Are you a WordPress beginner or busy professional looking to build a low-maintenance website?
Whether you don’t have much experience with WordPress or just haven’t got the time, building a low-maintenance site is a smart idea because it’s so much easier to run.
In this post, we’ll show you how to build a fully functional but low-maintenance WordPress website.
What is Basic WordPress Maintenance and Why is it so Important?
Basic WordPress maintenance includes everything you need to do to make sure your website stays in perfect working order.
A WordPress website is essentially 4 parts. The WordPress core software, a theme that gives it a frontend, plugins that enhance its features, and a database that stores all the data and content created on the website.
To maintain your website well, you’ll need to take good care of all 4 components. But that’s not all. You’ll also need to make sure that the parts of your website that support crucial business processes are kept in good shape.
For example, ensuring that customers are able to make contact, pay for services, and so on, is crucial. These processes will typically be supported by dedicated plugins. So one part of building a low-maintenance website is picking the right ones.
Read on to learn how to set up a low-maintenance website, and what plugins you’ll need to keep it running!
How to Create a Low Maintenance Website With WordPress
Before we go any further, we’re assuming you know how to set up a basic WordPress website or blog. If you don’t, it would be a good idea to start with this comprehensive guide to creating a website with WordPress.
Once that’s out of the way, dive right in!
In This Article
1. Simplify Form Management With WPForms
Even if you’re just looking to build a low-maintenance website, you’ll probably need a way for customers and other people to contact you. So you’ll need a WordPress form plugin like WPForms to begin with.
WPForms is the leading WordPress form plugin, and is trusted by over 5 million professionals. There are good reasons for this.
For one, it hits that sweet spot of being easy to use while offering lots of advanced features. What’s more, WPForms comes with hundreds of prebuilt templates on its paid plans.
This means WordPress users of all skill levels can easily use WPForms to create contact forms and other essential business documents like service agreements, sales orders, and so on. You can also use WPForms for non-profitable causes such as creating a nonprofit donation form.
In addition, WPForms provides many valuable features that are particularly handy for building low-maintenance websites in WordPress.
This is especially true when it comes to essential WordPress maintenance and management tasks like Form Validation.
There are 2 features in particular that’ll come in handy. These are Form Tags and Form Locations, and we’ll show you how to use them next.
WPForm Form tags are labels that make it really easy to understand what each form does at a glance.
So, for example, you might have multiple forms serving as sales orders for different products or services or for different plans that you offer. You could label them all as “sales” (or any other label you’d like) so that you can easily identify them when you need to.
To use Form Tags, you’ll have to add them from the Forms Overview page. It’s easy to find this.
In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to WPForms » All Forms.
Next, click on the Screen Options button at the top right corner of the screen and click on the checkbox next to Tags to enable Form Tags.
Click Apply to save the changes to your screen options.
The Forms Overview screen will now have the Tags column that will let you add or edit tags.
Hover your cursor over the Tags column space of a form and click Edit.
Form tags offers massive convenience when you need a marker to spot specific forms from a huge list. This makes it an ideal feature to have for low-maintenance sites.
Form locations is another super handy feature that’s available right out of the box with WPForms. This feature lets you see where any given form is located on your site.
If your website has lots of forms embedded across various pages, form locations will be particularly useful when you’re undertaking routine form maintenance.
To view the location for any form, first go to the Forms Overview page. Then, click on the Locations button under the form you’re interested in.
This expands into a menu listing the names of the pages or widgets the form appears in with links pointing to their locations.
Form locations greatly improves your ability to track your forms and see at a glance all the various areas of your site where each form is embedded. In other words, it’s just what you need to keep your site low-maintenance!
Next, we’ll show you how to keep your site well-optimized for organic search in a low-maintenance way.
2. Get SEO Suggestions in Real-time With AIOSEO
AIOSEO is the leading WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin. The plugin offers lots of really useful features such as XML sitemaps, in addition to its cutting edge on-page SEO analysis.
