Using the RACI matrix for WordPress websites

4 min read
Alycia Leno

If you’re using self-hosted WordPress, you may know it needs regular maintenance and dedicated resources to take care of the platform. As a site grows, specific roles will be responsible for managing the publishing process, design, and development.

WordPress is popular because it’s free and highly customizable, with tens of thousands of free plugins and themes. However, unlike a closed, proprietary platform, you can’t just set it and forget it.

There are numerous tasks, especially for enterprise WordPress installations. With great freedom comes great responsibility... as well as accountability, consulting, and informing.

Why use RACI for WordPress?

With so many tasks, and often many teams or people involved, WordPress management can be unclear and unstructured. A RACI helps define who is responsible for what, and who needs to be involved in decision-making or kept in the loop.

A RACI matrix (or RACI chart) is a simple table of tasks, people, and their level of involvement. Although this sounds like something for enterprise organizations, it’s valuable to any company with a team that requires clarity around how tasks are completed.

What does RACI mean?

RACI stands for:

  • Responsible – Who is doing the task?
  • Accountable – Who has approval authority and owns the outcome? One per task.
  • Consulted – Who provides input on the task?
  • Informed – Who needs to be kept informed before or after the task is done?

Here’s an example of a simple RACI chart:

TaskWebsite ownerIT departmentPublishing teamEngineering
Maintain pluginsAICR
Security settingsARIC
User managementCIA/RI
Image optimizationIIRA
SSL certificate managementACIR

WordPress management task lists

The lists below have been broken into rough categories, but your specific use case may vary. The people and teams responsible will vary depending on your unique organization.

For example, if you’re an entrepreneur working with a single web developer, then you'll only have a few columns. However, if you work for a large company with an engineering team and IT department, there may be several columns to account for all the people involved.

Take this list as a starting point and customize how these tasks show up in your company

Maintenance tasks for WordPress

  • Update core, plugins, and themes
  • QA testing functionality after updates
  • Security scans and monitoring
  • Responding to security incidents
  • Backups
  • SSL certificate management
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Regular image optimization
  • Regular database optimization
  • Monitor core files for changes
  • Finding and resolving 404 errors
  • Finding and resolving broken links
  • Monitoring for spam comments
  • Cleaning up media files
  • Monitor logins and trusted devices
  • Review notices for new plugin and theme features for implementation
  • Enable email notifications for downtime

Platform tasks for WordPress

  • Database management
  • File system management
  • PHP upgrades
  • Staging servers
  • Automated testing
  • Hosting configuration
  • Web application firewall
  • CDN
  • DNS management
  • Make sure cron jobs are running properly
  • Keep staging synced with production

Development tasks for WordPress

  • Web development
  • Version control
  • API integration
  • Web app development
  • Automated testing
  • Bug fixes
  • Plugin management (add/remove/config)
  • Application monitoring (uptime, performance, errors/logs)
  • Access control
  • Implementing plugins
  • WP admin settings
  • Htaccess changes
  • Functionality and availability tests
  • Testing the forms, comments and other interactive features
  • Cross-browser and device testing

Design tasks for WordPress

  • Defining the design
  • User journey mapping
  • User experience testing
  • Widgets
  • Mockups
  • Wireframes
  • Accessibility (a11y) testing
  • Block patterns
  • Global styles
  • Branding

Publishing tasks for WordPress

  • Image selection and editing
  • Editorial calendar
  • Legal review
  • Publishing process
  • SEO markup and updates
  • Taxonomy
  • Review user access levels and adjust roles as necessary
  • Review top-performing posts for improvements
  • Audit older pages for content updates
  • Review parent/child page relationships to better organize content
  • Implementing redirects

Closing thoughts on RACI for WordPress

Depending on your specific website and team structure, this list may change, edit, and grow to cover your needs.

If you run an ecommerce site or membership site, there are a whole bunch of specific tasks. Depending on the plugins, features, and things most important to your site’s performance, you’ll want to capture everything at a high level to form alignment across your organization.

If you have feedback to improve these lists, please let us know. We’re always happy to speak with potential blog contributors.

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