WordPress sometimes seems to have a life of its own. Then you start adding plugins and themes. Things can get complex pretty quick which is why WordPress maintenance is important.
Of course there’s a lot more to it than that which is why I’ve put together 9 reasons maintaining your WordPress website is important. In fact, it’s not just important, it’s an absolute must.
If you are learning WordPress as a hobby then learn to take care of it too. If you’re investing money in a WordPress site, invest in a good WordPress maintenance service too. That should be part of your investment in WordPress just as getting a host is too.
The 9 Reasons You Must Maintain WordPress
Now to get into the reason why WordPress maintenance is important.
1) Plugins can cause issues
WordPress in itself (core) is extremely secure and rarely vulnerable to security issues. That can’t be said for a lot of plugins.
Plugins are almost always the issue when it comes to WordPress vulnerabilities. Not a month goes by where there aren’t several plugins announced that have caused vulnerabilities.
Of course WordPress always gets the blame but it’s rarely the issue. The only issue with WordPress is that it’s so darn open(source). I don’t know about you but I consider that a good thing.
What’s the solution?
Make sure you update your plugins when there’s an update avialable, always (after testing of course). If you bought the plugin then make sure you’re paying yearly for maintenance of it.
If a plugin developer doesn’t charge you every year for updates and support (for premium plugins) then don’t even consider the plugin. They have to keep their doors open which means they need money coming in.
2) Themes can also cause issues
Just as plugins cause issues with WordPress, so do themes. They are the second most problematic part of WordPress. I wouldn’t have it any other way though.
Again, update your theme as soon as there’s an update and make sure you’re paying for maintenance on premium themes. It really is a small cost to pay.
3) Take care of security issues
Because plugins and themes cause issues and WordPress core is updated regularly, WordPress maintenance is super duper important.
By maintaining your WordPress installation and running all your updates, you’ll for the most part be protected. I say for the most part because it’s still a good idea to have security too.
That’s why as part of our WordPress maintenance service we provide premium security scanning. This helps protect you from the bad actors of the internet.
4) It keeps your website running fast
Buildup is bad and slows things down. That could be a buildup of database transients (whatever those are!) or a buildup of revisions. All those things in the database slow down a WordPress website.
If you want a fast website then it needs to be maintained with all the bad things cleaned out regularly. The more you let things go, the slower your website will be and harder it will be to clean things up.
5) Can improve search engine optimization
Except in the rare occurence where an SEO plugin (I’m looking at you Yoast) fries your search ranking, updates more often will improve your search ranking.
Search engines change a lot and by extension so does SEO and SEO plugins. They have to keep up with the shifting sands of SEO which means new releases are always being released.
Every update you make has the potential to move the need of search rankings a bit. There’s only once instance I can think of where an update dropped search rankings but that was promptly fixed, in an update.
6) New features
WordPress maintenance means you’re keeping things updated. That means you get new features too!
I don’t know about you but I loave new features (unless they break stuff). Yes new updates can sometimes break stuff but well done WordPress maintenance isn’t likely to break stuff.
Think of the love you’ll get from your users if you add some cool new widget to your website that makes it easier to use your website.
7) It saves your website
An essential part of WordPress maintenance is website backups. That means if something goes wrong then you just saved your website from complete disaster.
Yes, even if you get malware or something horrible like that, regular backups will ensure you can go back in time to find a time before your website was hacked.
8) Peace of mind
I don’t know about you but I hate worrying about my website. If you do’nt maintain it then you should be worrying about it daily.
The internet is a big place and if you don’t protect your website, it’s likely to get found eventually and taken advantage of. That could mean you lose your website alltogether!
Or worse, your domain can be blacklisted from Google if you get hacked. Have you ever tried to contact Google for help? You’re not likely to get it.
9) Improve usability of your website
Do you like your website visitors to have an easy time on your website? It’s pretty nice when visitors can find what they need and do what they want to do.
Regular maintenance makes sure things stay usable and fast. From new features to less spam, your website visitors will also thank you for a well kept WordPress website.
If you’re not convinced that you need to maintain your WordPress installation by now, I’m not sure you’ll ever be. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be convinced, though.
Maybe you think I’m trying to sell you a big fancy maintenance plan that you think you don’t need. Of course I’d love you to subscribe to a WordPress maintenance plan but that really isn’t the goal.
The goal is simply to get you to maintain your WordPress installation because it is so extremely important. You can absolutely do it yourself and if you want to take the time to do it, definitely do it yourself.
Don’t simply update WordPress core, plugins, and your theme though. Take the time to go through these items and focus on what will help you take care of each one.
The minimum you should be doing are these:
- Offsite backups at least weekly, preferably daily or more.
- Regular security scans or better yet, realtime.
- Update core, plugins, and theme.
- Optimize your WordPress installation to remove unneded stuff.
- Monitor to make sure your site is available and working.
- Performance check (can’t tell you how many times I’ve noticed something wrong from the website performance changing suddenly).
Those are the big items you should focus on. There is more you can do but this will ensure your website will stay safe and fast.