Is it necessary? YES! It is a must
This is a question we get all the time. It is like this car analogy; If you buy a car its great, shiny and new but it needs an oil change every 5000km to keep it running smoothly. The car is not defective, it is just understood that a car needs maintenance. It needs fluid changes and little tweaks.
The same can be said for a WordPress website. The website needs maintenance to keep it in tip top shape. The WordPress team keeps the software up to date with functionality changes, security issues and generally improving the software. Plugins and themes also change and update based on security and coding changes. These are little general maintenance tasks that keep the website working properly and more secure.
WordPress routinely receives new updates, typically multiple new release updates each month, which improve the security and performance of the platform. In order to make sure that your WordPress website remains secure, your website needs consistent maintenance of the core code as well as any plugins and the theme that may be in use.
Did you know? Most hacks come from websites running outdated or insecure software?
So the short answer if you want to protect the longevity of your website which you worked hard to create or paid to have created for you. You must maintain it.
- Have your web designer do it. There is a cost but then you don’t need to worry about it. Web designers charge in different ways: a contractual monthly maintenance package can range from $45/month and up OR non-contractual where its updated and you are charged by time
- Do It Yourself – Your web designer should show you this if you ask but if not here is the basic procedure;
- With a good back up plugin like Updraft Plus you should be able to update the site yourself.
- Create a full back up of the core database, plugins, theme and uploads folder
- Once complete, go to dashboard > updates and select update for each item listed one at a time (never select multiple updates at once) Sometimes updates can take a few moments. ( If you are on a slow server, you may get a Maintenance screen, don’t panic! This will time out in about 10 min. If it gets stuck, call your host or designer and they can remove the .maintenance file.)
- Wait for each one to finish and then move on to the next until all updates are complete. Check the front end of your site to make sure it looks good.
- If something goes wrong, again, don’t panic- we have a backup up! Try to remember what plugin you were on when it failed. Call your web designer Or go to updrafts backups, and restore the plugin you were updating when it failed.
So whether you are inclined to spend money on maintenance or not, it is your responsibility to see that your website is maintained. Let’s do this!
Liz Skorski provides small business web design and marketing services across Canada. Based in Ontario.