Last updated – July 18, 2022
Running a WooCommerce store is not only about selling products. You have to maintain it too.
And I get it. It’s easier said than done.
You have to run multiple checks, tests, and scans to make sure your store is running smoothly.
In some cases, it can be more than what meets the eye. But if you are lax here, you are putting your business reputation and source of income at risk.
To avoid this, you must be proactive and remove all current or potential errors that can cause issues in the future.
Here are 10 things you can do for the maintenance of your WooCommerce store so that it flourishes over time.
Recommended: Download our step-by-step WooCommerce Optimization Guide to maintain your online store the right way.
10 things for WooCommerce Maintenance
Prepare solid backups
Data losses are common.
Before everything else, it’s important to take a backup of your store’s data. Information breaches can cause the loss of vital store and personal customer data.
In case that data gets compromised due to a hacking activity or erroneous update, you won’t only lose crucial product information but damage your business’s reputation and customer trust.
To save yourself from a situation like that, you can create regular backups using plugins like BackWPup or BackupBuddy. But keep in mind that you save the content on an external storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
Make sure to back up everything. A complete backup includes:
- WordPress and WooCommerce database
- All images and media uploads
- WordPress and WooCommerce plugins and themes
- Core WordPress files
Update all software
To protect your site consider updating the core WordPress plugin, WooCommerce, and all themes and extensions to their latest version.
Since new releases include the latest security features and bug fixes, it makes sense to install the latest version of all software.
Now, there are two ways to go about it.
- You can either set up automatic updates Or update everything manually.
- Make sure to check your site frequently to find out when new versions are available.
Pro Tip: Read this article to know more about WordPress updates.
Scan to prevent malware
To fix any issue you first have to identify it.
And to identify software vulnerabilities you need to run regular scans as malware can attack and potentially screw your website’s uptime.
You can use reports to check for malware and address problems prior to the downtime. You can also use Jetpack Scan to instantly scan for malware and take care of it before it attacks your website.
Pro tip: This step-by-step guide can help you remove malware too.
Audit your product information and inventory
Product inventories can be hard to manage. But it’s crucial to satisfy your customers and ensure that every order is valid and in stock.
To do that, you will need to update the product information from time to time. It can include:
product numbers, product description, attributes, stock information, out-of-stock products, product images, etc.
But don’t fret. You don’t need to do this manually.
You can use plugins like:
- Bulk Stock Management. You can use it to update numbers for multiple products at once by checking stock on a single screen.
- If you have both a physical and an online store you can use WooCommerce Square. It’s perfect for synchronizing between a physical and online store. It can manage your payments and stock numbers on both platforms.
- Additionally, Scanventory lets you skip expensive hardware and use your smartphone to quickly scan items and update stock numbers right from your warehouse.
Updating inventory information boosts the product’s appeal and is also suitable for conversion rates.
Test your store’s speed
Did you know that 1 in 4 customers will abandon your website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load?
Loading time has a huge impact on your site.
If your site is slow then your bounce rate will increase. A huge bounce rate suggests search engines that your site’s content is not interesting or useful which eventually affects your rankings.
To avoid this, make sure you perform regular speed tests on your site. You can use Google page speed insights. Speed tests will highlight problem areas so that you can fix them.
Standard practices include compressing images and using trusted plugins and themes.
When it comes to speed, make sure you have a reliable hosting service for WordPress and WooCommerce. If not you may want to consider switching.
Process refunds and returns more efficiently
Issuing refunds and returns is a crucial part of running and maintaining your online store.
It HUGELY affects your store’s reputation.
Let me share an experience with you.
A couple of months back I ordered a pair of headphones from a reputed eCommerce store. Let’s call it “XYZ”.
They delivered a refurbished article and when I requested a return, they sent in a guy to verify that the product was in fact not original but canceled the return request saying that the product was damaged by us.
And when we regenerated the request they took almost 3 weeks to process it. After this episode, I decided never to buy anything from ‘XYZ’ again and also told others not to.
I hope you don’t want your customers to experience this.
To avoid such embarrassment, make sure you always have staff ready to help your customers. Addressing such issues can make or break the image of your store in front of your competition.
Pro tip: You can use plugins like WooCommerce Payments that lets you process returns and refunds directly from your dashboard. Within just a few clicks you can manage disputes without logging into a third-party platform.
Need help with integrating a payment module?
Explore WisdmLabs services!
Refresh website content
While you’re at it. It’s a good idea to refresh your site’s content to improve search ranking and attract new customers.
Website content can include blog posts about new products or updated products and information on how to use them.
Tracking uptime is important to ensure that your site is working properly.
You need to check again if your server is able to keep up with the incoming traffic and the website’s data.
Even after that, your site can go down for reasons beyond your control. As more data can make your website load slowly.
It can mess up the user experience as well as SEO.
Therefore you need to be prepared for situations like these.
Watch out for security breach
WordPress website security is a serious game.
Online threats have increased by as much as six times their usual levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Info Security Magazine)
And WordPress websites are top targets for hackers because of the 30 million+ user base.
But WordPress core is not really the reason for security breaches. The use of a wide range of third-party plugins and themes compromises security.
And in a worst-case scenario, alerts you about security breaches.
To combat this, rule of thumb includes updating all software as mentioned above.
Additionally, you can use strong passwords, change them often, disable automatic posting of comments, and remove a user with the username ‘admin’.
Pro Tip: Read this in-depth article with easy-to-implement takeaways about website security.
Lastly, WooCommerce Analytics provides you a way to look into detailed reports and summaries about your store’s orders, sales, taxes, and more.
Keeping an eye on analytics lets you be on top of all that’s happening on your website.
It can help you identify best-selling products as well as products that are not selling that well. Using the various reports provided by analytics can help you stay on top of your revenue flow, customer demographics, order values, etc.
Therefore it helps you understand where your business is going and pinpoint any issues that need addressing.
Quick Recap — Optimize your WooCommerce store for success
Maintaining a WooCommerce store is a heavy-duty task.
Especially when the competition is so tight and you want to ensure that customers keep coming back for more.
But the process can be streamlined if you’re just a little proactive. All you need to do is set aside some time for optimizing your website, protecting it, and making sure that every plugin, theme, and page builder plays well.
To help you with it we’ve built this WooCommerce optimization guide that you can use to do a thorough analysis of every aspect of your website.
It covers everything we discussed in this article and other ‘must know’ things to take into account. Thus saving you further research anxiety and of course money.
Otherwise, you can always reach out to experts to handle WooCommerce maintenance for you.
If you have any more tasks that you’d like to add to this checklist. Feel free to comment below.