WordPress maintenance can be a time consuming and even painful process. There are only so many hours in the day and dedicating your time to such things could prove to be a frustrating effort if you try to do it all yourself. While there are plugins you can install and other manual services to use for maintenance, automating the process is an easier way to go. Whether you have a small site or a large e-commerce site, maintenance needs to be done if you want to stay secure.
Here are 5 crucial tasks that you really shouldn’t ignore. They are all important in the maintenance process so let’s dig in.
- Updates – Recommended Weekly
You have a great WordPress site. It’s your blog, your online business, your means of income. Important stuff. You are busy though juggling a lot of things. Running the business, marketing, writing content, you know how all of those things take time. Maintaining your site can also take up your time.
Keeping your site updated with the latest WordPress version helps ensure you are running as smoothly as you can. Updates can protect you from sneaky hackers. We all know what kind of damage they can cause. What about bug fixes? Bugs can crawl in despite the developer’s best efforts. You want to optimize the speed and performance of your site so visitors don’t come and go. You also want to take advantage of new features that WordPress comes out with.
Updates can keep your site in tip top shape. Because you are often multitasking, you may not have the time to update regularly. Include core, theme and plugin updates in your maintenance strategy.
- Backups – Recommended Daily
Would you live your life without an insurance plan for your health, your car, your home? I doubt it. What about providing yourself the same peace of mind when it comes to your WordPress website? You back up your computer and your other devices so make sure you back up your WordPress site. It’s just as important because stuff happens. Hackers could bring your site to a standstill just as a buggy update or any other data mishap could. This could equal disaster if you don’t have a recent WordPress site back up. You’re trying to run a business and your web presence is the first thing people look for. Make sure it’s always there for you and your customers or you’ll pay the price.
- Security check – Recommended Daily
WordPress is a great platform upon which to build and enhance your website. It offers amazing features such as themes, plugins and more. As a result of its popularity, WordPress is prone to vulnerabilities such as malware, viruses and access from hackers. WordPress can be a prime target for these sorts of mishaps. If you are not diligent about keeping your website secure, you may be targeted and that could mean big trouble. Keeping your site updated and backed up is prudent, but scanning your site on a regular basis for security issues can add that extra layer of protection.
It’s important to not make things easy for a hacker to breach your site by changing your administrative login, using strong passwords and updating your core, theme and WordPress plugins. You may have a site containing personal information such as an e-commerce site which is even more at risk, so you really need to lock it down and monitor activity. We can’t stress security enough and the more you scan the less likely you’ll be surprised by an attack.
- Performance check – Recommended Weekly
A successful website is defined by how well it performs. Page load times and speed are critical in determining whether or not visitors can get to and stay on your site. If you are an online retailer for example, a split second can make the difference in whether a potential customer will buy from you, or exit the site frustrated never to return. You’ve invested time and money in the development of your site. Don’t let that be wasted by not providing adequate performance.
Performance checks are so important because they give you information about the speed and overall condition of the site at various points in time; the benefits of having stable performance are many.
Google ranks your site according to how fast it is. If it ranks well, you’ll get more traffic to your site and that means more potential customers. As you obtain customers, they will be more inclined to engage further on the site and moving forward this can lead to additional sales.
- Monitoring Uptime – Recommended Daily
A colleague of mine recently experienced an issue with their website being down twice over a ten-day period. The downtime was extensive, and it was due to server failures at the hosting provider. The host is a reputable company with high ratings, yet a problem occurred. A notification that the site was down was sent immediately by the maintenance provider he partners with, and steps were taken to contact the host and see what had happened. It was out of my colleague’s control unfortunately, but the concerns were many. Here are the top ones he had.
- Google ranking penalty. Yes, Google rates sites on how often they experience downtime.
- Lost sales. The revenue that was lost is irreplaceable.
- Online reputation. This takes time to earn and downtime can be a wrecking ball.
- Unhappy customers. If customers can’t have their needs met, then they head to the competition and nobody wants that. It costs a lot more to obtain a new customer than to retain one and provide extraordinary service and add on services.
Monitoring your website is a core component to having a sound maintenance strategy.
You don’t need to be a developer to maintain your site, but it can be tricky. Using a third-party maintenance provider is often considered by site owners. While you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to have this done, it will save you time and give you peace of mind knowing that a company that specializes in maintenance can automate the process for you. WP Manage Prime can help. All we do all day long is manage and maintain WordPress websites. We’ll even help you with content edits and technical issues should they arise. If you find that maintaining your site is a challenge, contact us and we’ll answer your questions and get you started. You can go about other things knowing your site is secure, which helps bring new customers in and keeps your existing ones happy.