When we mention the word “maintenance” to our website clients, 99% of the time they think we are only referring to content or text updates to their website. And while regular content updates are important (especially for keeping your site fresh and search engine optimized) the most important reason for maintaining your site is for security reasons.
About 85% of all updates have to do with bug fixes and security fixes and are necessary to keep your site running optimally and to minimize the risk of it “crashing.”
WordPress is an awesome content management system and it’s why we have built our business around it. One of the reasons why it’s so powerful is that it utilizes “plugins,” which are bits of software that can be uploaded to to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site. But you may not know that some of the most popular plugins used in WordPress have been hacked at some point in time. And usually the only websites affected are ones that haven’t updated their plugins.
So what can you do to protect your site?
- Beep, Beep, Beep….Backup! We are always amazed when we find out that a client hasn’t been regularly backing up their website. For most business owners, your website is the lifeline of your business yet many don’t take the steps to ensure that if it crashes, there’s a backup that can be restored. Talk about peace of mind!
- Update Your Plugins: When you log in to your website, you may see a number in a red circle next to the word “Plugins” on the dashboard. That indicates how many plugins have updates available. Click on the Plugins tab to see all of the plugins that are activated on your site and which have updates available. After backing up your site, update the plugins one at a time. After each one is updated, go to your website to make sure that everything is still working properly.
- Update Your Theme: WordPress is built with themes. You may have a fairly common theme (like the free themes that are on WordPress.com) or you may have a premium theme that you paid for. Or if you had MavroCreative design your website, you will have a theme that we customized for you. Regardless of the type of theme, there will be periodic updates that are made by the theme developer to keep your site safe. It’s super important to update your theme when a release is made. HOWEVER….before doing so, you need to check to make sure that your website is using a Child Theme. If you (or your web developer) made changes to the theme (colors, fonts, layout, etc.) and you don’t have a Child Theme, when you update the theme itself your changes may be overridden.
- Keep Your Eyes on Your Site: Stuff happens. Sites go down (sometimes because of something going on with the host provider), images get wonky, links get broken. That’s why it’s important to scan your site periodically to make sure that things are working properly. There’s nothing worse than having a customer point out that a page on your site isn’t working! Be proactive and give your website a little TLC from time to time.
- Got Bigger Fish to Fry? Perhaps you have a business you need to run instead of spending time keeping your website safe and secure. Or the thought of backing up a site and updating plugins and themes give you hives, perhaps it’s time to hire someone to maintain your site for you. Take a look at the Website Maintenance Plan from MavroCreative. We offer an affordable alternative to keeping your site safe and secure.