Compared to most website platforms, WordPress is still a top choice for several reasons. One is it’s the most cared for type of website in terms of plugins, software updates, and coding. You will never see a shortage of updates to these websites. The other is it’s still one of the easiest types of websites to customize and adjust coding-wise to best suit your business’s branding and content.
While these sites do require some greater understanding of HTML and coding in order to achieve the best designs, compared to other kinds of drag-and-drop templates, you’re basically getting way better service as well as the most out of your web development team.
That being mentioned, these sites are not fail proof if you don’t keep them updated regularly. It can cost upwards to hundreds if not thousands of dollars to clean up a WordPress site after a bad hacking has taken place. Also, by not keeping things up to date, you’re looking at a site going dead and needing to be rebuilt because the software being used to monitor it is now too obsolete.
The best way to avoid both getting a headache and wasting time and money is to invest in a maintenance plan for WordPress. But what should this kind of a plan include?
- Support & Backups
You already have enough to do while running your business, and it’s tough to handle technical difficulties on top of that. The best kind of maintenance plan for WP should include real time support and monitoring of your website, from scanning for security breaches to routine backups.
Speaking of which, backups are the number one means of restoring all of your site’s most valued data and information should a hack take place. You should always choose a maintenance package with this, because you just never know. In our industry, it is always, always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to websites. That’s why routine backups should always be included, whether you run one daily, weekly, or monthly. Also, don’t store your backups where you host your site. If the server is compromised, you may lose your backups. If you store your backups in the same space as your website, it’s easy for hackers to inject backdoors in your backups as well (not to mention the fact that if you lose your website, you’ve probably lost your backups as well). Backups should also be stored off-server and preferably not in the same physical location as where you are hosted. As an example, all of our backups are securely stored at the other end of the country from where they are hosted.
- Content Updates
The thing most people forget about is that content is not actually solid, like earth–it’s fluid, like water and wind. Why else do you sometimes see articles online that say “This content was originally written in 2017, and has been updated since”? (Not exactly, but along those lines for sure). Information is ever changing, even if the best content we usually look up online is evergreen.
This constant refresh of info is exactly why your maintenance package should include content updates either in pre-paid bundles or just the ability to request them and get them done in a timely, reasonably-priced fashion. This should be considered to ensure that not only will your business’s website be updated, but also remain relevant to your customers whether they’re brand new and it’s their first time hearing about you, or they’re loyal retainers.
- Software Upgrades
Like information itself, the software we use to host and run websites is always being tinkered with and re-polished for optimum usage. This is to ensure things such as bugs and compatibility problems are kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, there are some cases where an update of the software can actually break a website! Usually this happens when all of the extra features and plugins are updated, but not the base software used to run the site. This can leave a site vulnerable to cyberattacks and other major technical difficulties.
These upgrades should always be included in your WordPress maintenance plan. That way, your site can be updated accordingly and without you having to be present to make sure the process goes smoothly. You can leave the upgrades to the staff in charge of working for this plan, while you run your business.
- Security and Protection
No matter what you do, someone out there is going to try and break into your site and cause damage – that’s just the way of the global Internet. As good at keeping things updated as anyone can be, someone will discover an exploit or create malware that hasn’t been detected by the good guys yet. Until someone catches that and adds it to detection systems, everyone is vulnerable to attack. To protect yourself, additional levels of security are needed along with regular deep scans of your site for changes and the ability to clean or restore good versions in the event that something does happen.
You may not necessarily need hosting or want to change your current host, but having the option to have every level of security and protection added to your site also includes the ability to have it hosted by someone you trust.
How much should it cost?
Typically, a basic plan of this sort with all of the things we mentioned should amount to about $99. This is what we consider a fair deal because it gives you optimum security and peace of mind. Think of it as a cost-effective form of insurance to keep the online face of your business protected, up to date, and secure. Naturally the more you pay, the more features you’re going to get, but $99 is a steal compared to some of the other plans we’ve seen over the years.
Need some help?
If you have any further questions about WordPress maintenance plans or you’d like to get this kind of plan going and want to find out more, you can always give our staff at V3 a call or visit our WP Care+ Maintenance Plans page. We’ve been around long enough to know what should be done to keep your business’s online features safe, secure, functional, and accessible.