Beginner’s Guide to a High WordPress Health Score - Iceberg Web Design

How To Score 100% on Your WordPress Health Score

If you’re a business owner with a website, chances are you have a WordPress site. Most business owners do. In fact, over 43% of all websites are hosted by WordPress

WordPress gained its popularity due in part to keeping web design and development relatively simple. It can be used by both beginners and web design pros, and it’s very user-friendly. One major benefit of using WordPress is how it simplifies website health maintenance with its WordPress Health Score. 

If you want to improve your WordPress Health Score or just want to maintain your website’s health and security, keep reading to learn what makes a healthy website and what tools you can use today to boost your health score. 

Cybersecurity Concept System Administrator

Why Do I Need a Healthy Website? 

A healthy website is important for a host of reasons, but we’ll narrow down to the two reasons business owners should focus on: 

1. A Healthy, Functional Website Drives Traffic and Revenue 

In today’s digital age, your customers often get their first impression of your business through your website. If your site is free from bugs and running smoothly, customers are more likely to stay on your site longer and give your business a chance. 

2. A Healthy Website Protects Against Malware and Blacklisting 

The moment your website gets broken or becomes outdated, it becomes vulnerable to security threats. Cybercriminals search for outdated websites with security vulnerabilities they can exploit via malware infections. 

To protect users, Google blacklists websites with security breaches, which means your website won’t show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) and you’ll lose a significant amount of traffic and business. Removing your site from Google’s blacklist is a long and arduous process that you should avoid entirely.  

Ultimately, taking the necessary steps to keep your WordPress website healthy is easier than it sounds, and this guide will help you understand and attain a perfect health score on your site. 

How Do WordPress Health Check Scores Work?

The WordPress Health Check is a WordPress feature that identifies any performance or security issues on your site. Your website’s health score is based on several security and performance tests that WordPress runs on your behalf. 

To find your website’s health score, navigate to WP Admin > Dashboard > Tools > Site Health.

In this section, you’ll receive an overall health score rating along with recommendations. If you have outdated plugins or themes, or unused plugins, you’ll be alerted here and provided with recommendations to improve your site health.

Here’s What Your WordPress Health Status Means

  • A score reading Good means your website passed all tests. 
  • A score reading Recommended means that while recommendations should be followed, they aren’t absolutely necessary. 
  • A score reading Critical means that your website has serious issues that should be fixed. 

Your WordPress health score is a specific number based on your website’s health status. Ideally, you should be keeping your website health in the “Good” category.

To improve your website score, we have 7 easy steps you can take.

7 Easy Ways To Get a Good WordPress Health Score 

1. Keep WordPress up to Date:

We get it– updates can be annoying. However, it’s important to update WordPress frequently. An outdated website is more vulnerable to security threats and impacts your health score. 

2. Make Sure Your Website Hasn’t Been Blocked by Search Engines

Chances are search engines provide the biggest source of traffic to your website. WordPress has a Search Engine Visibility feature that prevents search engines from finding your site. This is usually handy if your site is half-built, but you never want to accidentally keep the feature on. Blocking search engines from your site could factor into its health score. 

3. Get Rid of Unused Plugins and Themes

Many of us WordPress website owners keep inactive plugins on our sites. It’s easy to forget they’re there, considering they don’t get loaded by WordPress and therefore don’t affect website performance or speed. 

However, plugins can be used to hide malware, increase the time it takes for WordPress to run a security scan, and ultimately drag down your health score. 

Quick Tip – Boost your health score by never activating more than 15 plugins at a time. Delete all the necessary extras you have left over. 

4. Use the Latest PHP Version

In case you don’t know, PHP is the programming language in which WordPress is written. Using the latest PHP version boosts your site’s performance and factors into its health score. If your website is using an outdated version of PHP, contact your hosting provider to have it updated. 

5. Update Your Required and Recommended PHP Modules

PHP modules are additional libraries that extend the functionality of the PHP language and perform most of your site’s tasks. WordPress recommends that you use several PHP models for optimal performance. 

You’ll find a list of required and recommended PHP modules in the WordPress team manual, You can also ask your hosting provider to install these extensions on your behalf. 

6. Ensure That REST API is Enabled 

REST API is one of the ways WordPress and other apps communicate with the server. For example, when you’re editing your website on the block editor page, WordPress uses REST API to display and save your pages the way you left them. Keeping REST API enabled improves your WordPress health score. 

7. Keep Your Website Secure 

While the previous six tips will help you improve your site health score, the most important way to ensure your WordPress website remains in good health is to keep your website secure. Limit the number of Administrator users on your website, and ensure that all users have secure passwords and are resetting them regularly. You can take additional steps to keep your website secure, such as creating an authentication rule in your .htaccess file for your login file, or utilizing security plugins or 2FA authentication to log in. Working with a company on regular website maintenance is another way to ensure your website remains updated and secure.

Secure Websites

Iceberg Web Design Helps Business Owners Keep Their Websites Safe and Healthy

The truth is that even with a guide to getting a great WordPress website health score, some of us aren’t computer-savvy and need some help. That’s okay! 

Iceberg Web Design helps business owners across industries keep their websites safe and healthy. Whether you’re looking to build and design your website from scratch or you just need some website hosting and maintenance support, our team of website experts can help!
We’re website developers who answer the phone. Call us today to chat about your website needs or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

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