Your WordPress website is an integral part of your online presence, as it allows you to connect with people and grow your business. Favored by countless entrepreneurs, WordPress’s open-source nature means not only cost-effectiveness but also limitless potential to customize and scale. Its expansive library of plugins ensures your e-commerce site stays relevant, user-friendly, and ahead of the curve. But here’s the catch: like a finely-tuned sports car, WordPress demands regular care to ensure it runs smoothly. This is where a maintenance plan becomes indispensable. Doing “maintenance” is far more than just clicking update on your plugins each month.
Your WordPress website is made up of thousands of lines of code like most software and is constantly changing. Even if you aren’t changing the content on your site, the plugins and themes that make up your WordPress site are having regular updates performed by their development teams to make sure they remain secure, become more efficient, and remain compatible with the growing landscape of themes and plugins out there. Taking care of such sites requires regular attention – which brings us to the question. Do I need a maintenance plan for my site? The answer is yes! Sit back as we explain why our year of experience in the industry have taught us that proper site maintenance is a must.
- A WordPress maintenance plan provides essential tasks to ensure your website is secure and remains online working for you around the clock
- Your WordPress website is made up of thousands of lines of code and various pieces of software called plugins that all work together to produce the features you need
- Regular maintenance is necessary for security, stability and high performance.
Understanding WordPress Website Maintenance
For both novice and experienced WordPress users, it is important to have a maintenance plan in place that will help maintain the optimal functioning of their site. These plans are often provided by web developers who build your site and specialize in WordPress maintenance services. Proper maintenance both short term and long term will ensure that your website remains secure, up-to-date, and operational so that you can achieve your business goals and get a maximum return on investment with your website.
Tasks included under these plans involve regular security checks, regular backups, updating plugins and themes, and checking to be sure everything is functioning correctly. Some WordPress maintenance services also include hosting as a part of the package as well. All of this combined helps to make sure all aspects of running a Wordpress site can be handled securely and effectively.
Importance of Regular Maintenance
Maintaining a healthy WordPress website is vital to its success, and that’s why having a comprehensive maintenance plan and security monitoring in place is so important. A WordPress professional that handles maintenance regularly will have access to real time security notices in the event that a plugin or theme is compromised. Getting your software updated as quickly as possible when these threats are identified is critical to safeguarding your website and preventing any malicious activity.
Monitoring uptime is also crucial so that any errors can be identified and corrected as soon as possible. Preventing downtime as much as possible is incredibly important to keeping your website online and working for you around the clock. That being said, it is inevitable that something will happen during the lifespan of your website. When that happens, it’s important that a plan is in place to handle the downtime, troubleshoot the issue, fix it, and get your site back online as fast as possible.
My website isn’t that big or complicated, do I still need a care plan?
If you have a WordPress website, no matter how small or simple it may be, ongoing maintenance and updates are necessary to keep its performance and security at the best levels. Even the most basic WordPress site is made up of thousands of lines of code and will utilize some third party plugins that require regular feature updates as well as security updates. Typically a more basic site that does not handle e-commerce or memberships will be easier to maintain and therefor cost less than a more advanced website. However, it is still just as important to your business to protect the investment that is your website and keep it online and healthy.
A typical basic maintenance plan for such websites should comprise plugin upgrades, theme updates and refreshes, safety scans as well as backups of data on your site. These operations are essential in ensuring that all features of the website remain both reliable and secure regardless of size or complexity.
Outsourcing vs. DIY: Choosing the Right Approach
Choosing between having a professional maintain your website or doing it yourself is an important decision. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your needs and budget constraints. Hiring external help might seem pricey for some, but is similar to hiring a professional to help with your bookkeeping or taxes. It frees you up to focus on your business, protects your investment by being in the hands of a professional, and you can avoid any costly mistakes by trying to learn to do it yourself.
Going the DIY route is certainly possible for some but you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to put in the time to learn everything you need to. Then you have to make time on your schedule to take care of these regular tasks each day, week, and month.
