WordPress is an awesome piece of software which is used by millions of people world-wide to create appealing and functional websites. But just like other software, WordPress is prone to bugs and problems over time if the software is not maintained. Think of your website as you would your car – it needs regular maintenance and services to keep it running smoothly.
Required maintenance of your WordPress website can be broken into three categories:
1. WordPress and Plugin Updates
Updates are important and can’t be overlooked. The developers of WordPress update their software continuously, which creates an extra layer of security around your website. Updates should be run as soon as possible once they become available. It is important to not only run the core software updates but any plugins and theme updates that are available, as these work together with the core WordPress software. Failure to keep your WordPress website up to date can result in security issues including hacking and malware, cause some functionality to stop working and even result in the dreaded WordPress “white screen of death”!
Remember the three rules of computing: backup, backup and backup. Just like the data on your computer, you need a backup plan for your website. Your WordPress website should be backed up on a schedule and the backup files sent off-site to a secure, remote storage location. Depending on your type of business and how often your website changes would determine how often you need to backup. An eCommerce website making sales and adding/changing products every day should be updated daily, whereas a small “brochure” type website which is changed infrequently may only require a weekly or fortnightly backup.
Because WordPress powers about one third of the websites in the world, WordPress websites are specifically targeted by bots and hackers. This means all WordPress sites need an ongoing security strategy. Most attacks are automated these days, so you shouldn’t believe that your website will not be attacked just because it’s small. Strategies to keep your website secure include regular malware scans, downtime monitoring and keeping software updated (see point 1). Installing plugins which limit login attempts help protect against brute force attacks and ensuring the use of strong passwords and usernames helps to minimise the risk.
How much does a WordPress Maintenance Plan cost?
At TotaleSolutions we have a number of different WordPress Maintenance plans to suit different needs – or we can tailor one specifically for you. Our Standard WordPress Maintenance Agreement is $99 per month and includes core updates, plugin updates, site backups fortnightly and stored off server, security scans, uptime monitoring and 1 hour of support or changes per month (valued at $88). The specs of the plan can be changed to suit your individual needs – contact us to discuss your requirements.
Can you maintain my WordPress website even if you didn’t build it?
Yes, we can maintain any WordPress website. We would just require from you Administrator access to your WordPress dashboard and access to your web hosting control panel.
OK – but why should I pay for a WordPress Maintenance Plan?
Simple – your website is an investment in your business, and just like any other asset it is in your best interest to keep it running smoothly. Having a maintenance plan gives you peace of mind – knowing that your website is being taken care while also protecting your online marketing efforts.