WordPress is one of many platforms available for developing and designing a website. However, if you want your company to look as professional as possible online, it’s one of the best. That being said, there are many WordPress websites that many owners choose not to maintain for a variety of reasons.

Have you ever wondered what could happen because of this? Well, we’ve taken a look, but it’s not pretty. Here’s what could potentially happen to a WordPress website that is neglected in terms of regular updates and maintenance.

Free WordPress Sites & Their Downsides

One benefit of a WordPress website is you can sign up for a free site if finances are too tight, or if you want to use it as a hobby. However, many business owners are realizing the benefits of owning a website rather than using the service, meaning they want the website to have their company’s name. Unfortunately, having a free WordPress website comes with its serious downsides:

  • It’s not yours.Sorry, but it’s true. That website or personal blog you set up doesn’t actually belong to you; hosting-wise, it belongs to WordPress.
  • Lack of plugins.By using a free website, you miss out on the opportunity to use some great plugins such as Yoast for SEO and Akismet for spam prevention, to name a few. These are only available with premium WordPress sites.
  • Lack of security.A free WordPress site doesn’t have the same protection from would-be hackers and cybercriminals the way a premium website does.

Now, here’s what really happens when a WordPress website goes left unmaintained.

1: Your Rank Stinks

If you want any chance of getting the online success you’ve been dreaming of, you need to be visible on Google’s front page. If your rank is currently under rank 51+, there are a lot of things not right! For example:

  • No keyword research has been done (and you don’t know what that is)
  • You’re targeting keywords, but not natural ones that make your content look good
  • The content itself stinks, i.e. it’s very poorly written or there’s barely anything at all
  • The pages on your site are set up to simply get clicks, and that’s it

We could go on and on about why your site’s rank stinks, but a lot of it has to do with black hat SEO tactics being put to “good” use. For a complete list check out our most recent blog post.

Seriously, if almost all of the aforementioned list applies to your WordPress site, it’s in a lot of trouble and needs a professional’s help.

2: Lack of Updates = Lack of Security

One of WordPress’s biggest features are the plugins you can get for free (provided you pay for a premium website first). However, even these plugins require maintenance, and in some cases it’s best to avoid using certain ones altogether if they only hinder your site instead of helping it. This sounds strange, but they’re out there. Luckily, WordPress takes this into account by featuring reviews and indicating the number of people using these plugins. This can help you can make the best decision and go from there.

A lack of updating these plugins, however, can lead only to a disaster: lack of security on your website. We already know about what types of cybercrimes are out there (see our post here on how to figure out which one is which), but the risk of these crimes triples if a website is not protected and maintained.

3: Plugins Stop Doing their Job

The thing about plugins on WordPress is, when a theme becomes updated, the plugin may not be, and vice versa can happen as well. The best kinds of plugins get updated regularly, such as Yoast. However, older plugins that become incompatible with themes will not work to their full capacity, meaning if that’s the case with your website, expect to see some weird issues interfering with the user experience. If you want to avoid worrying about which plugins to install, check out our recommendations, otherwise ask a professional for their input. Knowing about this is part of their job, after all!

Likewise—and this also sounds strange, we know, but it’s true—updating certain plugins won’t help either, since it depends on the WordPress theme entirely. If a plugin needs to be updated but the theme isn’t up to date, then updating the plugin itself is not a good idea.

So what’s the answer to getting out of an update to a plugin you don’t want? Simple: routine backups. This procedure can help you recover a version of your website that existed before an update or imperfect plugin started causing trouble, or before a hacker or cybercriminal got their fingers on it.

4: You Look Unprofessional

Your company’s online appearance matters. Sorry, but in this case, beauty on the surface really does matter when it comes to websites. If a website looks as if it hasn’t been updated in over 10 years (this equals an eternity in Internet time), it doesn’t look good on your part. It makes you look unprofessional as well as incapable of going with the flow when it comes to the latest technology. The best websites are kept well maintained and up to date, from its software and plugins to the way it looks and feels when you visit it.

In addition, it looks unprofessional on a business card or online when you see a URL with the word “Wordpress” included inside it. Would-be customers may receive the wrong impression about your business. To them, seeing this type of URL means you’re either too cheap or don’t care enough about your business or them to offer anything more than a substandard service.

The bottom line: don’t sign up for a freebie website, especially if you want to look professional.

Overall, having a WordPress website is not a bad idea, but what’s an even better one is getting a properly maintained site. We have new care and maintenance plans available. If you have any questions about this service or any others that catch your eye, give us a call at V3 Media. We are also available for one-on-one consultationsif you know what you want but aren’t sure how to get it.