While WordPress is one of the fastest-growing platforms, it is also the most hacked platform in the market. As per statistics, WordPress is a popular target for hackers to attack websites. So what do website owners do to tactically manage their WordPress website? Do they handle it themselves or should they opt for WordPress maintenance services?
This fact brings us back to our main question that why is the maintenance of your WordPress website essential? If you have asked this question before, we will not be surprised.
There are many reasons to maintain a WordPress website. One reason is, of course, to avoid hacking attempts. But there are many more issues like slow performance, plugin problems, lack of backups, spam comments, broken links, and much more.
Together, all of these issues can turn your website into a sloth. It will not only affect your business but also hurt the bottom-line, decreasing your cash flow, increasing broken links, and leaving your website almost useless. So, what is the solution to it all?
This article is about finding whether you should hire a WordPress website maintenance company or maintain your website yourself. We will discuss their pros and cons so that you can make a wise decision next time you have to think about this issue.
But first, let’s see what is included in the normal day to day WordPress maintenance and its significance.
Here is a list of items that are included in a WordPress website maintenance plan:
WordPress sends updates every second week of the month. This takes the total number of updates in a month to two or three. Last year, WordPress sent around 30 updates. Some of these WordPress updates are crucial for your website, but most of them are not necessary. Even most WordPress users don't update to the latest WordPress version unless they are compelled to by Google/Other top search engines.
However, updating your website after a core update is released is necessary. Not only it helps you update your website; it also keeps your themes and plugins working efficiently.
Next, we have theme updates. These updates are necessary because the theme is the actual framework of any website. If the theme doesn't have the latest features, it won't look great. Themes don't require to be updated regularly. In some cases, themes are automatically updated, and you don't even find out. So, when your theme developer sends an update, be sure to check it out.
In fact, in some cases, you don't have any other option but to get revenue from that customer. So, go for them if you can. However, if the website is basic, simply recommend them to another site hosting solution.
Next, we have plugin updates. Most WordPress plugins are not updated regularly, but some lose their functionality if you don't update them. That's why it is vital to make plugin updates a part of your WordPress maintenance service. However, if you don't plan to update all the plugins at once, then at least update only those plugins that are necessary for your brand. For example, you should keep the SEO plugins updated as they help optimize your website.
Another thing to maintain in your WordPress website is the backup feature. Your site backups are as important as updating the website every day. The whole process should be a part of your maintenance routine.
Moreover, website backups are necessary for you in case you accidentally miss something from your website. The WordPress backup feature will help you recover it within minutes. You can use some of the best backup plugins like Updraftplus, blogvault, vaultpress, duplicator, and many more.
Next, keep security scanning as part of your WordPress maintenance cycle. Install relevant security planning plugins. These will help you stay secure, under-the-hood, and moving fast. There are security scanning teams that can also help you create a maintenance calendar for your website security.
Frequency: After every two weeks
You don't exactly have to maintain the website for monitoring its uptime. There are tools available, like Status Page, that you can use to track the uptime of your website. If you don't have paid access to this tool, you can always use the free versions of Pingdom, Binary Canary, PingBreak, and several others.
When maintaining your website, make sure to check for broken site links. You can use tools like Screaming Frog and Google Search Console to find broken links within your website. Broken links mean 404-page errors. These pages can be beneficial to your traffic and can lead to conversions. Just showing a server error means that you don't properly maintain your website.
Google Search Console helps find broken links on your website.
Also, you may want to customize the 404 pages. If that is the case, use plugins like 404 Page, or Custom 404 Page, to easily customize the 404 pages on your website.
If your website has comments enabled, then it will receive specific spam comments regularly. Your only solution to curb this problem for good is to add the Disqus plugin.
The plugin will record the comments on a third party website, and your site will remain free of all spam. The purpose most people are commenting on your blog is because they are looking to get backlinks through comments.
Next, you will have to optimize your WordPress databases as part of your maintenance schedule. There are two ways to optimize WordPress databases. One way is with plugins, and the second way is by manually optimizing the tables and databases.
OPTIMIZE TABLE 'wp_posts'
This will optimize the posts tables.
DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 'spam';
This will remove unnecessary comment spam from your site.
Old post data can become a hurdle in the storage on your website. It is better if you limit it.
define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 2 );
You can change the ‘2’ to the number of revisions you want to retain.
