Website maintenance is important for small businesses. Like the premier content management platform it is, WordPress also undergoes constant improvements in terms of rules, elements, and components. Small businesses that create a website on WordPress often overlook the fact that website management doesn’t end at installation. You also have to think about how you will maintain your site day to day. For this reason, some website owners rely on WordPress maintenance plans for their small business.
Outsourcing your WordPress site maintenance to an experienced WordPress maintenance service provider is a step in the right direction. Rather than trying to spend most of your time managing and worrying about your website, you can delegate these duties to someone who is not only proficient in WordPress but also has a proven record of maintaining WordPress sites with excellent results.
Instead of opting for a company that only works for large firms, consider an agency that knows how to handle small business website needs, and can get the most for their budget. How can you tell if you are getting the right service?
A maintenance plan for small businesses contains the following services:
WordPress core software receives minor updates time and again, while significant updates are rolled out twice a year. Themes and plugins follow these updates by releasing their new versions that are compatible with it. If you fail to keep up with the evolving WordPress ecosystem, things will reach a point where your site would stop functioning correctly. As a result, downtime will not only cause financial and reputational loss but also ranking declines.
On the other hand, if you do updates without any IT web development background on a live site and inadvertently make improper setting selections, you can’t make repairs without troubleshooting. You will be required to find the update or plugin that was the root cause of the failure.
Professional WordPress maintenance service providers do such updates by cloning your site or updating your site’s copy in a separate development environment where it is migrated later. In this way, even if something goes wrong, your website remains functional and available to your customers.
Have you recently designed your website on WordPress? Have you contemplated making a disaster recovery plan?
As a beginner, you might not consider the possibility of losing your site resources. However, if a cybercriminal group succeeds in breaching your site’s defenses, you could lose all your data, interrupting your lead generation and sales funnel. Similarly, if you become late on your hosting payments, the hosting provider can cancel your subscription and delete your files. Therefore, you must store a backup for all your site’s resources.
Companies with small to large websites can back up their entire site. It allows them to:
- Schedule monthly or daily backups of their data.
- Use off-site storage.
- Restore files with a single click.
- Remove folders and files.
- If the website is down, get notifications via Slack or Email.
If you need more flexibility with backups, it’s ideal to go for a premium backup service that caters to non-static and more demanding sites. It allows you to:
- Run backups more frequently.
- Include and exclude folders and files.
- Migrate websites to a new host.
- Transfer backups to the computer.
- Comply with California and EU regulations
Nothing frustrates your target audience more than a slow website. Your website’s speed is a crucial factor in your Google ranking and can hold your site back. It can increase your bounce rate and cause your prospects to visit the websites of your competitors. This is why you should test your website’s performance with benchmarking and respond to potential issues.
The performance check offers insights on issues that limit your site’s growth and performance. In this way, you can resolve them and enhance user experience. It lists an in-depth breakdown of the factors that damage your site performance.
A while ago, ZDNet mentioned that 90% of all the hacked CMS (content management systems) was made on WordPress. The Internet is rife with sophisticated cyber threats. Since WordPress is widely used, many hackers try to infect it with various types of malware, such as ransomware, spyware, worms, and social engineering attacks. Therefore, you need a maintenance plan that puts the right security measures in place. It can prevent cyber criminals from exploiting the admin area of your website. It also comes with an anti-malware solution to monitor your website security 24/7.
Scan of Broken Links
A 404 message is a nightmare for a small business’ site. It occurs when your customers click a link on your website, and it doesn’t route them to the right page. This link is known as a broken link. There is nothing worse than your customer being unable to check your product or services. It creates a bad experience and reflects poorly on your business. A WordPress maintenance plan identifies broken links so you can fix it and enhance customer engagement.
Google Analytics Integration
Is Google Analytics a vital part of your digital marketing strategy? It should be! A WordPress maintenance plan can integrate it into your website. This way, you can link Google Search Console and Google Analytics into a single dashboard and keep track of your data and progress. It can allow you to track website results, find out which of your marketing efforts are working, and where you need to improve them.
You can make the most out of your market budget and create effective marketing plans if you know what’s working and what’s not. This shows visitor patterns through in-depth analytics. It allows you to move resources from an area where they are not making any impact to sections where they can provide a better ROI.
What are sitemaps and why do you need them?