Can’t I just run the updates myself?
Anyone can run plugin updates in theory – it’s just a simple click of a button, right? The short answer is yes, of course. But it’s not this simple part that is the critical piece. It’s knowing when to update the plugins, having the right process in place in case something goes wrong, knowing how to identify an issue and fix it, rolling a plugin back to a previous version, having a backup in place that you can restore, being notified of important security updates in a timely manner, and doing all of this like clockwork each and every week.
If you’re a tech savvy business owner with plenty of spare time on their hands and you enjoy learning new things and DIY then this might be perfect for you.
However, for most business owners that is simply not the case. Very few can check all 3 of those boxes and still run a successful business.
This is where the magic of a good WordPress maintenance plan comes into play. It’s the knowledge, processes, strategy, and overall execution of these things each week and each month that are so important.
Benefits of Working With a Professional
Engaging the services of a professional can be advantageous in many ways, like benefiting from their specialized knowledge and skill or resolving problems faster with greater confidence. In many ways it’s similar to working with a professional in other industries. Yes, you can do your own air conditioning maintenance, but do you really have a background with enough knowledge and confidence to do it in the event something goes wrong? Better yet, to complete the maintenance and be confident that nothing will go wrong?
As a business owner, I’m not sure which would be worse, my website going down or my air conditioning going down. Hopefully you don’t have to experience either of those things!
Working with a WordPress developer or an agency to handle your website hosting and maintenance can be one of the best decisions you make to protect your investment and the face of your business online. They will ensure that your WordPress website remains safe and running smoothly.
A reliable expert is also able to detect potential issues concerning the smooth operation and performance optimization for your WordPress site right away too. By teaming up with an experienced professional, you are guaranteeing that security updates remain current at all times thus keeping everything secure while improving its efficiency overall.
Doesn’t my hosting company do that?
If you are paying a hosting company such as SiteGround or Cloudways to host your website, it’s easy to get things mixed up in terms of who is taking care of what. Think of your hosting company as the landlord of an apartment building. They ensure the building is standing, the lights are on, and there’s a basic lock on the front door. But what about keeping your individual apartment (your website) tidy, stylish, and in top shape? That’s where the difference lies! While your hosting company might offer some basic things like auto updates and backups, a maintenance plan is like hiring a personal handyman for your specific apartment.
Having daily (or hourly) backups in place in multiple locations is fundamental to any restoration plan. So having them on your hosting company’s server is step one, but you also need at least one additional copy being taken somewhere else stored off the server.
You also cannot trust auto-updates – these are offered by some hosts and have even been launched inside of WordPress recently. My advice, don’t trust them. What’s worse than your site auto updating a plugin and that could cause your entire site to go down. Without the proper tools in place, you wouldn’t even know that this happened and that your site is now down. Further, where do you go to get it back online?
Auto-updates sound amazing in principle, but in reality it’s like playing with fire.
It doesn’t seem that complicated, so what’s included in a WordPress maintenance plan or “Care Plan”?
A WordPress maintenance package or “Care Plan” is designed to keep your website running at its best. This includes regular updates to ensure your site stays secure and up-to-date with the latest features. Backups are performed consistently so you won’t lose your data. Speed checks are done to ensure your site loads quickly for visitors.
The plan also covers resolving any technical issues or glitches that may arise. In essence, it’s a comprehensive package to manage the technical side of your website, allowing you to focus on your business without any digital distractions.
These upkeep packages focus on keeping your website secure and efficient to ensure its reliability and functionality.
Investing in a suitable maintenance plan can provide your website with the insurance your site needs to protect your investment for the long term.
Your WordPress website is a pivotal tool for your business, akin to a dynamic storefront in the vast digital marketplace. Just as any asset or tool, it requires care, attention, and regular check-ups. The constantly evolving landscape of code, plugins, and themes necessitates proactive monitoring. While it may seem tempting to manage updates and maintenance tasks on your own, the potential pitfalls are numerous, from compatibility issues to unforeseen vulnerabilities.