If you want to remove all post revisions at once, you can use the following code:
FROM wp_posts a
LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships b ON ( a.ID = b.object_id)
LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta c ON ( a.ID = c.post_id )
LEFT JOIN wp_term_taxonomy d ON ( b.term_taxonomy_id = d.term_taxonomy_id)
WHERE a.post_type = 'revision'
AND d.taxonomy != 'link_category';
You can also remove unused tags in WordPress as they can make your WordPress installation cluttered. Here is how to remove them:
DELETE FROM wp_terms WHERE term_id IN (SELECT term_id FROM wp_term_taxonomy WHERE count = 0 );
DELETE FROM wp_term_taxonomy WHERE term_id not IN (SELECT term_id FROM wp_terms);
DELETE FROM wp_term_relationships WHERE term_taxonomy_id not IN (SELECT term_taxonomy_id FROM wp_term_taxonomy);
If your website saves pingbacks and trackbacks then there is a command to delete all these from the website. Pingbacks are giving unnecessary backlinks to other websites from your website. These can also hurt your SEO performance. So, deleting pingbacks is a wise choice. Here is how to do that:
DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_type = 'pingback';
DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_type = 'trackback';
That’s it. You have successfully run all the database operations to optimize the WordPress database.
Yes, you can maintain your own WordPress website. However, if the site gets a lot of traffic regularly, you will need to have the following to maintain the website correctly.
Do you have time to maintain it? Or are you busy in other business operations? If your website is already running successfully, engaging yourself in maintenance operations of your website can certainly hit the bottom-line and leave you with a profit crunch.
Professionalism is a must in site maintenance. Do you know what things to check while maintaining a website? Do you have a step by step process written and SOPs defined for maintaining the website?
Are you skilled enough to run your website? Skills are at the core of WordPress site maintenance, and if you are not competent enough, it is better to delegate the task of WordPress maintenance to a site maintenance company.
Last but not least, you need expertise in site maintenance. If this is your first time, you may make mistakes. So, don't start with a live website; instead, use a staging website for your WordPress maintenance adventures.
Now that we have discussed what you need to maintain your website. Let's discuss what the pros and cons of hiring a professional WP maintenance company for your WordPress website are.
It is true that when you hire a professional maintenance company to take care of your website, you can easily delegate them the resources. The transition is smooth because these people know what they are talking about
You get experienced professionals for your WordPress website. This means you can remain at peace that the site is handled by the best in the industry. These professionals will also fix most of the bugs that are popping up again and again on your installation.
Furthermore, if you're looking for both a managed hosting and maintenance platform, you can check out some of the benefits here.
There are a few cons for hiring a professional WordPress maintenance service but that all depends on your requirements from the service itself:
If you use a custom theme that can break with changes to a few lines of code, then it is better that you don’t delegate the responsibility of maintaining it to a third party.
Because you never know what they can do with the code. A slight change can cause a major hassle to correct.
If you are tight on budget, you should maintain your WordPress website by yourself. A maintenance company will charge from $38 to even $500 per month just for site maintenance. These packages are not ideal for small blogging websites that don't generate enough revenue. You can always do your research and compare the costs of building and managing WordPress websites.
You may be wondering, why even maintain your WordPress website? A WordPress website doesn't always need maintenance but if your site receives a lot of traffic, i.e., many visitors in a short amount of time, the website cache will get filled pretty quickly. It will decrease the performance and hurt your profits. This is just one issue, now think about these small issues having a snowball effect on your website. Surely, you will not want that to happen.
The main reasons you should maintain your website are:
Be the best judge for why you need WordPress Maintenance services for your website!
Most WordPress website maintenance services cost between $38 to $500 for medium and large business websites. However, the costs can be based on the number of hours used in maintaining the website.
If your website is small, you can maintain it by yourself or by using a few tools such as WP-Optimize. However, if your website is big and gets visitors daily, you can maintain it by getting a maintenance team on board.
Looking for affordable maintenance services for your website? Reach out to The WP Help and get free access to the service before even making your decision!
The WPHelp service also offers a Truly managed WordPress hosting solution where they will help maintain your website so that you can focus on your business adventures. It is perfect for bloggers, affiliate marketers, agencies, and even e-commerce stores.
We hope that you are now aware of the complexities involved in maintaining a WordPress website. If you are still unsure how to get started with DIY WordPress maintenance, then perhaps get in touch with TheWPHelp and make your support experience a truly managed one.