Nothing like a negative headline to get you interested in a blog post right? Well, in case you were wondering, this psychological “hook” tactic plays into your innate need to protect yourself losing money. So, of course you’ll read it! Now that we have you all hot an bothered wondering how many other ways this blog is going to mess with your head…..nah we’re just messing around. Here’s the point: WordPress can be one of the most cost effective web development platforms on the market, or the most costly – it all depends on how you maintain it.
By now you’ve probably heard the terms “website maintenance plan” or “website care package” from your web guy or agency. And while it may seem as fluffy as your Apple Care plan, we all know that the second your iPhone slips out of your hand into the bowl of soup you were just enjoying, you’re going to Google “Apple Care.” These plans are, in fact, offering you the best way to get a good night’s sleep if you worry about your website getting hacked, crashing, or (like one customer I met with this week) disappearing. Yes, that’s right, a customer (whose hosting company shall not be named) lost their entire WordPress site because it had been hacked due to not keeping it updated and when they contacted the hosting company as to what happened, they simply responded that the site was hacked and had been deleted. (Insert record scratch) Huh? Deleted? By the hosting company? You’re probably thinking, what I was thinking, “There’s a back up right?” Nope. Not even one. As a result, they are having to rebuild a perfectly good website.
So, what’s the answer? A spending more money on a monthly maintenance plan? Not necessarily. The most cost effective thing to do is set a weekly reminder to login to your WordPress dashboard and check for updates and run them. But before you do that, make sure and have a nightly (or weekly at the least) scheduled backup that creates a copy of all your files and stores them. Check out Backup Buddy for a good backup solution. The reality is that most organizations do not have the expertise or time to properly maintain a website, so naturally that leads us to the maintenance plan conversation.
Benefits of a monthly maintenance plan:
- Worry free (the good night’s sleep) – you don’t have to think about when to update or if this update is going to break your site. Let the experts deal with that. You can rest easy knowing that your website is getting updated & backed up on a regular basis. This is the #1 key to keeping money in your pocket.
- You can enjoy the latest enhancements to WordPress, your plugins, and theme now that those updates are actually happening.
- Eyes on the site – the good providers will take a moment to review your site and make sure it all looks good. If not, they will let you know and offer a solution
- Content Updates – If you don’t have time to run software updates on WordPress, chances are you don’t have time to update the content either. Often times maintenance plans will offer a fixed number of hours each month that you can utilize to add blogs, photos, products, or other content to your site.
By not updating your WordPress core files, plugins, and themes, you’re site is living on borrowed time. It will have problems if you ignore the simple steps to keeping it updated. You might as well right the check today for your new site and just leave the date blank, because it’s going to happen. We’ve seen it too many times. Keep your site updated, and keep your money!