Why Do I need WordPress Website Maintenance?
If you have a self-hosted WordPress website it will require regular maintenance.
WordPress websites use a theme to control layout / appearance and plugins to provide various functions. These items require regular updates.
The WordPress software is running on your web server all the time controlling these and serving pages when people visit your site.
If you don’t maintain your WordPress installation it can become a security risk and open to hackers.
If your website is hacked and defaced or disabled it will cost you time and money to restore it.
Added to the fact that some web hosts may shut-down sites running vulnerable out of date plugins it is a fact that WordPress maintenance is not only desirable but essential.
Plugin Update Screenshot
Plugin updates usually follow every WordPress update and they will also be updated from time to time when the author makes improvements. Some plugins self-update but most require manual updates. Using auto-updating plugins can be risky because if something goes wrong your website may be off-line without you knowing about it.
Leaving plugins on your site without updating can cause the functions they provide to stop working, particularly forms. This happens when the plugin becomes out of date and may not work with the current version of WordPress. They can also cause conflict with other plugins.
Any plugins that are not updated by their authors to be compatible with current versions of WordPress can become a security risk and should be replaced with alternatives.
Some plugins become vulnerable to hackers and become a security risk – it happened recently with a very popular SEO plugin downloaded by over 17 million websites. The authors quickly released an update, but it was still up to site owners to update it on their websites. Anyone failing to do so left their website at risk of being hacked.
Plugin updates can and do fail occasionally, which can cause websites to crash and leave the WordPress admin area inaccessible. To rectify problems like this usually means disabling plugins via FTP to regain access (if you know exactly whay you are doing) and re-nstalling them.
WordPress Software Updates
The WordPress software itself is now self-updating but problems can still occur occasionally which need to rectified manually.
Themes usually require updating to be compatible with current versions of WordPress. These can also become a security risk if left without being updated.
Some themes require updates to be downloaded and then loaded to WordPress for installation. This can be a tricky process without the correct expertise and some people just don’t bother, leading to problems. If the authors do not update their themes it is worth considering a change to a different theme to avoid problems.
We can provide a maintenance and update service for our customers for a monthly fee so that your website is always kept up to date.
We can also add security and back-up plugins to help keep your website safe from hackers and maintain automated back-ups of the files and database to our own on-line file storage facility. This means your website can be quickly re-instated in the event of a disaster, without the need for costly re-builds. We can also move your website to a new web server quickly and easily using these back-up files.
Also, if your website needs a new theme installed we have the expertise to do that, which is not always as simple as some wouuld have you believe.
Theme Update Screenshot
Items we can deal with include the following:
Using a security plugin your site will be monitored for viruses, malware and hacking.
Your plugins will be monitored and updated when new updates are issued.
WORDPRESS CORE UPDATES
Major WordPress updates will be applied manually when these are issued.
Depending on your theme design + licence, updates will be applied when issued.
File backups will be carried out automatically at regular intervals.
Database backups will be carried out automatically at regular intervals.
CLEAN UP DATABASE
Your WordPress database will be cleaned / optimized after updates.
Form checks will be done after any updates to form or anti spam plugins.
Anti-spam plugins can be installed to help reduce form spam.
ORGANIZE MEDIA LIBRARY
Using a plugin your media library can be organized into categories for ease of use.
Your web page titles and meta descriptions can correctly written / edtied.
Your website page content can be updated for you as and when required.
WordPress websites are targets for hackers.
Each day millions of WordPress websites are bombarded with fraudulent log-in attempts.
Many of these attacks are carried out by expert hackers using sophisticated automated software. They simulate different IP addresses so that when one is blocked their next attempt comes from another address. They use different user names and passwords until they are either defeated and move on or they break in.
Without a security plugin a WordPress website is just tempting fate and one day it may be hacked. When it does the website may be defaced or used to send out millions of spam e-mails. Worse still the hacker may gain control of the web server and do the same to other websites.
This will not only cost money to rectify but can lose business and ruin a reputation.
The screeshot on the left shows some failed attempted log-ins to one of our client websites which was protected by a security plugin. If this plugin was not installed there is a high possibility that the site would have been hacked.
This alone is a reason why WordPress maintenance and security is not just nice to have but is essential.
For more information and a maintenance quote for your website please visit our Maintenance Costs Page