Optimizing your website for search without a solid SEO plugin to help will likely be quite demanding. Fortunately, AIOSEO will do most of the heavy lifting for you.
And if you’re not publishing lots of content, once you set up the SEO for your pages the first time, you won’t likely have to return to this for a while.
For busy site admins, the easiest way to monitor your site’s SEO health is by using AIOSEO’s SEO checklist.
To find this in the WordPress backend, navigate to All in One SEO » SEO Analysis.
On this page, you’ll find the complete SEO Checklist for your website, showing recommendations for improvements and critical issues that need fixing.
Once everything is set up, this page will be your one-stop SEO dashboard saving you hours of manual checks.
Here’s the complete guide to setting up AIOSEO for improved SEO performance with minimal effort.
In addition to a low-maintenance SEO setup, you’ll also want to implement some Google Analytics tracking from within the WordPress dashboard.
We’ll be discussing this in the next step.
3. Get Google Analytics Overview in WordPress Dashboard
MonsterInsights is the leading WordPress plugin for bringing insights from Google Analytics right to your WordPress dashboard.
Whatever the purpose of your website, if you want valuable data on who’s visiting your website and how they’re behaving, Google Analytics is the perfect tool for this. t you might not have the time to get into your Google Analytics account frequently.
MonsterInsights solves this problem by providing a low-maintenance way of viewing your Google Analytics reports right from within the WordPress dashboard.
You’ll no longer need to comb through layers of data in Google Analytics. All the valuable information you need is available right in your WordPress admin area with MonsterInsights.
Here’s a complete guide to setting up MonsterInsights on your WordPress website.
4. Secure Your Site From Threats Proactively
Sucuri is a freemium WordPress plugin that provides tons of helpful security features. Basic WordPress security best practices will usually be good enough to ward off mild to moderate threats to your website, as long as you keep a close eye on your WordPress security, and periodically scan for malware.
But if you’re looking to set up a low-maintenance website, this approach won’t be ideal. Instead, you can simply use a powerful WordPress security plugin like Sucuri to set up advanced security and deliver regular reports to your email.
While many of Sucuri’s features are free, you can improve your security even further with advanced features available in paid Sucuri plans.
One thing to note is that Sucuri tends to send out quite a few reports. You might want to use a dedicated email address for receiving them to prevent your primary email from getting cluttered.
To do this, navigate to Alerts in the Sucuri dashboard. Scroll down to Alerts Recipient, and enter the dedicated email you would like to use. Save changes and that’ll be all.
5. Set Up Scheduled Backups
UpdraftPlus is one of the top WordPress plugins for creating backups of your website. Whatever the size of your website, you’ll need to ensure that if anything goes wrong, you have a backup to lean on.
One of the great things about UpdraftPlus is that you can set the plugin up to undertake frequent, scheduled backups on its own. This is super convenient for site admins who want to keep their site low-maintenance.
You can use the free version of UpdraftPlus by downloading it from the WordPress plugin directory.
UpdraftPlus comes preconfigured so you won’t need to change too much. You should check that the default backup location and backup frequency suit you though.
In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings » UpdraftPlus Backups. You’ll now be in the UpdraftPlus dashboard, where you’ll see another Settings tab. Click on this.
You can play around with these settings to set up manual or automated backups and the backup frequency.
6. Automate Database Optimization
WP-Optimize is the plugin we recommend to keep your database in good shape. As websites grow, their databases accumulate lots of data which may slow them down. A lot of this data is useless and should be trimmed.
You can do this manually from your web hosting account but that requires a lot of time and effort. An easier, low-maintenance solution is to install a database optimization plugin like WP Optimize, which proactively keeps your database nice and clean.
One additional benefit of using WP-Optimize is that it integrates nicely with UpdraftPlus, so you can trigger a backup of your website each time WP-Optimize undertakes a database optimization task.
WP-Optimize comes preconfigured so you won’t need to do too much to set it up. From the WordPress dashboard, click on WP-Optimize » Database.
Next, click Run all Selected Optimizations, and that’s all you have to do to keep your database reasonably lean.