Website maintenance is about security and functionality.
Website maintenance is a lot like vehicle maintenance. If you don’t update WordPress and check in often to test your updates, your website will stop working or even create serious security issues for you. You wouldn’t neglect the brakes on your car, would you? No, that would cause an accident eventually … just like neglecting your WordPress maintenance.
With the birth of CMS (content management systems) came an opportunity to avoid code and allow clients the ability to management their own websites. On the flipside, CMS like WordPress also require regular maintenance to avoid malware infections, functionality break-down and security issues. What’s worse is that lots of clients mismanage or neglect these requirements because they don’t understand that it’s not optional.
Why you need to update WordPress.
The most important reason is security. Hackers scan website for vulnerabilities. In WordPress specifically, they find these in outdated WordPress core, theme and plugin files. When they find these “back doors” they install small malware files that allow them to use your domain and access additional information gathered through your website.
The other reason is compatibility between major WordPress updates (which are pushed automatically by WordPress) and your plugins and themes. If WordPress updates and your plugins or theme isn’t then you could run into issues that cause loss of functionality or even break your site.
You can read more about this here.
How often should you update WordPress?
I recommend performing backups and updating WordPress core, plugins and themes at least twice a month. More often if you can. When I perform maintenance under a plan I log into a client’s website 2-3 times a month to create backups and perform updates. I also monitor security scans throughout the month in addition to the scans and backups that my host runs.
Depending on your install, you might be able to set plugins to update automatically. Just be careful to monitor this and make sure to check in and make sure all updates are compatible.
How do you perform WordPress backups and updates?
I love the UpdraftPlus plugin for WordPress backups. If I designed your website then you already have this plugin. You should create and download a new backup every time you update. That way, if anything goes wrong during a update, you can simply hit the “Restore” button and return your website to it’s previous state. If you can’t access your admin area because of issues then you have a fresh backup on your computer’s hard drive. I can use this to restore your website manually.
Here’s a short video illustrating how to create backups using UpdraftPlus and how to perform some basic plugin and theme updates:
A few recommendations when performing updates:
- Update each theme / plugin one at a time. Check your website in a new tab / window after each update so that you can help me troubleshoot any issues that might occur with a specific plugin or theme update.
- Download the latest backup to your computer. Your backups automatically get saved to the same server as your website. This is alright, but if the server were to go down or malware damaged your site then you may not be able to recover that backup.
Or you can just get a website maintenance plan.
I offer website maintenance to anyone with a WordPress website. Maintenance plans can be customized to suit your specific needs. My basic maintenance plans include:
- Off-site automatic backups twice a month
- Regular malware scans and monitoring
- Updates to WordPress core, theme and plugin files at least twice a month
- Limited host and WordPress support*
*This includes things like dealing with the host provider if you or I notice an issue with the website. I also provide support related to using your WordPress website like helping you add or update content.
All of this is in addition to the regular scans and daily backups that my host provides with your annual hosting plan.
Find out more about my maintenance plans here.
Will I provide website maintenance for a site that I don’t host or didn’t create?
Yes. I will gladly maintain your WordPress website regardless of who created it or where it is hosted. What I will not include is additional host support. This would require an additional fee.
Have more questions? Want to find out what else I have to offer? Schedule a free consult today and let’s find out how we can work together.