Blog Maintenance Checklist

This is the checklist we run once a week to keep our blog sites up to date, ensure spam is deleted, prevent hacks, and to ensure our sites/network is still healthy.

You’ll need MainWP with the “Code Snippets” and “Maintenance” plugins to do everything here.

Update WordPress versions

Start by logging into each of the MainWP dashboards.

If you see this at the top of the page, click “Please update now”. Otherwise, skip the next 2 images:

From there you will be able to update WordPress and the MainWP Dashboard plugin if they have an update available. You can do that by clicking the blue “Update Now” button at the top, and by ticking the MainWP Dashboard plugin and clicking “Update Plugins:

Once they’re both done, you can get back to the Dashboard by hovering over “MainWP in the sidebar on the left, then clicking “Overview”. If you don’t see “Overview” it may say “Dashboard” instead:

Next you need to find the “Update Overview” box. It will look similar to the screenshot below:

You can click the big green “Update everything” button.

Click “OK” if you’re asked to confirm:

Then it should automatically update all of the websites, like the screenshot above shows. This may take a few minutes to complete:

Once it’s done, that should be all the sites updated. The page should automatically reload once it’s completed all of the upgrades, but if there were any issues with some of the sites, it’ll tell you which ones didn’t work and you’ll have to click the “Close” button.

Check the Sites are Synced correctly

After the updates, we need to check all the sites are synced correctly. If they’re not then some of the updates needed may have been missed out.

It’s really simple to do this…

Look at the top of the Overview page, where you made the updates. If you see this box and it says “Some child sites didn’t sync correctly!” then click the green “Sync Data with child sites” button:

That’s it, from there it’ll automatically sync all the websites and reload the page once it’s done:

After that, scroll down and check again if there are still WordPress updates and Plugin updates available. If they are, then update these:

Ensure all sites are selected for Maintenance plan

On top of keeping WordPress and WP plugins update, one other thing we use MainWP for is doing maintenance tasks on the sites including deleting comments, removing un-used categories, etc.

If any new sites have been added to the network, we need to make sure they’re added to the maintenance schedule.

Here’s how

Start by hovering over the “Extensions” link in the sidebar, then clicking “Maintenance”:

Switch to the “Schedules” tab, you’ll see the links like the screenshot above:

From there you should see the “Daily Maintenance” schedule. Hover over this, then click the “Edit” link that should appear:

Once it loads, you should see a list of sites in a sidebar on the right like the screenshot above shows. This is a list of sites that are setup with the Daily Maintenance schedule:

Click the “All” link to select all of the sites, including any new ones:

Then click the blue “Update Schedule” button below the list.

That’s all there is to it. You should see a success message afterwards that says “Your maintenance task has been updated successfully”.

Ensure all sites have file edits disabled

Another great feature of MainWP is that it allows us to run Code Snippets on the website. One of the code snippets we use is disabling editing themes and plugins from the admin panel. This means that if we get hacked, they can’t completely ruin the website by infecting all the files.

It’s already setup with the network, but we need to make sure it’s been run on any new websites that we add to the network.

Here’s how

Hover over “Extensions” in the sidebar on the left, then click “Code Snippets”:

Scroll down until you see the existing list, and look for the one that says “Disable Admin File Edits”. Hover over this, then click the “Load” link:

Note: If the snippet doesn’t exist, here’s how to create it…

Snippet Name: Disable Admin File Edits
Snippet Description: Remove theme and plugin editing capabilities.
Select “This Code Snippet executes a function on the Child Site”

In the blue code editor area, enter:

<?php
define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);
?>

Moving on…

If you scroll up to the top, you’ll see a list of sites on the right. This allows you to select the sites you want to run it on:

Click the “All” link to select all of the sites. It doesn’t matter if we’ve already run it on the website before.

Then click the green “Run Snippet” button to run the script on all the sites:

That’s it done.

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