Importance of Website Maintenance and Care
Just like changing the oil in your car every three months or 3,000 miles, your WordPress site requires regular website maintenance to keep everything running smoothly. By keeping up with all available updates, you give your website the greatest chance at a long, productive life; and, in turn, you protect one of your greatest marketing investments.
There are several benefits to having your marketing team establish a routine website maintenance and support strategy as part of your regular marketing plan, including the optimization of security, functionality, speed and Google recognition. Many business owners often worry about website maintenance cost, but even if you don’t have the capacity to perform WordPress updates in-house and have to hire an outside agency for help, the insurance provided by having a strong website maintenance plan in place is more than worth the investment.
Why You Should Institute a Website Maintenance Plan:
WordPress powers nearly a quarter of all websites in the world. Because it is so popular, it makes the platform a more likely target for hackers and increases the risk of malware entering your site. One of the greatest benefits of WordPress, however, is that it is an open source platform, which means that developers are always updating and improving upon their programs and plugins – including security measures.
So, the next time you’re asked if you’d like to install WordPress updates, the answer should be a resounding, “Yes!” WordPress needs to be updated regularly to ensure your site has the most recent and up-to-date security plugins. An updated site is a secure one.
Functionality & Aesthetics
Think of your website plugins like apps on a phone. Just as iPhone and Android apps get updated regularly, so too do WordPress plugins. And along with those updates come new and improved features that optimize the way your site looks, feels and operates.
For example, if you use a plugin for your contact form, updating to the latest version of this plugin could allow you to download and export the form entries in a more intuitive manner; or if you have a video gallery plugin, there might be a new option that allows you to add social media share buttons for your users.
There are few things more frustrating than a slow-loading website. Thankfully, one of the greatest features of WordPress is that its open source platform structure enables designers and developers to release updates that improve site speed and efficiency. As long as you stay on top of those updates, you can be sure your site is moving as fast as possible for your users.
On the other hand, a website that hasn’t been updated in a while is going to be far from efficient. The older the plugin or WordPress version you have installed, the slower your site will be. This is because the code is constantly changing, and older code is not as compatible with the other active plugins on your site.
When it comes to web requirements and rankings, Google makes the rules, and those rules are constantly evolving. By ensuring proper website maintenance, you show Google two things:
- Your site is active and live, and it contains important and up-to-date information to share with the public.
- Your site is up-to-date with any and all speed, security and SEO-related plugin and WordPress updates.
With Google on your side, your website becomes infinitely more valuable and opens up your business to increased search-ability and improved SEO rankings.
Quite simply, the more you update your website, the better. Performing regular website maintenance – including the updating of all plugins – on a monthly basis is ideal. Staying on top of that monthly schedule helps keep hackers out, and it keeps new and regular users coming back by ensuring greater efficiency, functionality, security and Google optimization.
For help creating your own website maintenance plan, contact Paradigm Marketing & Design for a consultation.