Looking after your website is very important. Failing to do so may result in your site getting hacked or going offline which would be very bad for business. In this post I am going to explain what a Website Care Plan is and why they are so important to your business.
All software needs updating and maintaining, and your website is no exception. Website maintenance is an essential part of keeping your site working properly. Making sure that all your plugins are up to date and secure, your domain name doesn’t expire, your theme has the latest security patches and you don’t have any insecure or broken links are just some of the issues that can happen if your site isn't being properly looked after.
Think of it like caring for a garden. It’s much easier to mow the lawn, prune the bushes and do the weeding once a month than it is to leave it for months on end and have to spend lots of time, energy and money hacking back the overgrown lawn and bushes and trying to eradicate all the weeds.
Just as you wouldn’t want people to see your unkempt, overgrown and weed-infested garden, you don’t want your customers to land on your website to find that it takes ages to load, that the checkout doesn’t work or worse, that your site is offline completely.
You have two options when it comes to maintaining your website. You can look after it yourself or you can pay for a professional Care Plan that looks after it for you.
If you have administrator access to your website you can implement your own WordPress updates and plugins via your admin screen. However, if you update all your plugins without testing them and a week or two later you notice there’s an issue on your site, how will you know which plugin is causing the problem? Is it even a plugin causing the problem? You would need to revert back to an older backup (assuming you have a backup system in place) which could mean losing any data added in the time after the update, like sales orders or content changes.
It’s not just the WordPress software and plugins that you need to look after. There’s the updating of your theme, making sure your site backups have been successful, check security scanning and uptime monitoring. You’ll need to check for broken links, review spam, form checks, database optimisation and more.
These are the things you need to consider when weighing up the benefits of a website care plan.
Looking after and maintaining your website yourself will only cost you your time, right? Well, it could end up costing you more money than you think. Apart from having to pay for premium security and backup software to keep your site healthy, do you know which plugins you need to update and when? Just updating a plugin because your dashboard suggests it is not reason enough to just click the update button. What if the update is not compatible with other plugins installed on your site? Would you know how to revert back to a previous version of the plugin without using an entire site backup?
To fix these issues you would need the help of a WordPress professional and that could set you back hundreds of pounds just to get you back to where you started. It's worth noting that it costs more to fix a website than it does to maintain it properly.
With a cptcreative website care plan, you can relax in the knowledge that great care is taken before any updates are applied to your site. First a backup of your site is made so that there is always an up-to-date, stable version of your site if anything were to go wrong.
In the event I ever find an issue with a plugin after update, it becomes a support ticket and I often fix it before anyone becomes aware of a problem.
I also check the plugin’s update changlelog before any updates are made and make sure to single out any large updates that could effect the working of the site, such as WooCommerce for example, and I make this a separate task that requires extra quality control.
My system keeps track of all the plugins and updates that are made to the backend of your site.
Whenever you update your website’s WordPress software, theme or a plugin, it’s essential that you check the front-end of your website in different browsers to make sure that there haven’t been any issues during the updates. If there are issues, you’ll need to investigate what’s causing them and the best way to fix them. This is a very good reason for keeping a healthy backup system of your site so that you can always resort to a previous version.
I never recommend you do major updates or software changes on a live site. I always recommend to make theses updates on a staging or testing site first, and check that there are no issues before attempting to update your live site.
WordPress does an excellent job of saving your content as and when you are adding it. This auto-save feature, along with many other WordPress features, can eventually clog up your database. Over time your database holds onto any information that isn’t needed anymore and can slow down your site. It’s good practice to clear out your database every now and then to keep your site efficient and speedy. Every few months should be fine.
At cptcreative I provide excellent customer service and can keep your WordPress website up-to-date, secure and working all year round. I have a number of Care Plans available depending on your site’s requirements and degree of maintenance it needs.
Until next time…