1 | Project Context
WordPress is the most widely used content management system on the internet, powering about one-third of all websites. Because of this popularity, hackers often target WordPress websites. However, when someone discovers a vulnerability in the WordPress code, developers will quickly create a patch to fix the issue. Running an update to implement those patches is usually a straightforward process, but because updates can sometimes break a website, many WordPress website owners don’t run updates regularly.
This course has been requested by several of my clients, especially after their sites get hacked because they have not been maintaining the software. As web developers, my company often helps clients recover their hacked websites, but we would prefer to teach them how to maintain those websites, so they don’t get hacked in the first place.
2 | Learning Requirements
The target audience for this course is small business owners, nonprofit staff, and bloggers with a WordPress website. Before taking this course, students should complete either the Get Your Business Online Masterclass or the Build a WordPress Website course. Previous experience with all of the following may substitute for one of those courses:
- Setting up hosting for a WordPress website
- Installing and configuring WordPress, plugins, and themes
- Working with Google documents
In addition to the required knowledge, students must have the following:
- The minimum required technology for using the gyboacademy.com website
- A working WordPress website, including access to the web hosting account
- A Google account to access course documents
- Screencasting software such as Screencast-o-Matic, Screencastify, or Loom
This course is fully online, with all instruction taking place on the gyboacademy.com website. Students can access the content from anywhere, but most will probably access it from their home or office.
3 | Course Objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to utilize best practices to maintain a WordPress website. They will:
- Develop a maintenance schedule.
- Make use of web host and WordPress tools to update a WordPress website safely.
- Model a workflow for troubleshooting issues encountered during a WordPress update.
To achieve these objectives, students will develop a Website Maintenance Plan that will include the following elements (click on an item to see an example):
They will create and update all of these elements by completing each week’s assignments. After they complete their Website Maintenance Plan, they can use it as a guide to maintaining their WordPress website.
4 | Detailed Content Outline
- Welcome to the Course
- Course Schedule and Assignments
- Live Office Hours
- Introduce Yourself (Discussion)
- Course Questions (Discussion)
- Document Everything – Course Objective: Develop a maintenance schedule.
- Why is WordPress Website Maintenance Important?
- Website Technical Reference
- Maintenance Schedule
- Maintenance Tasks (Discussion) – Share the tasks you will have to complete for your website regularly.
- Complete the Website Technical Reference and Create a Maintenance Schedule (Activity) – Complete the Website Technical Reference and create a custom maintenance schedule for your website.
- Knowledge Check: Document Everything
- Create Backups and Update the Website – Course Objective: Make use of web host and WordPress tools to update a WordPress website safely.
- The WordPress Update Process
- Staging Site
- Running the Updates
- Checking the Website
- Automatic Updates
- Regularly Audit Your Plugins and Themes
- If You Haven’t Updated in a Long Time
- Where is Your Website Hosted? – Answer a question to share where your website is hosted so you can update the course flow to only see the content for that option.
- Update WordPress on Flywheel
- Update WordPress on WP Engine
- Update WordPress Using UpdraftPlus
- How Can You Maintain Your Website? (Discussion) – 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.
- Update Your Website (Activity) – Create a screencast and step-by-step list of everything you need to do to backup and update your website.
- Knowledge Check: Create Backups and Update the Website
- The WordPress Update Process
- Troubleshoot Problems – Course Objective: Model a workflow for troubleshooting issues encountered during a WordPress update.
- Check the Site
- Troubleshooting Checklist (Discussion) – Create a list of everything you need to “check” during your WordPress updates. After getting feedback, update your Update Process document.
- Isolate Failure Points
- Get Past Failed Updates
- Ask for Help
- Make a Troubleshooting Workflow (Activity) – Create an outline or flowchart to document the workflow you will use for troubleshooting.
- Knowledge Check: Troubleshoot Problems
- Final Project: Maintenance Plan – Use 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.
5 | Summary of course evaluation
6 | Direct link to course for peer review and feedback