WordPress Monthly Website Maintenance options – Why bother?

WordPress website security checklistRegular WordPress Website maintenance means updating the WordPress website software and testing it, to ensure that your website is working properly. Most website owners do not understand the benefit of monthly or regular website maintenance, seeing it as just another ‘cost’. But engaging your professional website developer to update and maintain your site is critical to its performance and to ensure that it is delivering value for you. You made an investment in your website, so do protect that investment, with some regular care.

Without regular website maintenance options – what happens?

If your WordPress website is not updated regularly, the software will become buggy, much like a car needs regular servicing and fuel to run well, the website needs scheduled tasks done. The website also has plugins for contact forms or blog or galleries or SEO or shop etc, they need to be kept up to date too.  Your website hosting needs to be checked to see that there is no issue at server level and that your subscription is up to date. The website also needs server side software updates at your hosting level.
The same goes with your domain name www.example.ie – has it been renewed? Is it due for renewal? Both domain and hosting are usually billed on an annual basis.
If either one is not renewed the website will disappear and your rankings will be badly affected. If you do not renew the domain name, someone else can buy it.
Apart from the software updates, plus domain name and hosting renewal, there are 404’s or broken links, image issues and navigation errors.
Doing monthly or regular maintenance includes checking for such broken links and repairing them.

Backups – Website maintenance options
Before any maintenance is done it is critical to do a backup of the website.
This allows you apply any updates, but have the security of having a complete backup, if something goes wrong. Keep a note of which updates you do, in case there is an issue.
You may have to restore the backup, if there is a conflict with the plugins after they have been updatedSometime the plugin developers lag behind WordPress when a WordPress platform update is released. It may take a few days or even weeks for the plugin developer to apply a fix or update their software. If you use a FREE plugin, then there is no onus on the developer to do any updates, which may mean you need to get a different plugin for that task.

What tasks are done in a typical website maintenance options plan?

Just like updating your iPhone or iPad, regular website updates serve a number of different functions as listed below:

Create a backup – to have a clean, working version of the website in case you need to revert to it.
Update platform versions for WordPress – because these are always being updated
Fix security holes and check for attempted hacking, plug any holes – because people will try to hack your website
Optimize the utilization of resources on the operating system – to make your site perform well
Add newer and more secure features – to keep the site up to date
Remove old and unprotected features – to avoid clutter or conflict
Update drivers to increase software efficiency – as these drivers are updated
Update versions for components such as Yoast, Widgetkit, Zoo or YooThemes and make sure they work together – or they may conflict
Ensure the uptime of your website – to ensure that people can find the site 24/7
Check speed of website – to make sure that visitors get content quickly, before they move on to some other site
Check mobile or responsive view – to see that the website delivers on all mobile types
Keep a copy as a Backup in case the site goes down – so that you can put up a saved copy
Submit updated Sitemaps to Google – to tell them about your pages
Check Calendar – to ensure that the date and time settings are correct
Train your in-house Marketer or Webmaster – to use optimisation tools and techniques
Run through an agreed Checklist – to see that all necessary tasks are done in a timely fashion
Tip: Do little and do often – to avoid conflicts or large workloads. We recommend an hour or two monthly.

Can you do these website maintenance options tasks yourself?

Yes and we provide an DIY list HERE. So if you have or acquire the skill set and experience, you can do these tasks yourself. If you do these tasks yourself and the website breaks down somehow, you will need to get back to the professional again, to get it fixed, which may take time, as they do not know what you did.
Usually they will firstly need to do an audit to determine, where the problem lies and how much time is involved in applying a fix. Getting the website fixed, could prove a lot more expensive than investing in low cost regular maintenance by a professional, who is familiar with the workings of your website and who brings value, just by doing these tasks.

Other benefits of monthly or regular website maintenance optionsWebsite Support Plans

When you engage a professional web developer to do these tasks, you get the added benefit of having someone who knows your website, inside and out. That allows these guys advise you on new innovation and technology.
They can give you guidance on best practice, on security, on how to lay out pages or add video or simply keep up with changes on your behalf
You are getting the benefit of having a part time team member, with a specialty in web. How cool is that!
Plus! These guys can help ensure that your website performs well, lasts a long time, but crucially that it reflects your business well on the web and delivers a great return on investment.

Stop thinking of it as a cost and start thinking about how a professional web design agency or developer can help generate the leads and sales that you want for your business.

Talk to us about what you need to ensure that your web presence works well for you.