To ensure the reliability and safety of your WordPress website you have to maintain it. For some, web maintenance refers to updating content or search engine optimization, but this post is focused on maintenance that guarantees safety, security and reliability.
Did you know that your car and your content management system have something in common? They both require regularly scheduled maintenance to ensure they run smoothly and safely. With a car, you have the oil changed and tires rotated, but with a CMS you apply security patches and backup databases. It takes resources to maintain a CMS, but the cost of not maintaining one can be detrimental to your business and its users.
An outdated system is susceptible to being hacked or manipulated and could result in loss of function. Deferring web maintenance may put sensitive data, like user account information at risk too. If you spend the money to build a great website, why wouldn’t you perform regular updates to guarantee longevity? A good maintenance plan should include backups of your site in case of emergency, but it it should also ensure all modules, integrations and plugins are working properly and securely.
Hackers and robots constantly look for vulnerabilities in out of date websites in order to take advantage of their weaknesses. Once hacked, repairing the damage, including reputation (think Target) can be costly. Spending several thousands of dollars to work retroactively to locate the intrusion, clean up the issue, test and then deploy doesn’t make much sense. Then you have to focus on damage control, lawsuits and public relations to fend off the media or angry clients. Regularly scheduled maintenance acts as an insurance plan against unforeseen problems. Preventive maintenance can save you lots of money, so don’t wait for an accident to occur.
A breach can spiral out of control quickly and not staying current makes little sense from a security perspective. A poorly maintained site can even become a liability. Unnecessary files and data may slow your site down. Unwanted content — like comment spam– can cause a world of hurt by consuming valuable resources and impacting search engine rankings. Security flaws allow attackers to use your site to commit fraud, spread malware and launch further attacks.
Like it or not, a website requires consistent maintenance. To prevent a hack and keep performance strong, you should keep your site up to date. Backing your site up and ensuring modules are secure and properly working on a regular basis is smart business.