If you have been keeping track of your WordPress Dashboard, you will have noticed that there is now a feature called Site Health. The feature has been around for a while now, having been introduced with WordPress 5.2. But what is WordPress Site healthy and should you be worried if it shows that there are issues that need to be attended to on your site?
What is WordPress Site Health?
The Site Health Status is meant to highlight important issues that need to be attended to on your WordPress website. The issues that are highlighted have the potential to negatively affect the performance of your site.
Bloggers will be aware of how competitive the terrain has become over the past few years. The dream of earning passive income is one that’s irresistible to most people. As such, new sites are constantly being made that challenge the established players.
It’s important, whether your blog has been around for a while or whether it is new, for you to keep your house clean. The Site Health tool is one that tells you the work that needs to be done in order to keep your site running as it should. Search Engines, particularly Google, love healthy sites, and this is not something that you can afford to ignore because it is also beneficial for Cyber Security.
What information is displayed?
If you click on Site Health and then on Info, you will see the configurations on your WordPress website that Site Health monitors. By going through every area that has the potential to adversely affect the health of your site; Site Health is able to come up with a report showing the performance of your site in key areas. Below are the main areas that are monitored;
- Your WordPress installation
- Directories and Sizes
- Media Handling
- WordPress Constants
- Filesystem Permissions
Your WordPress Installation
So, what are the important elements on your WordPress installation that have the potential to negatively affect your website’s healthy? As it turns out, there are many potential areas of woe for your site. As an example, you need to always keep your WordPress installation up to date.
If you are not running on the latest version of WordPress, you will get a warning. Staying up to date helps prevent attacks on your WordPress site.
After working for so long to build your website, you don’t want to have everything taken down through hacking.
Another important bit of information that’s monitored is whether or not your site is using HTTPS. If not, you will get a warning in your Site Health Status. Almost all sites that are out there now use HTTPS. It’s an encryption protocol that makes it safer to transfer data between computers on the internet.
You can see from the above screenshot that your Themes are also monitored by Site Health. If you have inactive themes, you will get a warning. It’s advisable to remove any inactive themes on your site to prevent them from becoming points of attack.
The only issue here is that you need at least one of the native themes in reserve on your site. Otherwise, you will have issues should something happen to your theme. As an example, we use a theme called ExS Pro on the site from which the screenshot was taken.
If that breaks, our site automatically falls back to Twenty-Twenty One.
Again you will get a warning if you have inactive plugins on your site. Many people keep some around, maybe out of forgetfulness or out of the belief that they will become useful at a later day. That’s not advisable. An inactive theme that you have installed has the potential to become a point of entry for hackers.
Another element that’s monitored by Site Health is AMP. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It’s a Google-supported protocol that’s meant to boost the speed of a website. The aim is to make it easy to load web pages on mobile devices.
Site speed is an important SEO element. One way of boosting your speed is through AMP. You can use Google’s Pagespeed Insights to check your site speed.
The importance of speed comes from the fact that Google uses it as a ranking factor. Faster sites get better ranks, particularly on mobile.
So, what warnings can you get in Site Health Status relating to AMP?
We have got two areas of concern on our site. The first relates to the fact that we have not enabled Persistent object caching.
Another is related to the fact that there is no caching at all on the site.
Should I be worried about my Site Health Status?
The question then is, should you be worried about your Site Health Status? Clearly, it’s important to keep your site healthy. An unhealthy could very well have a degraded performance. It could also suffer from attacks. You don’t want both of these events to happen. The health of your site has a direct bearing on its performance.
Having said that, you definitely should not obsess over Site Health. In the above example, we were using the example of a site that covers tech news and tips in South Africa. True, some of the areas that were highlighted in the Site Health Status are elements that could very well be worked on.
We will immediately remove the inactive themes. However, some items, such as implementing persistent object caching, will need more work. So, they are not something to obsess over. The point here, work on your Site Health but don’t let it take over your life.