This is a guest post by Andrew Bowers, Managing Director at Peak Online, a full service digital marketing agency serving customers in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
WordPress is one of the world’s most popular choices for the creation of effective, high-quality business websites.
But just as you’d look after your house, your car or your PC, if you want to keep a WordPress website secure, up-to-date and performing at its best for you, it needs to be properly maintained.
Why does my WordPress site Need a Maintenance Plan?
Due to its global popularity, the WordPress platform is continually being developed and improved.
One of the most important aspects of this development is the focus on security; failing to implement WordPress security updates could leave your valuable business website wide open to hackers, viruses and malicious programs such as ransomware.
The Functionality and Flexibility of WordPress
WordPress offers an incredible range of functionality, enabling your website to do pretty much anything you want it to. Functionality is typically added by installing ‘plugins’ – small, self-contained software packages that integrate with the main WordPress platform.
Plugins are also regularly updated and improved by their authors, and it’s important to ensure that any plugins you use remain compatible with your current version of WordPress.
Plugins are also regularly updated and improved by their authors, and it’s important to ensure that any plugins you use remain compatible with your current version of WordPress – otherwise, they may simply stop working.
Updating Your Content
From a business point of view, it’s also worth maintaining your WordPress site’s content to ensure that it is current, correct and keeps visitors coming back regularly.
Potential customers will soon become bored if your website becomes ‘stale’ or outdated, and will turn to your competitors instead.
Always Perform Regular Backups
And once you’ve obtained your perfect, fully-functional and content-rich WordPress website, you really want to make sure that it’s securely backed up on a regular basis.
Maintaining backups of your site means that, if the worst happens, your site can be restored quickly rather than having to be laboriously rebuilt from scratch.
The Risk of doing Your Own WordPress Website Maintenance
You might consider doing your own WordPress site maintenance, but if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing this could be an expensive mistake.
If your website offers several different services and features (for example, a rotating banner, twitter feed, customer enquiry form and online shopping cart), you’re likely to have a number of plugins installed.
The problem is that plugin developers don’t have the resource to test the compatibility of their plugin with every other plugin that you might install. This gives rise to the possibility that by installing one plugin, you can affect the functionality of one or more others, or cause them to stop working altogether, effectively ‘breaking’ your website.
Inadvertently installing ‘untrusted’ or improperly secured plugins could also compromise the security of your website without you even being aware of it; would you really want to take that risk with your valuable data?
A WordPress Site Maintenance Plan Saves Time, Money and Worry
For complete peace of mind, it’s wise to leave the maintenance of your WordPress website to experts.
Regularly checking for – and correctly installing – updates to the WordPress platform and the plugins you use, refreshing your web content, making sure everything is secure and working properly and taking backup copies of your site is time-consuming.
This is time better spent on building your business success, safe in the knowledge that your WordPress website is being properly looked after by those who know how to keep it looking and performing at its best.
And a professional WordPress website maintenance plan isn’t as expensive as you might think; certainly not when you compare it with the possibility of doing it yourself, getting it wrong and losing customers because your website has been hacked or is offline for repair work.