For many business owners who have WordPress websites, the maintenance of their site is very much an afterthought. They’ll only think about maintenance when they experience an issue, rather than carry out tasks on a regular basis. This makes them reactive rather than proactive. Website maintenance is sooooo important – especially if you’re processing personal information or transactional ($$) data. Reacting to data loss can be a costly strategy.
We are going to cover the six key maintenance tasks that should be carried out on a regular basis.
There are regular updates made to WordPress core files, plugins and themes. These either add new functionality and options or are important security fixes. Updates should be carried out on a regular basis to protect the website, ideally every week. Before any update process is run, the business owner must check that a recent backup has been taken!
Having a clear backup strategy in place helps to protect the important asset that is your website. You should have an external backup process in place and not rely on your website hosting company. I use BlogVault for my maintenance clients, but there are a lot of options out there. One of the important tasks to carry out weekly would be to ensure that backups are being taken. And on a monthly basis, they should be testing the restoration of a backup.
On a weekly basis, you should be testing the functionality of your website. You need to test that any forms are correctly sending emails and being received. If you have an E-Commerce website, you should make a test purchase and ensure that it shows up correctly in the back-end, as well as any transactional emails being sent out. Testing functionality is vital, especially before important parts of the year such as a sale or promotion.
Uptime Monitoring checks the availability and the response time of your website and publicly accessible infrastructure. An effective monitoring solution will alert you of a problem as soon as it occurs – wherever you are. Lots of outages are a sign of a poor quality web host, so if you find that you’re getting lots of downtime, then they can look to change web host. A free option for monitoring, is Uptime Robot. Uptime should be monitored automatically at least every 15 minutes, but preferably every 5 minutes. If there’s an issue, the service you use will notify you.
Regular security scans help to mitigate against possible issues. No website is 100% secure from any attacks – that’s just not possible. However, what you can do is ensure that your website is as difficult as possible to attack, leaving any malicious attackers to target less secure websites instead. There are security scanning software, such as Blog Vault, Wordfence or Sucuri. I include malware removal as part of my maintenance packages, which can cost you upwards of $300 per event.
This one isn’t as crucial as the other items on the list, except if you are constanting updating your site and adding content to your website. Once a website is performing well, it will usually stay performing well until changes occur that cause issues. However, it’s absolutely worth carrying out a speed test once a week to ensure that the website is performing at its best.
Check Out Our Care/Maintenance Plans
Your website is critical to your business – are you taking care of it? As one of the most important assets in your business, it’s vital that you keep your website updated, protected and online.
If your website is offline or has a major issue, this will affect your revenue and your customers.
It’s important to be vigilant in today’s modern world as the average website will have automated attacks looking for weaknesses, multiple times per day.