WordPress works with complex structure. After initial setup, you have to keep a track of multiple things in order to maintain a site successfully. You have to upgrade theme, plugins, database, PHP and WordPress core regularly to keep the site in good condition. Therefore, do not believe if someone is telling you that working with WordPress is easy. However, you can do simple site audit within the admin panel. In this article, we will explain how to check site health of WordPress site.
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Site Health Check Plugins
Checking site health is not a new thing in WordPress. In fact, there was a popular P3 profiler plugin from GoDaddy that used to check the plugins causing delay in site loading. There is an official Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin available in WordPress repository developed by WordPress.org community developers.
The Site Health status in WordPress is a feature copied from this Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin. Now that it makes easy for all users to do the site health test within dashboard without installing the plugin.
Site Health Feature in WordPress
WordPress version 5.2 and later comes with a default feature called “Site Health”. This helps you to check whether your site is compatible with the latest software, has any configuration issues and has any other possible improvements. The advantage is that any user can do this health check without asking developer to debug the site.
The results and recommendations are simple that you can follow on your own. Therefore, this is s a good tool you should keep using as part of your regular maintenance tasks.
How to Check Site Health?
Login to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “Settings > Site Health” section.
WordPress will run a health check and show you the status on the screen.
The site health results contain Status and Info sections providing all necessary details.
Site Health Status
Under the status section, you can find the issues related to your WordPress installation and configurations. The health status can give you the following advises:
- Overall status – Good health status indicates, there are no critical issues that need your attention.
- Critical issues – you should immediately check and resolve these critical issues. However, critical issues like updating theme can be handled as per your convenient.
- Recommended improvements – these are recommended to avoid later problems like deleting inactive plugins and themes.
- Passed results – here you will get the status for the passed tests. You should have passed basic tests for having proper latest WordPress/PHP/plugins/themes/SQL server, etc.
What Does WordPress Check with Site Health Test?
WordPress checks performance and security settings when doing a health test. You can view the group name against each recommended/critical or passed check. Below are the checks, WordPress does when running a site health test.
|Configuration Settings||What It Checks?||Group|
|WordPress version||Checks whether you use latest WordPress version||Performance|
|PHP modules||Availability of required PHP modules as per this guide||Performance|
|PHP timezone||PHP default timezone for calculating time and date on your site||Performance|
|SQL version||Latest SQ L server version||Performance|
|UTF8MB4||Checks UTF8MB4 character set is supported||Performance|
|HTTPS connection||Valid SSL certificate||Security|
|Secure communication||Secure communication with other servers||Security|
|Scheduled events||Checks scheduled events can run||Performance|
|HTTPS request||Checks blocking of HTTPS requests||Performance|
|Debug mode||Disabled debug mode||Security|
|REST API||Availability of REST API||Performance|
|Connect WordPress.org||Checks your site can connects with WordPress.org||Security|
Integrating Health Check Status by Plugins
In addition to site owners, plugin and theme developers can use the site health section to integrate with their product. For example, plugin developer can check the status results and info section to advise the required settings for his/her plugin. If you are using Yoast SEO, you can already see they integrated some checking during site health test. You can view the results under separate “SEO” category as shown below.
Yoast SEO plugin checks the following SEO factors:
- Comments are shown in a single page without breaking into multiple pages
- Site can be found in search engines
- Changed default WordPress tagline
- Permalink includes post name
In fact, some of these recommendation are already available under “SEO > General > Dashboard” section of the plugin. However, this is a good way to start using the core WordPress features. You will soon see many developers will start using this site health feature on their plugins and themes.
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Health Status Score – Removed
WordPress version 5.2 had a performance score next to the health status. However, this was removed in the subsequent version due to the opinions from developers. You can find the discussion here on why the score card is removed.
Site Health Info
The info section of site health section is for troubleshooting purposes. When you click on the “Info” link, you can see the URL will change to “https://yoursite.com/wp-admin/site-health.php?tab=debug”. This indicates the information available on the info section is for debugging and troubleshooting purposes.
You can find the following details under “Info” section:
- WordPress details like version, site URL, permalink structure, multisite status, etc.
- Directory and sizes – shows server directory path along with sizes for upload directory, theme and plugins.
- Active and inactive themes and plugins details.
- Media handling details.
- Server architecture details like PHP version, memory limit, time limit, max input time, upload file size limit, PHP max input variables, etc. This is most useful when you are discussing with your plugin or theme developer.
- Database – server version, database name and username.
- WordPress constants – shows details of debug, URL, ABSPATH, etc.
- Filesystem permissions – shows the writable permission is available for plugin, theme and uploads directories.
You can click on the “Copy to clipboard” button to copy all these details to clipboard in a single click. However, do not post these details on public forum or share with unknown person. You should use these debugging details carefully as it contains your database and server details.