WordPress is one of the fastest-growing content management systems (CMS). It is simple to use, allows websites to be made within minutes, and caters to almost everything from blogs and websites to e-commerce stores and even SaaS platforms.
But, for the WordPress websites to run smoothly, they need to be adequately maintained. That's where WordPress maintenance plan comes in handy.
WordPress maintenance plans help users create a proper strategy about how to manage their websites so that they keep generating more profits and sales throughout the year. If you are maintaining your WordPress website yourself, then you also need to have a proper maintenance plan. Seasoned WordPress experts know the weaknesses of WordPress CMS. They are better able to craft maintenance strategies for their clients.
In this article, we focus on beginners who would want to maintain their websites but are unsure where to get started. This article will focus on WordPress maintenance plan and layout a proper strategy so that you can follow it and keep your site maintained.
WordPress is simple to use, but it has its flaws that can become a hurdle for you while conducting business. There have been cases where hackers were able to hack WordPress and get illegitimate access to WordPress websites, stealing essential data of the users.
Therefore, it is more important that your site maintenance plan has enough room to carry out the necessary functions.
ZDNet has reported that last year over 90 percent of websites hacked were using WordPress CMS platform. It has now become a frequent target for most hackers because people don't have two-factor authentication enabled. Most users only use WordPress with the default usernames and passwords.
Sucuri, a security plugin, carried out a separate study in which it blamed rogue plugins and cracked themes for WordPress hacks. People using WordPress CMS on their hosting platforms often use third-party plugins and themes that are unsafe and often infected with malware.
WordPress released over 30 updates last year in 2019. Of these updates, two were core updates that changed the version of the website. WordPress users must implement these updates on the website as soon as they are released. Most of these updates are related to security patches. They improve the security and performance of the platform. This means that even if any plugins or themes were installed on the website accidentally, the updates would remove them automatically.
Note: A lack of site maintenance by webmasters is the primary reason behind WordPress websites getting hacked.
Another reason that we should not ignore is that plugins and themes can become a significant hurdle in site maintenance. Most WordPress websites use plugins that are operated by third parties. If the developer of these plugins is not careful or doesn't update the plugin regularly, it can lead to compatibility and performance issues. The solution to this is to keep updating plugins so that they can work at peak performance.
Also, perform quality assurance testing of the plugins when WordPress releases a new core update. It ensures that the code doesn't lead to errors or performance hassles.
Not all WordPress hosting providers will maintain your WordPress website. Although it will manage the server and everything related to it, it won't support the website maintenance - always. That means that there are a few managed hosting platforms that also provide the option to maintain the WordPress website, but with added services there's an added cost. This is why cheap hosting providers do not charge much.
Considering other examples, let's say that PHP 7.4 version is now available in the market. The hosting company will update the core version so that it is updated on all WordPress platforms. However, it won't update the WordPress core version from WordPress 4.9 to WordPress 5.0 because that doesn't fall in its service. Website administrators should understand that server maintenance is separate from WordPress website maintenance. So always discuss this with your hosting providers prior to making a purchase so you know what's included.
WordPress CMS, themes, and plugins are just some of the things that you need to maintain regularly. But certain factors can hinder the smooth running of a WordPress website. For example, your hosting bandwidth. If you are on a shared server, your WordPress website will run slow, no matter how many optimization plugins you add to it. This is because a shared hosting server has multiple websites on a single server. These decrease site performance lead to various bottlenecks.
Now, consider this. Your website was working perfectly, but after a few months, it goes offline suddenly. You don't know what has happened. Your web hosting company says that you have exceeded the limit, and to keep using the package, you have to renew it. They don't even provide the site backups to you. You are left with no option but to either renew the package or get the backup from the company by paying an additional price.
In both cases, you need a quick solution.. What is the workaround to such a problem? Pre-emptive backups are your best bet in such a scenario. What do we mean by pre-emptive backups? Getting a backup of all your data and storing it on a third party storage solution. In WordPress, you can get backups directly to Google Drive or Dropbox.
The timeline to follow for maintaining a WordPress website:
Frequent updates are necessary for any WordPress website. The best way to install them is to enable automatic WordPress maintenance on your website. Most of the updates will be automatically updated this way. However, if you are using a customized theme, automatic updates can become a problem. For that, you need to add them manually.
You need to install a plugin like WP Backup on your WordPress website so that backups can be performed smoothly. You must always check after a while if the site is backing up all your data to a third party location properly. Sometimes because of WordPress's regular updates, site backup location can change. This can become a problem in the long-term, especially if an unpleasant scenario arises.
You don't have to check for security best practices now and then. These security best practices are only needed when you launch the website for the first time. However, when you have started the website, it is important to add new security features from time to time. These security features can be 2FA, hiding admin login screen, link cloaking, or any other.
Server hosting maintenance is carried out by the support team. With truly managed hosting platforms you don’t have to worry about a thing and the hosting providers give you multiple services that will be handled 24/7. If your website is hosted on a self-hosted server, i.e., cloud, VPS, or a dedicated server, you will have to maintain the server yourself. However, not everyone has a website on a self-hosted server.
To keep your website running at top speed, you will need to add a performance optimization plugin like Litespeed, Breeze, or W3 Total Cache. All three are decent plugins to improve site performance.
You only have to add these plugin once on your e-commerce store, and they will work like a charm.
No one thinks about site maintenance when it is working perfectly fine. However, if a hacker hacks the website, site maintenance becomes a top priority. This is the case with almost everyone. Why? Most site administrators don't realize how prone their websites are to hacking, malfunction, and even digital disasters. If they are not serious in maintaining their websites, they can lose a large amount of data that they had uploaded to their websites. So:
Considering everything we’ve discussed it comes down to whether you should host your website yourself or use a WordPress Website Maintenance Service? Well, Do It Yourself (DIY) site maintenance will take more time. Moreover, you will not be familiar with every aspect of site maintenance, so that can also cause a problem. It will also take more of your time.
On the other hand, if you hire a maintenance service for your website, it will take care of all your maintenance woes. This means faster performance, no worrying about site backups, and the site will work at an exceptional speed. The only problem? The website maintenance will come with a cost. So, you have two options: Spend time learning about site maintenance and do it yourself every week. Or, get a team to do it for you and pay it for its services.
Keeping in consideration The WP Help the packages have been designed to cater to everyone. Considering the first option which is viable for those who have small websites and not enough of a budget to hire a team - perfect for bloggers, travel bloggers, mom bloggers - basically anyone trying to maintain the blogger lifestyle while having constant support to get a good presence online. The other two options costs higher than the first, but it is perfect for those who have big websites that bring a lot of revenue and the bonus is you get unlimited edits, it’s perfect for agencies with a lot of clients. All of the packages give you truly managed hosting with blazing fast speed for your website - a guarantee that you won’t let you lose any new customers or readers!
When you are spending on-site management, i.e., buying a decent theme, getting the right hosting solution, and getting your site logo and banners created from a freelancer, it is crucial that you also spend to maintain that website. While it is true that you can manage the website by yourself, that is not always the case. That's where a professional WordPress maintenance company will come to help. The website maintenance cost can range from $5 to $100 per month, depending on the size of the website.
If you are not sure which maintenance company to try, then that is also not a problem. You can get started with The WPHelp WordPress maintenance company. They know the game of WordPress maintenance in and out. With the Try Before You Buy feature, you can buy your choice of maintenance plan after you’ve experienced the service.