Everyone who works with WordPress knows that it’s not the most stable CMS system. Just one plugin you didn’t change or a theme update can potentially damage your website beyond repair. So if you’re working on clients’ websites, here are five useful WordPress maintenance hacks to help you keep things in line.

  1. Always keep a backup of your website.

This is the most important rule of all! You can use a plugin like BackupBuddy, or simply copy your files and database every time you make changes to your website. This way, if something goes wrong, you can always restore your website to its previous state.

  1. Use a staging environment for testing updates.

If you’re not sure whether an update will break your website, it’s best to test it in a staging environment first. This is a separate WordPress installation where you can test updates before pushing them live. You can use a plugin like WP Staging for this, or create a custom solution with scripts.

  1. Disable unused plugins and themes.

This is a no-brainer, yet so many people leave their unused plugins active for ages! If you’ve checked that your website works with a particular plugin, go ahead and deactivate or delete it from the server to speed up your site. You can always download it again later if you need to use it in the future. The same goes for themes – there’s no reason to keep them installed on your production website if they’re not being used.

  1. Use a smart cache plugin.

A cache is one of those under-appreciated WordPress features that actually make your website load faster without much effort from your side. A good cache system should remove unnecessary data from your database and save rendered pages. Use a plugin like WP Fastest Cache to make your website load faster and save resources.

  1. Keep plugins updated at all times.

Updates usually fix bugs and security issues, so you should always keep your plugins up to date. Fortunately, WordPress makes this extremely easy with plugin auto-updates (install the update automatically option for this). Otherwise, you can use WP Updates Notifier to check for new updates whenever you want.