Why regular maintenance is essential on your WordPress website
29th June 2017 by Rob MacDonald
Website maintenance is crucial for a secure and robust website
Like any software, WordPress requires regular maintenance to keep your website functioning properly.
Avoiding website maintenance is not an option these days. Ongoing maintenance is required to fix bugs and more importantly security vulnerabilities.
Hackers look to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. This includes old versions of WordPress and plugins, therefore, it is extremely important that your WordPress website is kept up-to-date.
Your website should always be live, ready for visitors and presenting your business at its best.
Websites Are Not “Set and Forget”
If you don’t have website maintenance carried out monthly, you might actually be losing customers and money. If a visitor goes to a website and find things wrong with it, they won't stick around - they might not even return.
Many website owners never check their website to see how it’s functioning. A website that is not functioning as it should or experiences downtime will lose you potential business.
The Benefits of Regular Maintenance
Most people aren't aware of the benefits of website maintenance.
Your websites performance, load time, uptime and security are all dependent on the WordPress software and plugins functioning properly as well as the quality and reliability of the web hosting.
Updating WordPress and it's plugins to the latest version is necessary to fix bugs and security issues with the added benefit of getting any new features or enhancements.
If your site is to be kept secure and functioning properly then you need someone to make sure that all updates to the website are done in a smooth and error-free fashion.
In addition to hosting our clients' websites and regularly performing backups, security scans and software updates, we also include in our client maintenance plans support time. This time is available each month for our client's to request content changes such as adding a new member of staff or blog post to their site. This frees up their time to get on with other things.
As you may have gathered by now, we take security very seriously. These are the steps we take to maintain our clients' sites and ensure they are functioning properly.
Backup, backup, backup. We backup your site every day. You can never have enough backups. We store daily backups on the server and also a remote server with the hosting company. In addition, we store in the cloud the last 30 days backups of our clients' sites. We can rapidly restore a website that might have broken due to a software update or security issue if needed.
The software we install on our clients' sites includes a firewall and a malware scanner that performs a daily scan to check for any threats. We perform a further security scan before we update a website to make sure all is in order.
Every month any new updates to WordPress and the plugins are upgraded on our clients' sites. The updates may include security and bug fixes and enhancements to the software.
After updating WordPress and plugins we then test key pages on our clients' sites to ensure they are working properly. This is crucial as sometimes plugins don't always work properly or play nicely together after updating. Any problems we find we will either fix if possible or revert the plugin to an older one.
We send our clients a monthly maintenance report with details of updates carried out and how their site is performing.
I don't want to service my car and I guess you don't really want to service your website yourself. But in case you are thinking of maintaining it yourself here are some things you need to know:
- Choose a good hosting company
- Backup your site daily
- Install security software and perform regular scans
- Update software regularly
- Test your website after updates
- Optimise your site for performance
- Use uptime monitoring software to alert you if your site goes offline
- Have a process and the knowledge to know what to do if your site breaks after updating it
- Have a process in place in case your site gets hacked or has malware
It Costs More to Fix Than to Maintain
Unfortunately, many people learn the hard way the importance of website maintenance when they find out their site isn't functioning properly or is experiencing downtime or has been hacked. Embarrassingly many will find out first through their customers as they are oblivious to the fact.
Worse is to come for many when they find out their site hasn't been backed up recently or at all. Week's of work may have to be redone.
Inexperience and neglect can damage the appearance and functionality of your website. When that happens, you have two choices. One, you can try and fix it yourself in which case you may cause further damage. Or two, you can pay the substantial price for someone experienced to fix it.
It typically costs more to fix a broken website than it does to maintain it properly. Regular services help keep your car running smoothly, regular website maintenance help keeps your website running properly.
Call in a Professional
Why not free up your time to deal with what you know best and let us deal with what we know best? I am sure your mechanic services your car, so why would you try to maintain your own website if you’re not a web professional? By securing an experienced web professional to update and maintain your site properly you are preventing potential lost sales and visitors as well as gaining peace of mind.