peak condition. But, as winter comes to a close and the dust of the busy holiday season settles, spring is the ideal moment to take stock and make sure everything is working as it should be. A little spring maintenance will help your store remain fast and secure throughout 2019.
Update WordPress, Plugins, and Themes
WooCommerce stores should be updated regularly throughout the year, but the busy holiday season leaves little time for ongoing maintenance. If your store hasn’t been updated in a few months, now is the perfect time to spend a couple of minutes hitting the update button. Make sure that you’re running the most recent release of WordPress, WooCommerce, other plugins, and the store’s theme.
Updates help to keep your store safe from hackers and criminals by patching security vulnerabilities. If you don’t update regularly, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise later in the year.
Check Your Backup Procedure
We recommend that all WooCommerce stores are regularly backed up to at least two locations, one of which is a remote location. There are many services and plugins to help you backup your site. We covered some of the best in this post from last year.
Whichever method you choose, it should be checked regularly to make sure it’s still working. It is not uncommon for retailers to lose data because the backup they thought was keeping their store safe had stopped working. When you’re dealing with the aftermath of an attack or accidental data loss, there’s little more frustrating than finding that your backup scripts haven’t worked for the last six months.
Manually run a backup to make sure the process completes successfully, and then carry out a test restore on a staging or development site. You should be able to quickly recreate your store, and if you can’t, it’s time to rethink its backup strategy.
We’ve already covered updates, but it is also worth looking at plugins that haven’t been updated for a while. You can see when a plugin was last updated in the Plugins section of the Admin menu. If a plugin hasn’t received an update in a few months, you should investigate to ensure that it is still maintained.
Unmaintained plugins are not necessarily a security issue, but if a vulnerability is discovered in an unmaintained plugin, it won’t be fixed. If you have any plugins that are unmaintained installed on your store, try to find an alternative that is actively developed.
While you’re looking at plugins, this is also a good time to deactivate and uninstall any plugins that you aren’t using. It’s better to remove unused plugins because every plugin adds code to your store, and code that has been removed can’t cause security or performance problems.
Run Performance Tests
WooCommerce stores evolve as new features are added, plugins are installed and uninstalled, and alterations are made to themes. These changes can impact performance, so it’s wise to run performance tests every once in a while to identify any issues. We recently published a detailed guide to performance and load testing your WooCommerce store.
Check Content for Freshness
The beginning of the year is an opportune moment to review the content you have published over the past few months. Blog posts and web copy can become outdated. Editing dated information ensures that content remains a valuable resource over the next year. Pay particular attention to the site’s About page; it should be updated to reflect changes in the businesses branding strategy and to recent events.
With a couple of hours of spring cleaning maintenance, you can put your WooCommerce in a strong position of reliability, security, and performance for the next year.