Maintain a WordPress Website

Course Questions

Do you have any questions about the course that don’t fit into one of the assignment-specific forums? Post them here. Just click the “New Discussion” button and add a new topic to ask your question.

This forum is restricted to members of the associated course(s) and group(s).

Live Office Hours

If you are taking this course during an instructor-led session, you can join the instructors online for office hours during the following days and times:

  • February 7, 2022, at 2-3 pm EDT
  • February 11, 2022, at 2-3 pm EDT
  • February 14, 2022, at 2-3 pm EDT
  • February 18, 2022, at 2-3 pm EDT
  • February 21, 2022, at 2-3 pm EDT
  • February 25, 2022, at 2-3 pm EDT

The office hours meeting room will appear on this page during the listed times.

Grading

Upon completing this course with an 80% or higher score, you will receive a certificate indicating that you are a GYBO WordPress Maintenance Technician.

AssignmentMaximum Points
Discussion: Maintenance Tasks20
Activity: Complete the Website Technical Reference and Create a Maintenance Plan20
Week 1 Knowledge Check20
Discussion: How Will You Update Your Website?20
Activity: Update Your Website20
Week 2 Knowledge Check20
Discussion: Troubleshooting Checklist20
Activity: Make a Troubleshooting Workflow20
Week 3 Knowledge Check20
Final Project: Website Maintenance Plan220
Total400

Minimum points required for certificate: 320

The discussions, activities, and final project each have rubrics that we will use to grade those assignments. You can find the rubrics on the assignment pages on the course website.

Course Schedule and Assignments

The information below is for students who wish to participate in the instructor-led session of this course. You may work at your own pace, but if you would like instructor feedback on your assignments, please post in the relevant forums by the deadlines listed below.

Week 1: February 7-13: Document Everything
Discussion: Maintenance TasksShare the tasks you will have to complete for your website regularly.Initial Post due February 11
Responses due February 13
Activity: Complete the Website Technical Reference and Create a Maintenance ScheduleComplete the Website Technical Reference and create a custom maintenance schedule for your website.February 13
Knowledge CheckTest your knowledge of the content from Week 1.February 13
Week 2: February 14-21: Create Backups and Update the Website
Discussion: How Can You Maintain Your Website?Share your options for backups and updates with your current hosting provider. You will use the documentation you find to help you update your website.Initial Post due February 18
Responses due February 21
Activity: Update Your WebsiteCreate a screencast and step-by-step list of everything you need to do to backup and update your website.February 21
Knowledge CheckTest your knowledge of the content from Week 2.February 21
Week 3: February 22-27: Troubleshoot Problems
Discussion: Troubleshooting ChecklistCreate a list of everything you need to “check” during your WordPress updates. After getting feedback, update your Update Process document.Initial Post due February 24
Responses due February 27
Activity: Make a Troubleshooting WorkflowCreate an outline or flowchart to document the workflow you will use for troubleshooting.February 27
Knowledge CheckTest your knowledge of the content from Week 3.February 27
Final Project: Website Maintenance PlanUse the documents you created throughout the course to build a maintenance plan that you will use to follow best practices every time you update a WordPress website.February 27

Activity: Make a Troubleshooting Workflow

You will inevitably encounter problems when updating your website. The trick is to know how to undo those problems and then figure out how to solve them. You can create a troubleshooting workflow to help you with that process for this assignment.

Please note: This activity is optional but very helpful to cement the process in your mind.

  1. Create a flowchart to document the troubleshooting workflow for your website. You can use Miro or similar software to create the flowchart. Refer back to the example earlier in this lesson. Your flowchart should include the following:
    • Process for figuring out the failure point.
    • Procedure for getting past failed updates.
  2. Add a new reply below with a link to your workflow. You may also ask any questions about the workflow or troubleshooting in general.

This forum is restricted to members of the associated course(s) and group(s).

Activity: Complete the Website Technical Reference and Create a Maintenance Schedule

Now that you know more about why it’s essential to document the technical details about your website and how a maintenance plan can help you keep your website secure, let’s create some documentation about your website. This documentation will be for your reference in the future, so make it as detailed as possible.

  1. Make a copy of the Website Technical Reference we reviewed previously, and fill in all the details about your website. Do not share this document with the class as it contains sensitive information that you should only share with your website team.
  2. Now make a copy of the My Maintenance Schedule document and create a maintenance schedule for your website to include daily, weekly, monthly, and as-needed tasks. Keep in mind the recommendations we made for crafting maintenance schedules during this lesson. Your maintenance schedule should include the following:
    • Software and content updates.
    • Backups (even if your host is doing it for you).
    • Any other tasks you will need to do regularly. Include at least five tasks that are not in the example schedule.
  3. Reply to the topic below to create a new post with a link to your maintenance schedule. Feel free to include any questions you have about the maintenance schedule.

This forum is restricted to members of the associated course(s) and group(s).

Update WordPress Using UpdraftPlus

We haven’t built a walkthrough for your situation yet, but we’re working on it! In the meantime, you will need to ask your hosting provider for help, or you can follow this process:

  1. Use UpdraftPlus to create a backup of the production (live) site.
  2. Then, cross your fingers and run the updates on the live site.
  3. If anything looks broken, run through the troubleshooting process, which you’ll learn in the Troubleshooting lesson. For now, just restore the site from the backup if something goes wrong.

Watch the video below for a walkthrough of the process.

Update WordPress on WP Engine

Here is an overview of the whole process for running updates if you use WP Engine for hosting:

  1. Add a staging site if needed.
  2. Copy the production environment to the staging environment.
  3. Access the WordPress admin for the staging site and run the updates.
  4. Access the staging site and review the updates. 
  5. If anything looks broken, run through the troubleshooting process, which you’ll learn in the Troubleshooting lesson.  For now, just stop here if something goes wrong.
  6. If everything looks good, create a backup of the production site. 
  7. Access the WordPress admin for the production site and run the updates there.
  8. Access the production site. If everything looks good, you are all done. Otherwise, restore the production site from the backup and troubleshoot.

Watch the video below for a walkthrough of the process.

Where is Your Website Hosted?

Complete the form below to customize the content for this lesson based on your hosting provider.

Which hosting web provider are you using for your website?(Required)

Update WordPress on Flywheel

Here is an overview of the whole process for running updates if you use Flywheel for hosting:

  1. Reset the Staging environment. If staging is not already enabled, you will need to enable it first.
  2. Access the WordPress admin for the staging site and run the updates.
  3. Access the staging site and review the updates. 
  4. If anything looks broken, run through the troubleshooting process, which you’ll learn in the Troubleshooting lesson. For now, just stop here if something goes wrong.
  5. If everything looks good, make a backup of the production (live) site.
  6. Access the WordPress admin for the production site and run the updates there.
  7. Access the production site. If everything looks good, you are all done. Otherwise, restore the production site from the backup and troubleshoot.

Watch the video below for a walkthrough of the process.