Your business’s digital presence is almost as vital as its physical presence in today’s world and your website serves as a front of your business online. As a result, you must ensure that your online information and services are continually updated.
You reading this could mean that you already performed your research on website content management systems and chose WordPress, as many other responsible decision-makers would. WordPress is the world’s most popular website content management system, after all; with huge brands and bloggers alike using it. WordPress is utilised by 33.6 percent of all websites, according to W3Techs, and accounts for about 60% of all sites using a known content management platform.
However, the work required for your WordPress website does not end after it is launched. After the design and development are complete, just like any other asset, you must know how to maintain your website. Without adequate maintenance, all the hard work you’ve put into creating your domain would be at risk, and you’ll miss out on opportunities to grow your business.
Our advice? Don’t let your WordPress website fall behind!
Continue reading to learn why WordPress maintenance is important and how to keep your site running smoothly.
What Happens if You Don’t Update Your WordPress Site?
After a terrible user experience, nearly 90% of online customers will not return to a website anymore. In fact, poor usability is the reason why 70% of today’s Internet businesses fail.
Regular maintenance is the practical approach to keep your WordPress website from crashing or being hacked. If you don’t make any updates to your site for an extended period of time, it will appear that you don’t care, too.
Here are some warning indications that your WordPress website isn’t up-to-date:
This is the first thing since it is the most significant. You are exposed because of all the spam bots and hacking attempts constantly done out there. Maintaining any old version of a software, including WordPress, is bad. Just this reason alone should convince you to update WordPress.
Your brand’s reputation could suffer if you don’t have a secure website. It’s more crucial than ever to keep your website secure as hackers become more sophisticated as the months roll. It’s a scary thought but your business website is always in danger of getting hacked.
Targeted by Hackers
WordPress, as previously stated, is not very secure, especially when it’s outdated. And, because so many other people use WordPress for their websites, it’s always a target for hackers, regardless of the site’s traffic number.
“Why should hackers target a small business website with a minimal number of visitors?” you might wonder. The truth is that hackers don’t care whether a website is for a small business or a major corporation (with thousands of web pages) as long as they can find and exploit any security vulnerabilities.
So be it malware or a brute force attack, below are some of the negative consequences if your website will be hacked by hackers.
A total website crash indicates that the hacker has taken full control of your website and made several alterations. Your website may lose all of its web traffic, as well as brand trust among online users and consumers, significantly impacting your business.
Loss of Personal or Customer Information
Hackers utilise brute force attacks or SQL injection attacks to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, proprietary corporate information, and trade secrets. Furthermore, hackers may attempt to sell this sensitive information in order to make money, which could result in further damage to the business. In the event of such attacks, businesses risk losing customer trust or even being sued in court by their own patrons.
Website defacement is among the most visible types of cyber-attacks that can harm the appearance of your website or webpage. SQL injections, which are used to obtain unauthorised access to administrator accounts, are the most popular website defacement attacks.
Visitors will immediately notice a defaced website, which can result in a loss of traffic, brand credibility, and even money. If you run an e-commerce website, this can be especially detrimental.
Hackers can remove crucial business-related data such as client orders, business communications, and bills from the database, in addition to stealing sensitive business information using brute force attacks. A data loss like this, especially if you don’t have a backup, can paralyse your business for weeks or even months.
Hackers frequently include harmful code in hacked websites that sends people to their own websites or phishing pages. Automatic redirects might damage user confidence in your business and even lower traffic to your website.
Furthermore, the misdirected consumer may purchase any prohibited product or unlawful service from the other website, further hurting your business’ reputation.
You Miss Out on New Features
This is, without a doubt, the most important reason for you to update. New updates mean new features to be aware of. These features aren’t always worth highlighting, but being up-to-date and having access to new features is always a good thing.
Due to outdated WordPress functionality and an obsolete PHP, your site’s performance will eventually suffer. Plugins will stop working and eventually fail as new features are added to WordPress to enhance its performance. You will not be able to add any further plugins if you will not do regular site maintenance.
Your rankings will suffer if your site loads slowly, crashes, or has significant page bloat. Allowing things to get out of date will have an impact on performance and user experience. In the end, all you get is disappointments when your users are unhappy with your brand portal.
