WordPress runs 28.9% of the entire internet, it’s the most popular CMS (Content Management System) on the web, with around 15,886,000 websites using it. It enables businesses to run their website easily and gives businesses more control over what they publish than ever before.
Think about why you have a website. For most businesses, it’s a tool to drive new customers into your business and bring in new clients (read: to make money!). A lot of work goes into building your website, creating the content and building your brand online, so the thought of your website dropping offline until someone fixes it is shudder worthy for most businesses.
Since the beginning of WordPress, 32 major versions have been released. At the time of writing this, the latest version is 4.9.1, but only 22% of WordPress websites are running the latest version.
That’s a pretty eye opening statistic given that core WordPress updates are intended to fix security vulnerabilities. The latest WordPress update fixes 4 security issues found in WordPress 4.9. WordPress advises it’s users to update immediately, but many website owners either choose to ignore website care or simply don’t know that it’s something they should be investing in until it’s too late.
1. Time is money – update WordPress Core
Do you know how to update your WordPress website? Do you have time to fix issues if something goes wrong with your update? Keeping your WordPress version updated isn’t a difficult job, but it is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running an efficient and security tight business website.
Having a professional manage your WordPress updates and many other technical aspects of your WordPress website is a valuable time saver.
Let’s say you’re a busy photographer and you run your businesses website on WordPress. You value your time working on photography projects at a per project fee. Time spent managing WordPress updates is time lost that you could be working with clients, earning more money, or working on your business.
I can update WordPress, what’s the big deal?
If you have a good host, your WordPress updates can even be automated. You’ll rarely need to think about it. Most of the time updating WordPress isn’t a big deal and most of the time it goes smoothly.
It’s the other pieces of the WordPress maintenance puzzle that can rapidly become time suckers, dragging you down a rabbit hole and away from your business. If you rely on lots of different plugins to provide functionality to your site, a major WordPress update could see your site crash.
Having a dedicated WordPress professional managing regular updates for you means that you have eyes on your website and should anything go wrong they’ll be there to notice and more importantly, fix it. Your host isn’t responsible for fixing things, even if you do run automatic updates.
Having a WordPress freelancer handle your WordPress Core updates makes sure your site is always available to your customers and potential clients.
2. Take care of WordPress theme & plugin updates
Developers release updates for their software to fix bugs and security issues, as well as to provide new features. Out dated plugins is one of the top reasons a WordPress website gets hacked. If you’re running out of date software on your website you’re not only potentially providing a way for hackers to access your site but you also risk having your whole installation affected if a bug is found in one plugin.
When that update notification appears in your WordPress Dashboard, there’s no need to ignore it. Most of the time, if you have a recent back up of your website, theres no risk in updating. If something goes wonky you can simply revert to a previous version of your site and investigate what caused the problem.
If you use reputable plugins and themes on your WordPress website, the chances are there’s a huge community at your finger tips waiting to support you should you need any help.
I can handle my own updates – It’s just a click!
Although it’s not difficult to update your software, it does take time and dedication to keep on top of things. If you’re running your own updates it can take a significant amount of your time, especially if things do go wrong. Updates are just a small part of the WordPress maintenance puzzle.
By handing over theme and plugin updates to a specialist you can rest assured that things are taken care of and you’ll have more time to make money in your business.
3. Search Engines (and people) hate slow websites.
Google has a keen eye on site speed – and uses it as a ranking factor. If your WordPress website is slow, search engines won’t rank it and people won’t find you. That’s terrible for business.
More than 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load! That means if your competitor’s website is loading fast but yours isn’t, they could be snagging your potential customers.
Having someone keep an eye on your WordPress website’s speed can help with keeping you at the top of your game.
Investing in a WordPress website care package ensures that your website is always performing well, without you having to lift a finger.
4. Keep on top of your WordPress website security
Each week, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware.
You might think your small business website is safe;
“Why would anyone want to hack my small blog?”
Sometimes hackers will gain access to larger cooperation websites for a specific reason, but this rarely occurs in the small business world. More often than not, hacks occur simply because there was an opportunity to do so, not because they have a specific reason.
This means that no matter how small your blog or website, you’re always a target.
What do hackers want?
If your small business website is hacked, it could be for one of the following reasons:
- A hacker can use your website to get your visitors to download malicious software and access their computers. This can give the hackers access to all sorts of private information.
- A hacker can hook into your resources. They could be after a free ride by using the server that you pay for to send out spam emails and perform other attacks at your expense. This can up your hosting charges as more resources are used on your account and could also result in your server and website being blacklisted.
- A hacker might want to redirect your website traffic to their site for financial gain. As they push your website traffic to their website, their views shoot up and they could be earning off your traffic, too.
How do WordPress websites get hacked?
According to wptemplate.com:
- 8% of WordPress websites get hacked because of weak passwords.
- 22% of WordPress websites get hacked because of vulnerable and outdated plugins
- 29% of WordPress website hackers gain access through themes
- 41% gain access through hosting.
As well as keeping all your software up to date, a WordPress specialist can run regular security reports on your website to keep on top of things. If the scans bring up anything unusual, you can rest assured it’s being dealt with as quickly as possible. A big part of website care is optimising your website to prevent these attacks happening in the first place.
5. Monitor uptime/downtime
The chances are, your website is pretty valuable to you. It brings you new business through leads and gives potential customers a place to get to know your company and brand.
If your website went offline, how much money would you loose?
How much is each potential new customer worth to your business? Would you notice if your website went offline?
By monitoring your website’s uptime you’ll have an accurate view of how your host is performing. If your website is going offline for even just a few hours each month it can have a huge impact on your bottom line. That’s a huge missed opportunity to catch new leads.
Furthermore, your website’s uptime has an impact on SEO. If your website and blog is available for visitors who’re searching for it, that’s a good signal to the search engines and it means that Google is listing a good, reliable resource.
On the other hand, if you’re experiencing downtime (and don’t even know it!) the search engines won’t be happy keeping you listed at the top.
Investing in website care is investing in your business.
6. Monitor and clean up spam comments
If you care about the reputation of your business online you’ll want to keep track of spam comments and filter anything unwanted.
People spam WordPress blogs for a number of reasons, usually they’ll leave their own unrelated links all over the comments to try and gain more website views themselves. This can leave your comment section looking very untidy and very unprofessional.
Any reputable business will want to filter these comments and make sure only constructive and authentic comments get through. A website care package will handle this for you.
7. Weekly reports
When you sign up to a WordPress Website Support Package, you’ll receive a weekly PDF report. Your report details
everything that’s been done during the previous week to keep your website ticking over.
Keep reports for your reference or add it to your team meeting agenda – let employees know that you’re serious about your companies reputation online and educate them on the steps you’re taking to manage this.
Free up time for you and your team by outsourcing your WordPress Website Maintenance tasks to a trustworthy WordPress Freelancer!