Maintain a WordPress Website

Welcome to the Course

WordPress is the most widely used content management system on the internet, powering about one-third of all websites. Because of this popularity, hackers often target WordPress websites. However, when someone discovers a vulnerability in the WordPress code, developers will quickly create a patch to fix the issue. Running an update to implement those patches is usually a straightforward process, but because updates can sometimes break a website, many WordPress website owners don’t run updates regularly. So we hope to fix that with this course, which will cover documentation, backups, updates, and troubleshooting.

At the end of this course, you will know how to utilize best practices to maintain a WordPress website. Each week you will complete activities that will lead you to that goal. You will:

  • Develop a maintenance schedule.
  • Make use of web host and WordPress tools to update a WordPress website safely.
  • Model a workflow for troubleshooting issues encountered during a WordPress update.

To achieve these objectives, you will develop a Website Maintenance Plan that will include the following elements (click on an item to see an example):

You will create and update each of these elements by completing each week’s assignments. After you complete your Website Maintenance Plan, you can use it as a guide to maintaining your WordPress website.

In addition to the maintenance plan, you will complete the Website Technical Reference workbook to document all of the technical details about your website.

Tips for Success

We want you to be successful with this course. Here are a few tips to help make sure that happens.

  • Try to take your time. This course is designed to take three weeks to complete. You can do it all at once, but we recommend giving yourself the full three weeks.
  • Plan to spend about 2-3 hours each week on this course. That will give you the time you need to complete the discussions, activities, and final project.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Use the course forum to ask questions so we can build knowledge collaboratively. If you have general questions about the course that don’t fit into a specific forum, we have a topic just for that. Instructors will answer questions as quickly as possible, with a goal of responding within 2 business days.

Troubleshoot Problems

Remember how we kept telling you to “check your website” in the previous lesson? In this lesson, you’ll learn more about just what that means. You will create a Troubleshooting Checklist and a Troubleshooting Workflow to add to your Website Maintenance Plan.

Lesson Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will know how to model a workflow for troubleshooting issues encountered during a WordPress update. To support this objective, you will:

  • Identify tasks to include in a troubleshooting checklist.
  • Explain the process for isolating failure point(s).
  • Summarize the process for getting past failed updates.

Create Backups and Update the Website

Now that you have a plan, let’s put it into action. In this lesson, you will learn how to update your website safely. You will document the process with both a screencast and text to create a WordPress Update Process document that you will include in your Website Maintenance Plan.

Lesson Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will know how to make use of server and WordPress tools to update a WordPress website safely. To support this objective, you will:

  • Identify available options for creating backups.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of creating and restoring backups.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of updating the software.

Document Everything

If you document everything, you won’t need to track down information when you need it. As you work through this course, you will create a lot of documentation about your website that will culminate in two essential documents: a Website Technical Reference and a Website Maintenance Plan. You can refer to those documents anytime you need to update your website or pass them along to someone else to manage the website for you. In this lesson, you will create the following documents:

  • Website Technical Reference
  • Maintenance Schedule

Lesson Objectives

As you complete this lesson, you will develop a maintenance schedule. To support that objective, you will learn how to do the following:

  • Outline information that you should document for maintenance.
  • Identify tasks that you should complete during maintenance.