So you just bought a new website for your business and you’re being told about website maintenance packages. And you’re thinking: I just bought this brand new website, why on earth does it need to be maintained? It’s a just question to ask, and of course, there’s a smart answer.
If you’re working with a company like us, chances are, your website is being built on top of WordPress. WordPress is a great open-source platform that powers over 25% of the Web. However, a website needs maintenance to run properly just as a car would. Here’s just a few examples of what constitutes WordPress maintenance:
1. Content Maintenance
Your website isn’t meant to be static, and neither is your business. You might run offers, have exciting news, or change out team members. Those updates are going to have to be made to your website. And depending on how your “website guy” builds your site, it could be a rather simple task or an extremely time-consuming one. (Tip: We build our websites to ensure updates are as hassle-free as possible.)
2. WordPress and Theme Updates
Essential to a WordPress site is, of course, WordPress and your theme. WordPress is maintained by the original developers, Automattic, and they are constantly working to add new features and to fix known bugs. Your theme is what gives your site its look and feel, and is usually developed and maintained by a third party. And every time WordPress has a major update, you can be sure that your theme has an update as well, to ensure compatibility.
3. Plugins, Plugins Everywhere
Plugins quickly and easily add extra functionality to your WordPress site. However, most WordPress plugins are not made by Automattic, they are developed by third party companies. Therefore, your plugins will have an update schedule that does not necessarily correspond with WordPress updates, like your theme. These updates might also present conflicts with your theme or other installed plugins. As a result, your plugin might stop working or something more serious might occur, like your website going down. Additionally, plugins do get abandoned and that opens your site up to people who might exploit your website through outdated plugins. Plugin maintenance requires constant updates and vigilance to ensure that your website doesn’t break or have any vulnerabilities.
These seem like straightforward tasks, but not everyone understands that WordPress is an ever changing system and needs to be paid attention to. So long as you maintain your website, you can ensure that your website is always online, up-to-date, and most importantly, secure.
Mike McCrone is the Director of Technology for Dauntless Communications.