Whenever you add a new web page to your site, you have to make sure that search engines pick it up quickly. A WordPress maintenance plan optimizes your sitemaps and informs search engines about the change in your site structure. They signal search engines like Google about how to best index your site. Another benefit it also ensures that links of deleted pages are removed from search results.
Theme and Plugin Updates
Security issues don’t end at updating your WordPress core software. You also should think about the security issues related to plugins and themes. According to a survey, 56% of security breaches in WordPress come from plugin vulnerabilities.
A WordPress maintenance plan for small businesses will regularly update plugins and assess potential security risks before they become problems. It also removes inactive plugins. Although these are not bad for security, they do take up space, which can affect your site’s performance.
Removal of Spam Comments
A blog on your site is a terrific way of building your brand reputation and attracting more traffic. Interested users comment on these posts and generate discussion that can engage your traffic. However, similar to spam emails, you can also struggle with spam comments. If your visitors see these comments, it’s going to affect your brand image. WordPress maintenance can take care of these comments and delete them regularly to protect your online reputation.
SEO Rank Monitoring
It can be difficult for small businesses to compete with bigger brands. However, SEO (Search Engine Marketing) allows them to appear on the first page of search engine result pages (SERPs) and challenge their competitors.
This is why SEO is considered a must-have component for any website, however it is out of scope for a WordPress maintenance plan.
To ensure the proper SEO strategy a complete website audit is necessary. A typical website audit involves the following.
- Check for Google Penalties
- Check Domain Search Positions
- Technical SEO Audit (Backend)
- On-Page SEO Audit
- Off-Page SEO Audit
- Social Media Audit
Even though SEO doesn’t fall under maintenance, a WordPress Maintenance plans can provide keyword position tracking and monitoring. This provides small businesses an opportunity to observe how they match up to their competition in search results and make decisions about improvements to be made to pages.
If you are looking for more specific SEO info reach out to us and we can offer you our available SEO plans.
Hosting and Domain Name
A good WordPress maintenance plan takes care of your domain name and hosting needs. It ensures that your accounts don’t expire accidentally, which often results in the loss of critical digital assets. A WordPress maintenance service provider can keep tabs on these deadlines for you.
Cloning allows you to create a mirror copy of your site. Clone your site to a staging area and test your application. You can use cloning to move your site to a new host or copy another website, so you customize it according to your style and tone. Cloning makes it easier to develop new websites and repair old websites.
What happens if your website goes down?
A WordPress maintenance provider will get your website back up when things go bad and also provide a limited amount of support service time per month to post content or make minor fixes and changes to your website.
Since these experts have installed and maintained numerous websites for small businesses, they will share tips and techniques that provide better results.
If you have bigger changes they can provide a quote to do the work faster and less expensively since you already have a relationship and they know the ins and outs of your website.
A website maintenance plan consists of an executive summary. It describes what the WordPress maintenance service provider does on your website, showing you your site’s health and status. A typical report contains:
- Backups History
- Uptime History
- Security Checks and Status
- Performance Checks and Status
- Google Analytics Report
- WooCommerce Reports
- Link Monitoring and Status
- Vulnerability Updates and Status
- Management of Theme and Updates
- Management of WordPress Comments
- SEO Rankings and Monitoring
- PDF download
Although, not technically provided under maintenance plans this is an important area where WordPress maintenance experts can help.
Google is putting in efforts to make the Web a safer place. This will allow the tech giant to present a secure platform to its users.
Therefore, Google has begun to penalize websites that don’t have an SSL certificate. What this means is that websites with “http://” in the URL are ranked lower, whereas those with “https://” are ranked higher. SSL applies encryption. i.e. it converts the site’s content data into a secret code. Only authorized parties can access this data and also protects user data. This is why you should make sure your website has an SSL certificate installed.
If your site already has SSL, your maintenance expert can keep track of this license to ensure it doesn’t expire unexpectedly.
If your site isn’t encrypted with an SSL certificate talk to your maintenance expert to have it installed.
Like doing DIY repairs for their home’s plumbing or electrical issues, many website owners try to maintain their websites by themselves. However, there’s a lot at stake if the website maintenance goes wrong.
A better strategy is to focus on your business operations and outsource your website maintenance to an agency or consultant who can provide a maintenance plan containing all the services mentioned above.
Send us a message so we can guide you on how to make your site more secure, optimized, faster, and updated. We will improve your site performance, which in turn will boost your customer engagement, satisfaction and improve rankings.