A new Site Health score has been added to your WordPress dashboard and, like any other score, you are probably wondering how to get a perfect 100% score.
In this tutorial, I’m here to assist. First, let me introduce you to the newly-added site feature. I will lead you through 10 tips that you should adhere to for getting a 100% score on your Site Health.
In What Way Does the Site Health Score Work in WordPress?
Robust tools have been added by the Site Health functionality in WordPress to help you identify likely problems which makes it easy to repair your site if a problem comes up.
A series of tests are done by the Site Health tools and it shows you the results and recommendations based on what was found.
Another amazing feature is that tests can be filtered, tests can be added by the themes and plugins, and they can also remove existing ones.
Immediately you update your WordPress website, you will notice two new pages under Tools > Site Health.
The main page shows your Site Health Status with results grouped as:
Your Site Health Score is determined by the results of the tests. Furthermore, the critical tests are more important, and not properly doing this can hinder your chances of getting a 100% Site Health Score.
The health check reveals critical information about both security and performance. The performance checks contain searches for:
- The WordPress version
- The latest PHP version
- SQL server version
- Installation of recommended PHP modules
- UTF8MB4 support
- Scheduled events
- Working HTTP request
The security checks contain:
- Active themes
- Updated plugins
- HTTPS connection
- Secure communication
- Debug mode off
- Background updates enabled
- Communication with WordPress.org
The following page which is also the second page is the Site Health Info page that contains much information pertaining to your site health. A convenient button is enabled on this page that can copy all the information to your clipboard, so you can share or show it to your developer who is supporting you.
For example, if you are requesting help from a plugin author, the convenient button gives you a way to show them information about your site.
Want to get a 100% Site Health Score on WordPress? Here are 10 great tips to help you get there.
Now that you have an understanding of the checks that WordPress runs to gain access to your website, here is a list of things to do to get a 100% Site Health Score.
1. WordPress Version Must Be Up to Date
We have heard this many times before, but not many of us pay attention to the update notification that presents itself at an annoying frequency on our dashboard for important updates. Luckily, updating WordPress has been made easy with just a click. Minor changes happen automatically by default.
It is possible to disable background updates, but it is advisable not to do so.
The test result is designed to let you know if your site is up to date and whether it is communicating with WordPress.org.
2. Plugins and Themes Must Be Updated
The WordPress core should not be the only thing you update. Try and update all the plugins and themes as well. To update these extensions, go to the regular WordPress update area (Dashboard → Updates). You can also go to the plugin and theme areas respectively.
3. Unused Themes and Plugins Should Be Removed
Updating themes and plugins is not the only thing you should do; you should also remove any theme and plugin that you no longer need around. Any theme and plugin that has not been updated pose a security risk, which is why it is better and safer to remove them.
With all this said, there is one exception still. Leave the newest default theme installed, even though you are not using it (e.g. Twenty Nineteen).
4. Use the Up-to-date SQL Server Version
Your database server’s software is what influences the database that WordPress uses to save your content and settings. There are two popular options, depending on the host’s configuration:
- MariaDB (a fork of MySQL)
To make your site performance and security (and Site Health score) better, you might want to make sure you are using the newest version. WordPress recommends using MySQL Version 5.6+ or MariaDB Version 10.1+ for a better performance.
If you are unsure on how to do this, then reach out to your host support and find out the best way to get started.
5. Make Sure Your PHP is Up to Date
PHP is the programming language that drives much of WordPress’ functionality.
Upgrading to the newest version of PHP offers high-performance improvements, as well as better security (because out-dated versions will no longer receive security updates).
Presently, WordPress advises that you use PHP 7.3+.
6. Debug Mode Has to Be Turned Off
There are a few debugging tools that have been built on WordPress. These tools help generate useful messages to developers. The most vital tool is WP_DEBUG in your WordPress install.
However, on a site that is online, the debug mode should not be turned on because it can expose a lot of information about your site to visitors, and it is, therefore, a security risk. That is why WordPress will ding your Site Health Score if your debug mode is still turned on.
The debug mode can be configured by finding this line in your wp-config.php file:
Define (‘WP_DEBUG’, true);
To switch it off, you can either change True to False, or you can delete the entire line.
7. Make Use of HTTPS and Install SSL Certificates
HTTPS or Secure HTTP is a form of encryption that secures the connection between your server and the app browser of anyone utilizing your website. It also gives you that trust-building green padlock in web browsers.
Also, all non-HTTPS pages will be marked as “not secure” by Google Chrome. To dodge this, and increase your Site Health Score, you will get an SSL certificate installed and your site has to be migrated to HTTPS.
Many hosts now give free SSL certificates through “Let’s Encrypt”, which allows you to install with only a few clicks, or you can discover other free and cheap SSL certificates.
8. REST API Must Be Left Enabled
The WP REST API assists your WordPress core in connecting with the different web, desktop, and mobile apps that are connected to the internet. This enables WordPress to work efficiently as a content management system, storing and serving up content that will be seen on the internet.
The WP REST API is enabled by default, but plugins like the security plugins, for example, would be disabled by developers.
However, to get a perfect WordPress Site Health Score, you’ll need to enable the WP REST API and leave it that way. Most plugins and tools that disable the REST API will also give you the option to leave it enabled.
9. WP Cron Has to Be Enabled
Although, WordPress manages a number of routine tasks such as publishing posts, backing up, or checking for updates, this task is managed by the Cron job system. The system is a unique technology used by servers to manage scheduled tasks or recurring events.
WordPress Cron systems are depended on by plugins to perform tasks, but sometimes they keep most resources to themselves.
To find out if the WP Cron is working, you should use the free WP-Cron Status Checker plugin to acquire a new dashboard widget that tells you its status.
If you cannot get it to work, you can check it the line below is in your wp-config.php file:
Define (‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, true);
To re-enable Cron, all you need to do is remove the line shown above.
10. All PHP Recommended Modules Should Be Installed
PHP modules are important in executing the tasks on the server that allows your site to run.
The WordPress core depends on a list of PHP modules to assist with getting those tasks done. If you are missing certain modules on your server, WordPress will use a more ineffective way for that task, or it might eliminate the functionality.
It might be dissatisfying to not see a perfect Site Health Score, but this article is structured to help you get a 100% Site Health Score.
According to Kyle of WA, “You also have to keep in mind that you don’t need a perfect score to have a safe, working WordPress site”. The biggest takeaway from this article is that websites need to be maintained, just like cars or anything else that requires upkeep. As the web changes, and as your website gets updated, your site’s health scores will change. Website health scores decay over time. Not updating your website or optimizing your website will result in a negative impact through organic search results and or a bad user experience.
The main purpose of this article is to help you fix the critical issues, which is why I implored that you follow this guide. But don’t beat yourself up if you can’t eliminate every issue.
From your friend here training at WEALTHY AFFILIATE, Good luck and do drop your comment in the comment box below.