Why Is WordPress Website Maintenance So Important?
If you are using the WordPress framework to power your website, developing a plan to maintain it is something that’s really important if you don’t want any issues with your website.
WordPress is a great tool. Yep, over 74.6 million websites out there depend on it everyday. As a design professional I use it all the time to develop web projects for my clients. In the past 10 years I’ve seen WordPress grow from being a simple blogging platform, to becoming one of the most respected web tools available for business owners.
But although the tool has great benefits for small and large organizations, the discussion regarding maintaining a website powered by WordPress is often avoided. If you are currently using the WordPress platform to power your website as a business owner, non-profit, or political campaign, developing a plan to maintain it is something that’s really important if you don’t want your organization’s goals to be interrupted.
So what is WordPress Exactly?
WordPress is an open source web tool. This simply means that anyone can contribute, modify, redistribute it and continually make it better for those who want to use it in the future. It’s probably one of the easiest and more popular website content management system in existence today.
What makes WordPress so valuable to me, is that it has streamlined my web process over the years to make it more efficient. I look at WordPress as an efficient but affordable short cut that allows me to spend more time on content design and a client’s brand message, than worry about coding complex websites. Even though I can code HTML/CSS/PHP from the ground up, WordPress has allowed me to grow with the economical changes of business owners.
I can build a website that has the code structure already laid out for me, so if I need to modify anything it makes my job easier. This enables me to spend the rest of my time focusing on Content Design, Design Strategy, Brand Message, and On-Page SEO goals for my clients. But although the tool has great benefits, the discussion regarding it’s maintenance is often avoided by clients. Avoiding it will leave room for frustrations, site vulnerabilities and the issues that form due to ignoring necessary updates that need to happen.
Do You Have A Plan For Your WordPress Site?
If not, here are FOUR things that need to happen today!
1. Update Your WordPress Core Files
WordPress releases software updates at regular intervals. In order to make your website perform in the best possible manner, you will have to install the updates when they come out. Not updating, will cause a serious threat to the security of your website as it will lead to a potential of getting attacked by hackers. Clients have to also have the support to ensure that when WordPress is updated, it doesn’t make things get all out of place because of a single update. This often requires a complete site review and assessment to ensure the updates don’t damage the site in anyway.
2. Back Up Your Site Regularly
Backing up your WordPress Website is something that should be done regularly. Here are some options so as a business owner you can establish a clear plan. PLAN ONE: if the company or individual that built the website offers site maintenance, you want to go ahead and setup a website support plan with them. It is important to have a solid plan of action to get the website supported as soon as possible especially if the site will be be visited by thousands of people once it launches. PLAN TWO: if the company or freelancer that built your website does not offer WordPress Website Support, speak to your hosting company to see what options are available to you. Often times your hosting company offers built in WordPress Support Features (BlueHost WordPress Hosting Support, GoDaddy WordPress Support), or they can direct you to third party vendors such as WPEngine, Faster, or WP Site Care
3. Updating Plugins Properly
WordPress plugins are a common discussion when it comes to WordPress driven websites. A plugin is a piece of software, that when added to a WordPress website adds additional functionality or custom features. WordPress Plug-ins are written to integrate easily into WordPress, but not updating them regularly leaves vulnerabilities for hackers – and hackers are always looking for security issues to take advantage of. It’s literally what they do. Not only do plugins have to be regularly updated but the website has to be reviewed to ensure updates don’t break anything or cause something to look weird on the website.
4. Keep Your Content Updated
It’s so important to keep your WordPress Website fresh regarding what site visitors will see. A regular blogging or publishing schedule that pushes out relevant content will keep your returning visitors happy and engaged. Outside the topic of WordPress maintenance, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo will favor your web content over similar websites that fail to update their content regularly. Publish relevant content, and publish it often as much as possible on social media and other outlets that give your audience access to valuable content that provides .