As a small business owner, you keep a business insurance policy that covers certain aspects of your business from theft, vandalism, etc. It might cover your commercial fleet and your workers and reimburse you in the event something bad happens. A WordPress maintenance plan is sort of like insurance for your small business website. That’s because a WordPress maintenance plan is different from something like regular automobile maintenance. For example, you get your oil changed every 5,000 miles or so. With website maintenance, you get monthly tune-ups of your website. But you also get protection from harm. There are two main benefits to having a WordPress maintenance plan: cybersecurity benefits and user experience benefits. Let’s take a deeper dive into that.
Cybersecurity is the business of protecting websites, networks, computers, and data from unauthorized use or criminal use. You probably have some sort of security software on your personal computer or laptop, in addition to getting automatic updates from your operating system. When it comes to your WordPress site, WordPress support does issue automatic updates, but implementing them automatically can have unintended consequences, depending on the plugins and theme you are using. That’s why getting a WordPress maintenance plan is essential. A maintenance team is experienced in all things WordPress, and can implement security patches and other updates without compromising your website.
Failure to implement security updates leaves your website especially vulnerable to hackers, who use bots to scour the web for vulnerable sites. When a hacker finds one, they inject malicious code that can do any number of bad things, including take down your website or steal payment information from your customers. In addition to regular security updates, your website maintenance plan should include monthly scans for malware. And if any malware is found, your plan will include removal.
Off Site Backups Protect You in the Event of Ransomware
You may backup your website on a regular basis. You might even do daily backups. There’s actually a plugin for that (more than one, actually.) But it’s also important to do a monthly backup to an external location. This protects you in the event of a ransomware attack, because that backup can’t be touched by the bad actor. You’ve probably heard of ransomware attacks on big corporations and hospital chains. All it takes is for someone to click on a malicious link or visit an unsecure website to fall victim.
The ransomware is then launched. It’s a software that essentially encrypts your entire system, making it useless until you pay the ransom to decrypt everything. But if you have a website backup stored in a secure, external location, you can restore your systems without paying the ransom! It will still result in some downtime, but not a huge loss of money.
User Experience (UX)
Up until now we’ve focused on security, which affects you, the business owner. Now let’s turn to the most important people in your business life – your customers, or potential customers. A WordPress maintenance plan can help you keep them happy and improve the user experience (UX). How you may ask? Let us count the ways. Your WordPress website has a lot of moving parts. A website maintenance plan helps all of the parts work together, to keep your website running smoothly. For example, your WordPress maintenance plan can include:
• Plugin updates to keep the various plugins playing nicely with each other
• WordPress core updates as needed
• Theme updates
• Fixing broken links
• Improving page loading speed
When it comes to visitors to your website, having a WordPress maintenance plan is sort of like having a janitorial staff keep your brick-and-mortar business clean, and keeping aisles from being blocked. It’s also comparable to making sure you have enough staff on site so no one has to wait too long. If customers to your storefront or your website have a bad experience, they aren’t likely to give you a second chance. They may just head on over to your competition.
As a business owner, you’re probably familiar with the term “opportunity cost.” In a nutshell, opportunity cost represents the profit or benefit your business misses out on by choosing one alternative over or another. For our purposes, choosing not to have a WordPress maintenance plan can come with a high opportunity cost. For example, the ransom you might pay to get your site unlocked is much higher than the cost of doing regular off-site backups. You could use those backups to restore your website and systems without paying the ransom.
Another example is the cost of losing potential customers because your website is slow, glitchy, and hard to navigate. When a visitor to your site has a lousy user experience, do you know where they go? To one of your competitors. A monthly WordPress maintenance plan is relatively cheap, in the scheme of things. For instance, here at Coastal, our WP maintenance plan is only $60 a month. That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and a great user experience!
WordPress Maintenance 101: Everything you need to know
Choose Coastal for Your WordPress Website Maintenance Services
We hope you’ve learned a bit about why WordPress maintenance is a critical component of your online marketing strategy and your overall business strategy. A smooth-running and fast website presents your business in the best light, and regular maintenance helps protect you from hackers and ransomware attacks.
Our WordPress maintenance services are available to existing clients only, at a very affordable monthly rate. If you’re in the market for a website redesign or SEO services, adding in WP maintenance is easy to do. Use our contact form to request a quote, or call us at 410-420-9390 to get the conversation started.