How to Audit a WordPress Website: A Comprehensive Guide

May 25, 2022    Reading Time: 7 Minutes

If you’re running a WordPress website, it’s important to regularly audit it to ensure that everything is in order. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of auditing your website step-by-step. We’ll cover everything from checking for broken links to assessing security vulnerabilities. By following these steps, you can help keep your website running smoothly and securely!

What is a WordPress Audit?

A WordPress audit is a comprehensive checkup of your website to make sure everything is in working order. This includes checking for broken links, assessing security vulnerabilities, and reviewing your site’s performance. Audits can be conducted manually or with the help of automated tools.

Why Audit Your WordPress Website?

Auditing your WordPress website regularly is important for several reasons. First, it helps you identify and fix any issues that could be affecting your site’s performance. Second, it can help you spot security vulnerabilities so that you can take steps to protect your site from attack. It can also help your conversion rate by improving the overall user experience on your website. Finally, auditing your website can also help you improve your search engine ranking by identifying and fixing potential SEO problems.

How to Audit a WordPress Website

There are many different ways to audit a WordPress website. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of conducting a manual audit step-by-step. However, there are also some great automated tools that can help make the auditing process easier and more efficient.

Front-End Audit

The first step in auditing your WordPress website is to check the front-end of your site. This includes assessing your site’s design, usability, and overall user experience. You’ll want to ask yourself questions like:

  • Is my site easy to navigate?
  • Do all of the links on my site work?
  • Is my site’s design professional and up-to-date?
  • Is my site loading quickly?
  • Are there any broken images or other errors on my site?

To get started, simply load up your website in a web browser and take a look around. Make sure to test all of the links on your site to ensure that they are working properly. You can also use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to check your site’s loading speed and identify potential optimization opportunities.

Back-End Audit

After you’ve checked the front-end of your site, it’s time to move on to the back-end. This is where you’ll want to assess your site’s security, performance, and overall health. To do this, you’ll need to login to your WordPress dashboard. Once logged in, you can begin checking for things like:

  • Are all of my WordPress core files up-to-date?
  • Do I have any unused or inactive plugins installed?
  • Do I have any themes installed that I’m not using?
  • Have I set up strong passwords for all of my user accounts?
  • Am I using a secure WordPress hosting provider?

Broken Links (404s)

A broken link is a link that leads to a page that doesn’t exist. This can happen if the page has been deleted or moved, or if the URL was entered incorrectly.

To check for broken links on your WordPress website, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog. This tool will crawl your website and identify any broken links. Once you have a list of broken links, you can start fixing them.

To fix a broken link, you’ll need to find the correct URL and update the link on your website. You can also redirect the old URL to the new one using a 301 redirect.

If you find a lot of broken links on your website, it’s a good idea to clean up your permalinks. Permalinks are the URLs of your pages and posts. If they’re not set up correctly, they can lead to broken links.

You can clean up your permalinks by going to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard. From here, you can choose the correct permalink structure for your website.

Security Vulnerabilities

The next step in auditing your WordPress website is to check for security vulnerabilities. WordPress websites are often targeted by hackers and malware. To protect your website, you’ll need to keep an eye out for any security vulnerabilities.

One way to check for security vulnerabilities is to use a tool like WPScan. This tool will scan your website for any known security vulnerabilities. If you find any, you’ll need to update your WordPress version and plugins. You can also install a security plugin like Wordfence to help protect your website.

Updating your WordPress version and plugins is important, but it’s not enough to keep your website secure. You also need to make sure that your hosting environment is secure.

To check if your hosting environment is secure, you can contact your host and ask them about their security measures. You should also look for a host that offers security features like firewalls and malware scanning. Often, cloud hosting configurations (like ours!) offer these features.

Backups

Another step in auditing your WordPress website is to create a backup. A backup is a copy of your website that you can use to restore your website if something goes wrong. There are many ways to create a backup of your WordPress website.

One way to create a backup is to use a plugin like BackupBuddy. This plugin will create a zip file of your website and store it on your server. You can also use a service like VaultPress to create a backup of your website.

