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How to Use the WordPress Website Health Check Tool

How to Use the WordPress Website Health Check Tool

Have you encountered the site health-check tool in WordPress? No matter what type of website you are building, there are probably steps you can take to improve it. Deleting inactive plugins, for instance, will protect your website from threats, whereas creating a custom site title will help it rank in the search results. With the site health-check tool, you can find ways to improve your website.

What Is the Site Health Check Tool?

The site health-check tool is an analysis tool in WordPress that’s designed to diagnose the digital health of websites. It was originally released in version 5.2 of the content management system (CMS). Since then, all subsequent versions of WordPress have featured the site health-check tool.

There are ways to improve nearly all types of websites, and those built with WordPress are no exception. Rather than manually evaluating your website, though, you can use the site health-check tool. It will prompt WordPress to perform a variety of tests on your website while subsequently displaying the results in the admin dashboard. The site health-check tool will reveal both performance and security issues that are adversely affecting your website’s health.

How to Access the Site Health-Check Tool

You can access the site health-check tool under the “Tools” menu. Just click or hover your cursor over the “Tools” menu and select “Site Health.” As long as you’re using WordPress version 5.2 or newer, the site health-check tool will be available under the “Tools” menu. If you’re using an older version of WordPress, you’ll need to upgrade in order to access the site health-check tool.

Analyzing the Status Page

After loading the site health-check tool, you’ll see two tabs at the top: status and info. The status page is displayed by default. Clicking the info tab, conversely, will take you to the info page. You can return to the status page by clicking the status tab.

The status page contains information about critical and noncritical issues that adversely affect your website’s security or performance. It also reveals tests that your website successfully passed.

Critical issues are displayed first. On the status page, you’ll see a list of all critical issues, such as outdated plugins or an outdated Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) version. Each critical issue will be displayed on a separate line. Clicking a given line will expand it to reveal a solution to fix the critical issue.

Noncritical issues are displayed after critical issues on the status page. They are labeled as “recommended improvements.” WordPress, for instance, may recommend that you remove inactive themes and plugins. If your website uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, it may recommend that you set up a 301 redirect as well. These aren’t critical issues, but you should still consider following the recommendations displayed here.

You may find links for critical and non-critical issues. When you click an issue, WordPress will provide a solution to fix it. The solution may include a link directing you to a separate page where you can address the issue.

At the bottom of the status page is a “passed tests” section. The site health-check tool works by performing tests. Tests that your website fails will be displayed as a critical or non-critical issue. Tests that your website passes, on the other hand, will be displayed in the “passed tests” section.

Analyzing the Info Page

While you can learn a lot about your website’s digital health on the status page, you shouldn’t overlook the info page. It’s available by clicking the info tab at the top of the site health-check tool.

The info tab doesn’t necessarily reveal performance or security issues. Instead, it reveals details about your website’s technical configuration. You can use the info tab to learn more about how your website is set up and configured.

Like the status page, the info page features multiple lines, and you can click any of these lines to expand them. Each line on the status page will reveal information about a technical aspect of your website. There’s a line for WordPress, for example. Clicking this line will provide details about your website’s WordPress installation, such as its version, language, timezone, permalink structure, commenting status, number of users, and more.

There’s a line for directories and sizes. It will reveal the directory in which WordPress is installed, and it will reveal the directories for media uploads, themes, and plugins. Along with the path of these directories, you’ll see how much space these files are consuming.

There’s even a server line. The server line, of course, includes details about your website’s server. PHP is part of your website’s server. Clicking the server line will reveal the PHP version, PHP time limit, PHP memory limit, and more.

There’s a database line on the status page as well. For WordPress to work, it needs a database. You can learn more about the database powering your website by clicking the database line. It will reveal the database extension, such as MySQLi, and the database name and database username.

You can also copy the information displayed on the status page to your clipboard. If you want to save it for future reference, just click the “Copy site info to clipboard” button at the top of the status page, after which you can move it to a text file.

Keep in mind that only information that you can see will be copied to your clipboard. Most of the information on the status page is hidden by default. You’ll have to click a line to reveal its details. If you want to save information about your website’s server, click the server line to expand it, after which you can click the “Copy site info to clipboard” button.

If you’re not using the site health-check tool, you’re missing out on one of WordPress’s greatest features. It can reveal performance and security issues that are restricting your website’s level of success. And by navigating to the info page, you’ll see a more detailed breakdown of your website’s technical configuration.

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