Failure to maintain your site may result in a decline in ranks, making it more difficult for your target audience to find you online.
Slow Loading Time
Hacker attacks are common on outdated WordPress sites, which can lead to major security challenges later on. Furthermore, your site will take longer to load, hurting your search engine rankings.
Why Is WordPress Maintenance Important?
A WordPress website is similar to operating a business. Maintenance is one of the most crucial aspects of any business. You make certain that your information and service are up-to-date using the most recent methods. You keep track of all the tools and equipment you’ll need to keep your business running properly. If something isn’t maintained, it can break, slowing or even stopping a business altogether.
In this regard, a web design agency knows how to keep your website up and running so you can turn your website traffic into satisfied clients and customers.
By maintaining a website, you can expect it to load quickly and look fresh. This is another reason why you should discuss the importance of WordPress maintenance with your IT team.
There are four reasons why WordPress maintenance is critical for your brand website,
Because WordPress is open-source, it may be used by any coder. Unfortunately, this means that WordPress is also vulnerable to hackers. Don’t be alarmed! WordPress is still a great option for businesses. As long as they set up a few basic maintenance routines to keep their site up to date on a monthly or quarterly basis, they can be good to go. Plus, WordPress regularly rolls updates, creating a constant firewall against malicious parties.
It’s simple to update WordPress from your website’s backend. However, you may need to hire a programmer to make extra changes so your site is compliant with the latest WordPress version.
WordPress also contains “plugins,” which are small programs that you can install on your website that provide useful features. Updates are required for plugins on a regular basis. This increases security by removing obsolete code from your website.
A thousand minor details can have an impact on your site and prevent it from performing as envisioned. You may lose key leads from your website if your business doesn’t update important contact information or a critical plugin malfunctions. Your competitors’ websites may improve over time, too, pushing you further down the Google ladder.
Your Google rankings are influenced by technical factors such as your site’s speed and how long it has been since its content was updated. A WordPress maintenance plan can help you avoid performance and lead drops on your site.
Having daily backups running for your website is one of the most crucial aspects of website management. Backups are essential and can save you a lot of money if your website is hacked or if you implement an update that “breaks” your website by accident. If your site stops operating after updating a plugin, you can simply reload a backed-up version from the previous day.
However, hackers tend to re-infect sites they’ve already compromised; so backing up your data isn’t always enough to keep them at bay. But this doesn’t diminish the fact that backups are a terrific way to get your site up and running quickly while you figure out how to improve a current site iteration.
Peace of Mind
Creating a WordPress site maintenance plan offers peace of mind. Planning properly decreases the chances of being caught off guard when a site goes down or gets hacked (requiring you to seek immediate technical assistance). Above all, it assists you in estimating the costs of your site and ensures that you have a resource to turn to during emergency cases.
What Does a WordPress Maintenance Plan Include?
The following responsibilities should be addressed at a minimum by a good WordPress maintenance and support plan:
- Themes and Plugin Updates – Most WordPress security vulnerabilities stem from plugins and themes. Maintaining the security of your site requires keeping your plugins and themes up to date.
- Version Control – When you make changes to the code, you must use versioning. This procedure will assist you in keeping track of your previous actions so that you can safely return to an earlier version of the site.
- Automatic Backups – Continuous, automatic backups are needed in the event that your site needs to be restored due to a disaster or data loss. In an ideal world, you got to have incremental backups kept in numerous locations.
- Performance Optimisation – Performance optimisation includes recommended practices like page caching and image compression to guarantee that your WordPress website is configured for optimal performance.
- Continuous Maintenance and Security – It’s critical to check your CMS for compatibility, stability, and speed on a frequent basis. Continuous monitoring and protection against spam, malware, unauthorised logins, and other harmful attempts, as well as following security best practices (to block possible threats before they occur) are also beneficial to your site.
A competent WordPress maintenance service keeps an eye on your WordPress resources to avoid downtime. It will notify you if anything appears to be out of the ordinary, such as resource depletion or other anomalies.
Whether you maintain your own WordPress site, have an in-house administrator or hire a Melbourne web design agency, the most important thing is that you have a plan in place to keep your website humming. This is the foundation for keeping a professional and long-lasting website, offering you peace of mind that can only come from having a solid plan in place against any form of virtual crisis.