Creating a backup of your WordPress website is important, but you also need to make sure that you can restore it if something goes wrong. To do this, you’ll need to test your backup regularly.

You can test your backup by restoring it to a staging site. A staging site is a copy of your live website that you can use for testing purposes. To create a staging site, you can use a plugin like WP Staging. Once you’ve created a staging site, you can restore your backup to it and test it.

Content Audit

The next step in auditing your WordPress website is to check your content. This includes both the text and the media on your website. To check your content, you’ll need to run a content audit.

A content audit is a process of reviewing all the content on your website and assessing its quality. To do a content audit, you’ll need to go through all your website’s content and check for things like spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and broken links.

Once you’ve reviewed all your content, you can start making changes. This might include updating the text or adding new media. You can also delete any content that is no longer relevant.

It’s important to keep your content up-to-date. Outdated content can make your website look unprofessional and can also lead to broken links.

One way to keep your content up-to-date is to create a content calendar. A content calendar is a plan for when you’ll publish new content on your website. To create a content calendar, you can use a plugin like CoSchedule. This plugin will help you plan and publish your content.

Another way to keep your content up-to-date is to set up a content workflow. A content workflow is a process that you can use to manage your website’s content. To set up a content workflow, you can use a tool like Trello. This tool will help you track and manage your content.

Caching

Caching is a way to speed up your website by storing static files on your server. This means that your website doesn’t have to generate these files every time someone visits it.

To cache your WordPress website, you can use a plugin like LiteSpeed Cache. This plugin will cache your pages and posts as static files. Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll need to configure it properly.

You can also cache your WordPress website using a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN is a network of servers that deliver content to your visitors. To use a CDN, you’ll need to sign up for an account and then configure it properly.

Performance

Another important step in auditing your WordPress website is to check its performance. Performance refers to how fast your website loads. To improve your website’s performance, you’ll need to optimize its images, CSS, and JavaScript.

You can optimize your images by using a plugin like WP Smush. This plugin will reduce the file size of your images without losing quality. You can also optimize your CSS and JavaScript by using a plugin like Autoptimize.

SEO Audit

The last step in auditing your WordPress website is to check its SEO. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” This is the process of optimizing your website for search engines like Google.

To audit your website’s SEO, you’ll need to use a tool like SEMRush. This tool will help you find and fix any SEO problems on your website.

Conclusion

Auditing your WordPress website is a great way to ensure that it’s running smoothly. By following the steps in this guide, you can identify any potential problems and fix them before they cause any damage.

If you need help auditing your WordPress website, feel free to contact us at (360) 450-3711. We’d be happy to run your website through our auditing process and help you fix any issues.

WordPress Audit FAQs

Now that you know how to audit a WordPress website, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about WordPress audits.

How often should I audit my WordPress website?

You should audit your WordPress website at least once a month. However, if you make changes to your website frequently, you may want to audit it more often.

What should I look for when auditing my WordPress website?

When auditing your WordPress website, you should look for any potential security vulnerabilities. You should also check to see if your WordPress version and plugins are up to date. Additionally, you should create a backup of your website and test it regularly.

How can I prevent security vulnerabilities on my WordPress website?

There are several ways to prevent security vulnerabilities on your WordPress website. You should keep your WordPress version and plugins up to date. You can also install a security plugin like Wordfence or VaultPress. Additionally, you should make sure that your hosting environment is secure.

What are some common WordPress audit problems?

Some common WordPress audit problems include outdated software, security vulnerabilities, and broken links. By auditing your website regularly, you can identify these problems and fix them before they cause any damage.

How do I fix WordPress audit problems?

The best way to fix WordPress audit problems is to follow the steps in this guide. By auditing your website regularly, you can identify any potential problems and fix them before they cause any damage.

What if I need more help?

If you need more help auditing your WordPress website, you can contact a WordPress expert like Graticle. We can help you audit your website and fix any problems that you may have. Contact us today to get started. Call (360) 450-3711. Thanks for reading!

Written by Shawn Hooghkirk on May 25, 2022

Last updated on October 07, 2022. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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