Unfortunately, it is not uncommon: clients receive websites without solid maintenance. These will certainly work for a while, since everything is up to date at the time of go-live. Our experience shows that it is only a matter of time before these websites are causing problems or even stop working completely. We therefore believe that any seriously operated website requires decent and regular maintenance. After all, cars are serviced regularly because safety is important, and the value should be preserved, right? So, let’s get started and find out more about the 10 reasons why you need regular WordPress maintenance.
Why is WordPress website care and maintenance so important?
The care and maintenance of WordPress websites is extremely important! Why? Because the security and thus the smooth operation of WordPress is primarily based on the implementation of updates. Such updates should always be installed promptly, since security gaps are often closed, compatibility with other plugins and performance are improved. If you do not install these updates for too long, you are an easy target for hacker attacks and the entire operation of the website is at risk. Regular monitoring and testing is unavoidable, especially for websites with many extensions (plugins) or an online shop such as Woo-Commerce.
Focus on your core business and we’ll make sure your website (or your online shop) runs smoothly.
Would you like more information?
You could certainly find a lot more than nine reasons for WordPress maintenance. However, in our opinion, the following 10 reasons are the most important when it comes to WordPress maintenance.
Reason 1. Regular backups
Backups are one of the most important reasons why you should conduct a website maintenance. With regular backups of your website, you can roll-back to an older version whenever it is necessary and then take care of troubleshooting.
Especially in the phase immediately after the website launch, it makes sense to create regular backups. Especially, if you are still actively working on the structure, pages and constantly uploading new content.
Furthermore, plugin or theme updates can cause serious problems and in worst case the website can no longer be reached.
The frequency with which backups should be created depends on the application type. The golden rule is: The more frequently data is changed, the more frequently the backup should take place accordingly. Imagine the disaster when you run a shop and need to restore data from the past month. What happens to the users and open processes that have been registered in the meantime? The economic damage would be enormous.
Reason 2. Updating plugins and themes
Plugins and themes are very important for the functionality of your website. Hardly any WordPress website works without plugins and a theme or a so-called website builder. Without these extensions it is nearly impossible to create beautiful, well-functioning and SEO-friendly websites.
Plugins and themes are regularly updated by their developers to fix security vulnerabilities, but also simply to add new functionalities. In order to use the latest versions, it is necessary to update them. A time-consuming process considering you should be checking in on your website at least once a month to update plugins and themes.
Errors and problems can also occur during the update. This is why you should always have a current backup of your website to be able to restore it.
Some conflicts may cause the site to go down entirely and become inaccessible. Therefore, it is important to look at which plugins created a particular problem and why. Not only when updating plugins, it is important to make sure that nothing goes wrong. Plugins should be monitored, as it can happen that they no longer function as expected. Sometimes they must be replaced or even completely removed.
For extensive and business-critical applications, we set up a so-called test / integration platform for our clients. This platform contains an exact replica of the live web page. Critical changes or trouble shooting can be carried out there completely risk-free without jeopardizing the operation of the live website, as it remains untouched. Only when all the desired changes work 100% smoothly they will be uploaded into the live website.
Reason 3. Updating WordPress
This point is like the point above but deserves its own section since WordPress is the platform your website runs on.
WordPress is – if well maintained – one of the most secure content management systems. Potential security issues are usually fixed very quickly by the developer community. Functional updates, bug-fixes or security patches should be installed on every website as quickly as possible. This way the system always stays secure and up to date.
Reason 4. Minimize Vulnerabilities
WordPress is the most widely used content management system (CMS) and of course an interesting target for hackers and virus-attacks. Outdated components often pose a security risk because they can contain security gaps.
As soon as a vulnerability becomes known, websites with outdated components are at high risk! This is how user data; customer data and many other important and protected data can be stolen. It is therefore important that everything remain up to date and that all website settings are correct and secure. In addition, the website should be regularly scanned for malware, viruses and other vulnerabilities. This minimizes the risk of hackers gaining access to it technically and valuable data being stolen, or the website being taken down.
Reason 5. Maximize Security (the human factor)
One of the most common reasons why websites are hacked, and data is stolen or deleted is the handling of user accounts, user roles and passwords. It would be most unfortunate that after doing everything possible to protect your website technically, you found the door unlocked with the key still in the lock.
Therefore, check regularly
- whether protected areas are really protected,
- that the login works without any problems,
- that users are forced to use secure passwords
- that data is transmitted in encrypted form (SSL encryption).
Also, periodically delete orphaned users from the user list and be careful when assigning roles that have extended privileges in WordPress.
Reason 6. Website and server availability monitoring
It is of course important that your website is permanently accessible. But a hosting provider will rarely inform you about a problem or a total failure of your website. We offer additional services where we monitor the availability of your website and inform you about the status of your website.
Since Google enhanced their algorithms by the so-called core web vitals, user experience, especially mobile user-friendliness but also page speed, is playing a very important role when it comes to digital visibility. If you ignore these factors, you will be consistently penalized by Google and your site will disappear from the top ranks that you have worked so hard to achieve. That’s why we also monitor the overall performance as part of our maintenance packages.
Reason 7. Hosting Environment Configuration Settings
Actually, a no-brainer, because after all you pay for the website hosting. So, you can expect not to worry about server settings, right? Wrong! Many critical problems, above all performance problems, are due to incorrect or outdated settings in the server environment. Did you know that you can adjust most of these settings yourself and sometimes even have to (!)? But where do you find them, and which ones?
Outdated php and database versions and incorrect or incomplete settings in WordPress and web server configuration files are just a few examples of settings you can (and often should) adjust.
Reason 8. Database and Storage Optimization
Database sizes and disk space usage of a WordPress website are other indicators which show how well the maintenance of a website is doing. Unnecessary data accumulates over time and can often be deleted without risk. Accordingly, WordPress databases should be cleaned up regularly, to keep the table structure simple and memory management efficient. Due to the faster query execution time page loading times can be reduced significantly.
Reason 9. Search Engine Optimization
We are of the opinion that the optimization of websites for search engines is an indispensable component of a maintenance concept. Congratulations: If you follow the above recommendations, you have basically already optimized your website in terms of the technical part of SEO and created a solid basis for content SEO optimization.
If you need help creating SEO optimized content and/or a SEP audit, please contact us. We would be happy to advise you on this. We also offer virtual SEO trainings in several languages.
You can find more information about SEO here.
Reason 10. Privacy Adaptations and Cookies
So, it turns out that the more “happens” on your website, the more important regular WordPress maintenance will become. You should follow a regularity when maintaining your website and if necessary, pass it on to a professional service provider like us to ensure that all items from this list are taken care of, as this is the only way to ensure that all components are up to date, as well as the website is highly available, secure and has excellent performance.
The underlying technology and the resulting maintenance processes often follow the same, repetitive processes. On the other hand, the requirements of the clients are often different. You can imagine that the expectations of an individual differ from those of a company.
We hope to have helped you a little with this information. And by the way: We offer a basic maintenance package for as little as 500k (around 50 AUD) per month.
If you are interested in maintenance for WordPress, please get in touch.