How do you manage a large WordPress site? For starters, this is not a walk-in-the-park. There are many moving parts in maintaining a large WordPress site and we hope that this post will give you some insights for website management.
Using the right web hosting is mission-critical. The right web hosting solution will ensure your large WordPress site is always loading at its optimum speed—even when one of your posts is trending on Reddit's homepage.
Today's technology and competitive environment had lead to many web hosting choices. So, how do you decide?
Follow these steps to choose the RIGHT web hosting for your site.
Choosing the right web hosting solution involves understanding a few key metrics such as number of visitors, number of pageviews, location of datacenters, the type of web hosting and customer support.
Talk To Sales
Before we move to a new host, we make sure that the new host understands our needs. At the same time, we can create some level of expectations to avoid any dissatisfaction after migration. Since you are managing a large WordPress site, talking to web hosting sales team will give you a better opportunity to have a customized web hosting solution that fits your budget and needs.
Most cheap web hosting solution doesn't offer premium level migration services. Since you are managing a large WordPress site, it is always recommended to engage with the professionals to ensure that the migration process goes on well. Read this article on how we did our migration with zero downtime.
We are sorry for being straightforward but your website is bound for hacks if you do not take the needed precautions. Installing a WordPress security plugin is a great option but ...
WordPress security plugins are known to slow down your site and you know that a slow WordPress site is going to lose a lot of visitors.
So, how do you solve this?
Again, you need to refer to your web hosting company. Managed WordPress hosting companies such as WP Engine and Kinsta (we love Kinsta and here's the honest Kinsta review) offers high-security features to ensure that your website will never be hacked or being injected with malicious codes.
Typically, a large WordPress site would have rather decent traffic and with that being said, you cannot afford to have a downtime.
Keeping your WordPress site backed up is an important step. Nearly all web hosting companies offer backup services but the duration of the backup schedule varies.
Typically, shared web hosting services offer weekly and monthly backup while managed WordPress hosting solutions offer daily/nightly backup.
If you are using cPanel, you can easily access the backup tab. cPanel backend » Files » Backup » Download a Full Account Backup.
Once the backup is completed, it will be saved in your database. As the file is often huge, it is always best to download to your local device or upload it to cloud storage before deleting the file.
The downside of cPanel backup feature is the backup is always kept in the root directory of your site. Hackers who have access to your WordPress site oftentimes have the access to your root directory too, making the backup useless.
If you are using managed WordPress hosting, you will most likely to get daily/nightly backups on automation. This means that you don't have to request the support team to do the backup for you. We use Kinsta hosting and we have the options to manually create backups (ad-hoc basis) and automatic nightly backups (which are kept for 14 days).
The below is the sample of Kinsta backend system for automatic backups. You can learn more about Kinsta through our Kinsta review here.
When was the last time you'd updated your WordPress site? WordPress is a popular blogging CMS but it is not immune to cybersecurity threats.
Most vulnerabilities in WordPress come from the mistake from the website owner who did not update the themes and plugins (in a timely manner) or from the developers who did not notice the security flaws.
Best security practises to keep your large WordPress site safe:
Large WordPress sites usually come with large databases and many images. And if you are managing an eCommerce WordPress site, you are going to have a lot of files to manage.
Having too many large unoptimized files (such as images) will slow down your WordPress site.
So, how do you optimize a large WordPress site that uses heavy resources?
Optimize The Database
Each time you add new content, plugin and theme to your WordPress site, the database will grow in size. These files will remain in the database even after you had uninstalled them. In this case, you need to optimize the database by doing database housekeeping. The first step is to go through the files manually and remove the unwanted ones. The second option (which is much easier) is to use 3rd party plugins such as WP Rocket. WP Rocket is a cache plugin and it has additional features such as automatic cleaning/optimizing WordPress databases that comes handy.
Optimize Images On WordPress
Uploading high-resolution images are always great because they will be display nicely on high-end devices. However, the unoptimized images will also lead to storage size issue and the site's loading speed. The easiest way to overcome this challenge is to use image optimizer plugins to get the job done for you. Here's a list of 6 free image optimizer plugins for WordPress.
Managing large WordPress sites is not a walk in the park. It is complicated and oftentimes challenging. There are many things to consider when taking up this responsibility and the above 5 are the most crucial ones for you to start working on.
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