Let’s discuss maintenance before the WordPress website gets launched. Keeping WordPress, the theme and plugins, and WooCommerce up-to-date ensures everything works together, doesn’t break the website if something is old and is no longer compatible, and keeps security vulnerabilities at a minimum.
Clients need to know and be warned that in 2019 it was reported that Google’s Safe Browsing data blacklisted around 30,000 websites. According to a Hacked Website Report from Sucuri, a very large percentage of the website hacks came from out-of-date, vulnerable, versions of plugins. Taking the necessary precautions for your WordPress security can prevent malware infections, branding issues, Google blacklists, and possibly huge SEO impacts.
The Security Benefits of WordPress Website Maintenance
When using a security plugin like WordFence, for example, it is imperative to keep it updated to avoid the most recent malware and hacking attacks. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and bolder so the security systems must also become better.
Just as it’s the business owner’s responsibility to protect its physical store merchandise, it is an online business owner’s responsibility to protect its business website and its customers’ information. Businesses need to protect data and the company’s reputation.
The Importance of Website Backups
Website backups are not necessarily part of WordPress security but are administrative website maintenance tasks. Unless clients really know what they are doing, it is best to rely on a good, knowledgeable designer or developer to perform the backups.
Having a backup (and an offsite backup) is a foundational necessity for any online business. There are many things that can happen to a website, including being hacked, database corruption, developer or designer negligence, etc.
A backup allows the website to be restored to a previous point in time. Without a backup, the designer or developer may have to recreate part of a site that can be expensive and time-consuming.
Websites need to have regular, automated backups performed. Website owners must not wait for the site to get hacked or infected with malware, only to find out they have to rely on an older version of the site, or in some cases, no backup at all.
Maintain a Good Relationship with the Person or Company Performing the Website Maintenance
Ensure the work being done follows the monthly, quarterly, or as-needed maintenance schedule. It is crucial to be ahead of (or at least keeping up with) the technological updates and other changes that can affect your site’s performance.
New plugins are not always compatible with existing website designs and templates, for example, so it’s good to have your designer or developer working with you familiar with your needs over the long term.
Your designer or developer should be following the update notes and changelog for WordPress, the theme, and the plugins to ensure your website is getting the latest updates and upgrades for quality performance.
Make sure to have the website maintenance discussion with the designer or developer beforehand or you may have to find another company at some later time to maintain the website.
Not all web design companies are made equal, and some don’t even provide maintenance after the website is created. This can become a major hassle to a website owner or manager. Before designing and building a new website, make sure to take into consideration who will be performing the website maintenance and updates.