A professional WordPress maintenance or “Care Plan” is not just about updates. It’s a comprehensive service that looks into every nook and cranny of your site, ensuring it operates optimally, remains secure, and provides a seamless experience for your visitors. Even if your website feels modest in size, regular maintenance remains crucial to safeguard your investment. And while hosting companies provide foundational and support services, they don’t delve deep into the unique nuances of your individual site.
In short, entrusting your site to professionals is akin to ensuring your prized vehicle gets serviced by an experienced mechanic rather than attempting DIY solutions. Because in the end, the peace of mind, saved time, and optimized performance are well worth the investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the primary purpose of a WordPress website for businesses?
The primary purpose of a WordPress website for businesses is to provide an online presence, allowing them to connect with people and grow their business.
What are the advantages of WordPress’s open-source nature?
WordPress’s open-source nature offers cost-effectiveness and limitless potential to customize and scale. Additionally, the expansive library of plugins ensures the e-commerce site stays relevant, user-friendly, and ahead of the curve.
Why is a WordPress website maintenance plan compared to a finely-tuned sports car?
Like a finely-tuned sports car, WordPress demands regular care to ensure it runs smoothly, highlighting the need for regular maintenance to get the best performance.
What are the potential risks of not maintaining a WordPress site?
Not maintaining a WordPress site can lead to security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues with plugins and themes, and potential downtimes or site crashes.
How do hosting companies like SiteGround and Cloudways fit into website maintenance?
Hosting companies, such as SiteGround or Cloudways, ensure the website is online and provide basic features like auto-updates and backups. However, they do not offer specialized, comprehensive maintenance packages for the individual sites they host, which is where a WordPress maintenance plan comes into play.
What are some tasks typically included in a WordPress maintenance or “Care Plan”?
Tasks in a WordPress maintenance or “Care Plan” often include regular security checks, doing website backups often, updating plugins and themes, checking the site’s functionality, and resolving technical issues or glitches.
Why might someone choose a professional over a DIY approach to WordPress maintenance?
Choosing a professional offers specialized knowledge, the convenience of not having to learn or manage the tasks oneself, the assurance of preventing costly mistakes, and the freedom to focus on core business operations. On the other hand, the DIY route requires time, effort, and a learning curve that not all business owners are prepared for or interested in.
What are the potential dangers of relying solely on auto-updates for website maintenance?
Relying solely on auto-updates can be risky as they might not always be compatible with other components of the site. An incompatible update can cause the site to crash or experience glitches. Without the right tools or notifications, a business owner might not even be aware of these issues until it’s too late.
How much maintenance does a WordPress site need?
A WordPress website requires regular maintenance. Even if content isn’t being changed, the plugins, themes, and other components of the site undergo frequent updates. A Proper WordPress website maintenance plan ensures the site remains secure, efficient, compatible with the evolving landscape of plugins and themes, and is able to serve its purpose effectively.
What tasks are typically included in a WordPress maintenance plan?
WordPress support and maintenance plans typically includes regular security checks, consistent backups, updating plugins and themes, and ensuring that everything functions correctly. Some plans may also offer hosting as part of the package. The goal is to manage the technical side of the website, ensuring security, performance, and reliability.
What are the benefits of outsourcing my website maintenance tasks to a professional?
Outsourcing website maintenance to a professional can provide several benefits, including:
- Specialized knowledge and expertise to handle technical issues.
- Quick resolution of problems with greater confidence.
- Assurance that security updates are current, safeguarding the website.
- Detection of potential performance or compatibility issues before they escalate.
- Saving time, allowing you to focus on your core business.
- Protecting your website investment by ensuring it remains functional and efficient.
Can I automate some of the maintenance tasks to save time and effort?
While some tasks, like auto-updates, can theoretically be automated, it’s advised to approach them with caution. Auto-updates might seem convenient, but they can also introduce compatibility issues or even crash a site if not managed properly. It’s essential to have a system in place to monitor these updates and to be able to restore the site if something goes wrong.