In this post we will explain what WordPress Maintenance Plans are, what is included in our plan here at Simply Styled Sites and why it is important for your business to subscribe to one.
Building a website is no small feat. It takes a lot of time going back and forth with a developer to get it exactly how you want it. Once it’s complete you may think, “Yay, it’s done,” and proceed to let your website sit online exactly as it is for months on end. And that’s fine. For most businesses, it’s not necessary to regularly update the content and layout of your website. One thing you shouldn’t ignore though is WordPress maintenance. This can lead to a lot of problems if you don’t stay on top of it.
WordPress is an always evolving ecosystem. It is constantly changing with new features and security improvements. That being said, just because WordPress is constantly changing does not mean that your website is updating with it. Keeping your site up-to-date with the latest software configurations is a manual process that must be performed on all WordPress sites.
The Effects of an Improperly Updated WP Site
Performing routine maintenance on your website ensures your site won’t crash and be vulnerable to security attacks. If you wait too long between updates, then your site will begin to show signs of neglect. Here are some indicators of a WP website that is infrequently updated:
1. Hackers will start to target your site
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the internet. It is the platform of choice for over 35% of all websites online. WordPress’s popularity comes with a cost though. Hackers tend to target vulnerable WordPress sites for exploitation. In some instances user’s have gone months without noticing hackers have attacked their site before it’s too late. Hackers use vulnerabilities in outdated plugins and themes in order to load malware and viruses to the site, causing it to crash and destroy your website data.
2. SEO performance will go down
SEO is short for search engine optimization. Your site’s rankings will be affected if your site loads slowly, crashes, or contains unnecessary page bloat. Failing to take care of your site can cause your rankings to continue to decline, making it harder for your audience to discover you.
3. Page loading will slow
If your website goes without maintenance, it can cause your theme, plugins and even the version of WordPress you are running to become out of date. Older versions of plugins are vulnerable to attack from hackers and can cause major security problems for your site. On top of all this, your site will run slower, leading to a negative effect on your search rankings.
4. It might be difficult to perform content updates to your site
The older your plugins, theme and version of WordPress become, the harder it is to perform regular updates to your site. Sometimes not performing maintenance can cause your theme to stop working properly, making it difficult to do simple edits like, for example, switching out a photo on your home page.
5. Your website will lose credibility with customers
The more outdated your website is, the quicker your users will run from your site. Stanford University did a study that found that 75% of website users judge a business’ credibility based on the design of their website. This means that if your website is outdated, misconfigured or broken in any way, you will lose customers and, therefore, money.
Not Updating Your Website will Cost You More Money
In the event that you choose not to update your WordPress website, you will likely come to a point where your website crashes, experiences major issues and is not working properly. When that happens, it is way more costly to fix your website.
At Simply Styled Sites, we charge double our normal rate to deal with any emergency issues such as website crashes, data loss or website misconfigurations. In contrast, if that type of problem occurs and you’re on our maintenance plan, you are covered and we will fix the issue as a part of your monthly maintenance plan.
What Comes with a Good Maintenance Plan
Not all WordPress maintenance plans are created equal. At Simply Styled Sites, we focus on these major components to keep your site running optimally under our maintenance plan:
It is critical to regularly backup your website. This ensures if anything breaks on your site, you always have a version of your site to revert back to before any issues arise.
In our maintenance plan, we always backup your website first before performing any updates. This ensures if anything breaks, conflicts or gets messed up during the update process we can revert back to the old version of your site to troubleshoot where the errors are occurring.
Plugins cause a lot of WordPress security issues. In fact, WordFence found that plugin vulnerabilities caused 56% of all WordPress security problems. Updating them is important for ensuring that your site remains secure. On our monthly maintenance plan we update your plugins on a monthly basis.
Theme updates also lead to security vulnerabilities for a lot of WordPress sites. At Simply Styled Sites, we like to build on the Salient Theme, which regularly updates their theme to ensure it maintains high performance and security.
Over 75% of all WordPress vulnerabilities come from the WordPress core, especially older versions of the core. WordPress regularly releases updates to combat these security issues, which make it an important factor in our maintenance plan. We check monthly for updates to the WordPress core, but will perform these updates as they come up for our maintenance clients.
Ready to get started? Hire a Professional
Simply Styled Sites offers a monthly maintenance plan to make it easy for you to ensure your website is running optimally all the time. We take the hassle out of WordPress maintenance so that you can focus less on your website, and more on your business. We offer two versions of maintenance: General Maintenance and Maintenance + Dedicated Hosting. If you’re ready to simplify your site maintenance and get it off your hands, feel free to sign up for our plan today.