so, you’ve launched your shiny new website…now what?
Congratulations!! Building a website is no small feat…you’ve put in a lot of hours, energy and effort working with a website designer and developer to build an amazing website. It’s exactly what you wanted, it’s working perfectly and it looks great…right now.
But, what about in a month? Or 6 months? or a year?! Will your website still be performing at its best?
Many businesses “set it and forget it” after a website launch, and that’s fine for a little while, but the longer your website sits untouched and neglected, the more things can go wrong.
Your website was designed and built with the plugins and software versions of the moment, you got the most up-to-date technology available and launched with everything running smoothly. As time goes by, your website slowly outdates as plugins update, software improves and technology progresses at a lightning fast pace.
website technology is ever evolving, and you need to keep up!
WordPress (and the internet in general) is an always evolving ecosystem. There is lots of change as developers add new features, fix bugs and develop new plugins. WordPress is constantly monitoring and implementing security updates, improving performance and expanding capabilities. Even website browsers and the devices you access them on change rapidly!
What does this mean for your website? As technology changes, so does its compatibility. Think about your first computer, software came on floppy disks and it took ages to load a program. Today, the phone you hold in your hand has more computing power, connectivity and memory than a room full of floppy disks. Technology progressed and those old floppy disks became incompatible with newer tech. The same goes for your website!
It’s important to perform regular maintenance and updates to reduce the risk of your website becoming as outdated as those old floppy disks.
changes, updates and maintenance, oh my!
Just because technology is constantly changing doesn’t mean you can’t keep up. Regular maintenance and updates will keep your website up-to-date with the latest software configurations and plugin versions. It also allows your website developer to monitor compatibility and prevent your site from “breaking.”
Proper website maintenance is a manual process performed by a human. That means having expert eyes consistently monitoring your site for issues and updating software to ensure compatibility. This proactive approach keeps your website running smoothly and helps to prevent any catastrophic failures on your website which can be incredibly costly to fix.
what might happen if I don’t maintain my website?
If you wait too long between updates, then your site will begin to show signs of neglect. Performing routine updates on your website not only prevents a total website crash, it reduces vulnerability to security attacks, contributes to your SEO ranking, and maintains website performance.
So what might happen if you don’t update and maintain your website properly?
1. Hackers May Target Your Website
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the internet. It is the platform of choice for over 35% of all websites online. WordPress’s popularity comes with a cost though. Hackers tend to target and exploit vulnerable WordPress sites. Hackers use vulnerabilities in outdated plugins and themes in order to install malware and viruses to the site, causing it to crash, destroy your website data and harvest sensitive information.
2. Your Search Engine Rankings May Decrease
Search engine optimization, or SEO, allows your site to be found on Google, Bing and other popular search engines. SEO goes beyond the keywords you use and focused on how user friendly and fast your website is. As your site outdates, your search engine rankings will be affected, especially if your site loads slowly, crashes frequently, or contains unnecessary page bloat. Failing to take care of your site can cause your rankings to decline, making it harder for your audience to find you.
3. Website Performance Will Decline
As new versions of plugins, themes and WordPress come out the older versions become obsolete and incompatible causing performance issues and security vulnerabilities. Incompatible software and technology can cause page load speed to decline, timeouts, errors and if left too long, potentially a catastrophic crash. Additionally, poor website performance can lead to increased bounce rates, declines in conversions and even a negative hit in search engine ranking.
4. You Will Spend More Money Fixing Your Website When it Breaks
If you let your website sit for a long period of time without updates your tech can become so outdated that simple maintenance isn’t enough. Standard maintenance and updates on extremely old plugins and themes may even cause additional compatibility issues and functionality problems rather than fix them. In some instances websites can become so “broken” that it’s impossible to work on them at all. These types of major issues aren’t covered under a normal maintenance plan, requiring you to spend thousands of dollars to fix the problems or potentially build an entirely new website.
5. Your Website Will be at High-Risk for an Emergency Level Intervention
We’ve said it before but older, improperly maintained websites are at a higher risk for something to go wrong, and may even break to a point where emergency action is required. Most website developers charge 2x-3x their typical hourly rate to address emergency concerns. It can take hours, sometimes even days worth of troubleshooting and work to get a poorly maintained website back up and running. Even then, there may still be risks of incompatibility, security vulnerabilities and performance issues that still need addressed, costing you even more money.
6. You May Lose Credibility and Damage Your Reputation
Customers are constantly forming opinions about your business and looking for a reason to trust you. Having an old, outdated website can damage your credibility and make your competitors look better by comparison. Stanford University did a study that found that 75% of website users judge a business’ credibility based on the design of their website. This means that if your website is outdated, slow or broken in any way, your customers will leave and look for a better option somewhere else.
what comes with a good maintenance plan
Not all WordPress Maintenance Plans are created equal and it’s important for you to understand what is included and what you’re getting each month. Our WordPress Maintenance Plan we focus on these major components to keep your site updated and running smoothly:
Each month, we start by creating a fresh backup of your website before we perform any updates. If your site experiences a major problem or anything breaks, we can quickly implement a backup that restores your site, minimizing downtime. Think of these as an insurance policy for your website.
We only use well-documented and well-supported plugins in any of our website builds to ensure the best build quality, compatibility and performance. We update all of your plugins to the latest version each month and monitor for any bugs, glitches or incompatibilities. Keeping your plugins updated regularly improves performance and keeps your website secure.
Here at Pursu, we build all of our websites using the Salient theme, which is a well-supported and documented theme that is updated regularly by it’s developers. They monitor any common security threats, Google updates and browser compatibility issues and consistently update the Salient theme to ensure it maintains strong performance and enhanced security. We make sure your website has the most up-to-date version of the Salient theme installed each month.
WordPress Core Updates
Over 75% of all WordPress security vulnerabilities come from older versions of the WordPress core. WordPress regularly releases updates to combat these security issues. This is a vital part of our maintenance program and we regularly check for updates to the WordPress core. We also perform these updates as they come out for our loyal maintenance clients, to reduce any risk of security vulnerabilities.
Any good WordPress Maintenance Plan should include monthly reporting so that you can stay on top of what’s being done, why and what it’s doing for your site.
We offer three types of WordPress Maintenance Plans for our clients so you can choose teh best plan for your website and your budget.
Standard WordPress Maintenance
We perform backups, updates to the plugins, theme and WordPress core each month. We’ll send you a report each month so you can monitor your website’s health.
ready to get started? hire a professional
Simply Styled Sites offers a monthly maintenance plan to make it easy for you to ensure your website is running optimally all the time. We take the hassle out of WordPress maintenance so that you can focus less on your website, and more on your business. We offer two versions of maintenance: General Maintenance and Maintenance + Dedicated Hosting. If you’re ready to simplify your site maintenance and get it off your hands, feel free to sign up for our plan today.