Automation has taken over the world. And, why not? It saves you a lot of time. When it comes to WordPress, it can save you tons of time. WordPress is an excellent piece of software. It lets you manage your website the way you want. However, any suitable software or solution requires you to maintain it properly which means spending a couple of hours every day.
In the case of WordPress, you need to do a lot of things to keep your website running optimally. For example, you need to back up your site daily, run scans in regular intervals, do comment moderation, and much more!
To make sure that you do not waste your time doing trivial things, we will show you how to automate your WordPress website and workflow. In the process, we will be linking WordPress plugins that will help you automate your WordPress site and the workflow. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Updating your site
Updating your WordPress site is one of the common tasks. Without proper updating your website including WordPress themes, plugins and WordPress core, you are risking your site and enabling it to be exposed to hackers. With every update, developers release new features, bug fixes and address potential loopholes in their software. If you don’t update, you are allowing hackers to get into your site using the exploits.
You can set your website to auto-update. The WordPress core update can be enabled from the dashboard itself. Just make sure you do regular backups of your WordPress website before turning auto-update on.
When not to update?: Many websites are complex and rely on tons of plugins or services. In that case, we recommend updating manually as auto-update can break your website. Read the changes and compatibility notes before updating.
2. Scheduling posts
Great, you have written a well-researched content for your website. Now, you are now ready to publish it or better want to do it later based on your audience. To save time, you can use schedule your posts and ensure that you don’t have to wait for publishing it.
Scheduling is baked in WordPress itself. You can access it from the post publishing options as shown below.
After changing the date and time, all you need to do is click on the “Schedule” button or save draft. Blogging guide also suggests using the feature as it lets you save time.
3. Site backups
Backing up your site is very important. It lets you work freely and also enables you to a working website if something goes wrong. Site backups take a good amount when done manually. However, with plugins and backup services, you can automate the whole backup process.
So, how frequently should you backup? It depends on how often you publish new content on your website. If you are running a site that publishes new content daily, we recommend backing it up daily as well. However, if you publish one post per week, one backup every week can do the trick. You can schedule a backup using backup plugins.
Note: Your WordPress hosting provider might also back up your website regularly. However, we don’t recommend you to depend on them and create your own backups separately completely as hosting backups might not be completely reliable. Hosting backups provides you the last option if everything fails.
You can also use a premium backup service such as Blog Vault. They also offer a free staging environment which can come handy if you want to try out new themes or plugins.
4. Social media sharing
It doesn’t matter if you are running WordPress or not, you need to have an excellent social media presence. This means you have to put efforts into doing marketing your published posts and updates. It includes sharing posts on different social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedln and letting your visitors do the same. Sharing them manually can mean wasting a lot of time. That’s why it is better to automate sharing the posts on these platforms.
To auto-share your posts on your social media channels, you can seek help from plugins such as Social Media Auto Publish, HYPESocial – Buffer PRO etc. With these plugins, you can automate auto-sharing of your posts and not worry about doing them manually. There are several other WordPress plugins that can also help you automate Social media sharing for your users, for the posts that you push out through your WordPress website or blog. Plugins like Sassy Social Share and WP Social Sharing can help you add attractive responsive social share buttons of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Xing, Reddit, Google+ and Pinterest to your WordPress posts, page, media or any custom post type.
5. Database cleanup
You can also automate database cleanup on your WordPress installation. It comes under maintenance. With time, your web site’s database is filled with a lot of unnecessary information. That can lead to issues later on as it will take more time to process a simple query.
The solution is to do a database cleanup. You can do it manually, but why do it when we have amazing plugins such as WP-DBManager. The plugin lets you optimize your database in just one click. Also, you can schedule the database cleanup the way you want. It is a great plugin, and we recommend it to everyone who uses WordPress.
Note: Always backup your website before doing database cleanup.
To make sure that your website doesn’t become the next target for the hackers, you need to do proper security monitoring. Also, you need to do the cleanup now and then. Security is a complex subject and manually doing everything is not a good idea.
You can automate most of the security tasks using plugins. Security plugins routinely check for intruders. They also check for the website’s health and if the website’s files are infected or not. You can use tools such as WP Checkup or Defender Security plugin.
7. Blocking spam
With Akismet, you can completely automate spam blocking on your website. Yes, you read it right. The plugin is free to use and have very high accuracy in identifying spam and preventing them without your intervention. Without Akismet that would mean removing them one by one. We use Akismet on our site and it handles most of the spam automatically.
8. Image optimization
A blog post is bound to perform better with images. That’s why you will often see a lot of images in a single post. However, optimizing every image before uploading can take a lot of time. However, you can automate image optimization by using image optimization plugins such as WP Smush and EWWW image optimizer. By using image optimization plugin you can save time and effort.
9. Broken link checking
Links break all the time which can lead to 404 error. You can automate broken link checking and ensure that you have a good internal link structure. It will improve your website’s visitor experience and SEO. You can use broken link checker plugin. The plug will continuously monitor for broken links and let you know when it finds one. Once done, repair them in one go.
10. Performance improvement
Your website’s performance(loading time) impacts how your site performs in SEO. It will also improve your customer’s experience by decreasing the bounce rate. To do so, you need to use a caching plugin such as WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache etc.
You can automate things such as file minifications, page caching, Gzip compression, performance reports, etc.
This ends our quick WordPress site automation guide. We automated a lot of things including performance, backup, broken link checking and so on. By following the guide, you will save a lot of time. If you think, we missed something, then don’t forget to comment below and let us know. We are listening.