“Do I really need WordPress maintenance?”
If you’re asking yourself whether you need a WordPress maintenance plan, the answer is yes!
You may decide to outsource WordPress maintenance to an external provider, or you may decide to do it internally.
In either case, there is a specific set of ongoing tasks that must be done in order to keep your website healthy, secure, and functional.
Before we get into the specific tasks, let’s start with WHY you need a WordPress maintenance plan in the first place.
7 critical reasons why you need to maintain your WordPress website:
When a platform is open-source, it means that ongoing technical maintenance is required. Here are 7 reasons why it’s paramount to maintain your WordPress website on an ongoing basis:
1. Avoid getting hacked
Several things can happen when a WordPress website gets hacked, but here are the 3 most common detrimental experiences that you’ll want to avoid at all costs:
- Your entire website can get erased.
- Your URL can be redirected to a different website (often an inappropriate one).
- Spammy advertisements can be injected into your website.
Any of the above experiences can significantly harm the bottom line of any business, and it’s vital to prevent these things from happening.
When a WordPress website gets hacked, it’s most commonly a result of outdated plugins (which need to be updated manually at least once a month) or the absence of a security plugin and someone monitoring security threats. These things are all handled for you if you’re using our WordPress development service in Ottawa (or any other WordPress development service provider).
2. Be prepared for a rainy day
If you have a WordPress maintenance plan, all of your bases will most likely be covered.
However, there’s always a small risk that your website will get hacked, or that one of the members on your team will accidentally delete important content or data.
That’s why it’s vital for your WordPress maintenance plan to include regular off-site backups. “Off-site” means that you’ll be backing up your website on a separate server, so that you have 2 backup sources (in case your primary server gets compromised).
If something were to ever happen to your website, you’ll be very thankful that you invested in regular off-site backups!
3. Stay compatible with new technology
The technology that integrates with your WordPress website evolves each and every day.
In addition to implementing regular software updates to keep the software versions as recent as possible, it’s also important to monitor the market for newer and better software altogether.
Eventually, a certain piece of technology might become outdated and not nearly as effective as one of the rising alternatives.
By having a WordPress maintenance plan, you’ll ensure that your website is performing to the highest standards in the industry at all times.
4. Improve user experience
After your WordPress maintenance provider performs software updates, it’s critical for them to check every page on your website to ensure that everything is still intact.
Sometimes, after the software gets updated, there is a glitch that needs to be fixed (or several).
If your WordPress maintenance plan doesn’t include “bug repairs”, you run the risk of providing a poor user experience to your visitors due to website errors such as broken forms, slow loading speed, images that disappear, etc.
The question of whether your website will always provide a flawless user experience (even years down the road) is one of the key questions to ask your web designer before hiring them.
5. Keep the audience “hooked”
Depending on your industry, in addition to making sure that your website stays secure and functional, it might also be a good idea to consistently update the content on your website to keep visitors engaged.
This may include publishing regular blog posts, adding gallery images, or anything else that can be changed or added on an ongoing basis. People prefer fresh websites that are updated frequently as they appear more trustworthy!
6. Get on top of search engines
Google prefers to rank websites that have fast page loading speed and are free of any technical errors. On a WordPress maintenance plan, both of these things are handled for you.
As mentioned in the previous section, it’s also best to consistently update the content on your website (such as blog posts, gallery items, etc) because Google prefers websites that are continuously updated with fresh content. At Azuro Digital, we enable your website to rank highly on Google through our search engine optimization service in Ottawa.
7. Uphold your brand image
A user will immediately have a bad perception of your brand if they try to access something on your website but fail to do so.
The error may be caused by a plugin, theme, server issue, or any other reason, but the user won’t care about any of that – they will only remember that they tried to access something and didn’t get what they expected.
Your website is often the first impression and your first chance to convince them to become a paying customer. If your website fails to impress them, and especially if your website frustrates them, you’re much less likely to earn their business.
By having a WordPress maintenance plan, you’ll avoid any negative perceptions of your brand caused by your website’s performance.
What does a typical WordPress maintenance plan include?
WordPress maintenance plans usually include the following action items, performed on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis:
– Server management
– Plugin, theme and core updates
– Bug repairs
– Page loading speed optimization
– Security monitoring
– Uptime monitoring
– Regular off-site backups
– Ongoing website work, training and support
Now, let’s break down the 4 most essential components of a WordPress maintenance plan:
- Update all of the software integrations on your website (server, plugins, themes & core). On average, there are 10-20 different software integrations that need to be manually updated at least once a month. If you don’t update all of the software integrations, things can easily break down or get hacked.
- Fix errors caused by software updates. Things often break after performing a software update, so it’s vital to check every page on your website to find and fix the errors right away.
- Monitor your website’s security and take action when needed. If you don’t have someone to jump in right away, your website can be erased, redirected to an inappropriate website, or injected with spammy advertisements, among other things.
- Take regular backups of your website. If your site breaks down or gets hacked and you’re not able to resolve the issue quickly, it’s critical to have a backup file to restore. Most people never need to use their backups, but those who DO need them are forever thankful.
WordPress maintenance plans are hassle-free and affordable!
You might find the concept of WordPress maintenance to be overwhelming when you first hear about it, but it’s nothing to be afraid of.
When you outsource WordPress maintenance to a team of trusted experts, you can rest assured that your website is in safe hands and will continue to perform at the highest level.
The best part is that you won’t need to think about “WordPress maintenance” ever again. Once it’s handed over to a professional, they’ll take care of everything behind the scenes without taking any time out of your day. You shouldn’t need to be involved at any point (unless it’s to update actual content).
The size of the monthly retainer for a WordPress maintenance plan is heavily dependent on the type of website you’ve built, but it’s typically a fairly small expense for most businesses.
If you want to minimize the monthly cost, one way of doing it is to reduce the frequency of updates.
If you’re a large enterprise with a complex website or a website that gets a lot of traffic, it’s best for things to be updated very frequently (daily or weekly).
On the other hand, if you’re a small company with a simple website that gets a low amount traffic, you’ll be fine with just monthly updates – resulting in a cheaper ongoing investment.
Are you thinking about getting a WordPress maintenance plan?
As the top rated web design and development agency in Ottawa, we take the ongoing success of your website very seriously.
We would be happy to have a discussion about your WordPress website to see if we’re a good fit, or to simply offer advice.
Click here to get a quote today!