Is WordPress website maintenance important?
In this post I’m going to run through some of the top reasons why you might want to implement a maintenance plan and how it can lead to an improved website and ultimately convert to better results in your business. So is wordpress website maintenance important? Lets find out.
WordPress website maintenance Index
- What is WordPress website maintenance?
- Why is WordPress website maintenance important?
- WordPress website updates
- WordPress website backups
- WordPress post and revision optimisation
- WordPress website security
- WordPress page speed load monitoring
- Tracking Keyword performance
- Broken Link monitoring
- Tracking website analytics
- The unseen benefits of wordpress website maintenance plans
What is WordPress website maintenance?
WordPress website maintenance involves the upkeep and monitoring of your website to ensure that it is up to date and functioning properly. Like anything in life without attention, and upkeep, your website will start to fall by the wayside and implementing a consistent maintenance plan will ensure that your website will not only continue running and effectively, but can put your website in a position where it can thrive.
Why is WordPress website maintenance important?
In the simplest terms, WordPress website maintenance is important to keep our website working effectively. Theres a whole host of areas that are covered in maintenance plans and below I’ll run through the different areas that we should be focusing on and explaining what they are and why we should pay attention to maintaining these different aspects of our website.
1. WordPress website updates
Have you ever logged into your WordPress website and been met with a whole host of update notifications, errors, and popups? This is a clear sign that your website will need updating.
The web is an ever changing environment and wordpress is constantly changing to add new features, improve the codebase of the CMS and patch security vulnerabilities. Since wordpress is an open source CMS, you are responsible for updating the wordpress core (Content management system files), keeping your wordpress plugins up to date and maintaining other aspects of the wordpress setup. Failing to do this will prevent you from taking advantage of the new features and updates, slow your website down over time. Even worse than this you can very easily open your website up for malware and virus attacks if you don’t routinely update your wordpress website.
2. WordPress website backups
The fact of the matter is that wordpress websites can break or be hacked if they are not kept up to date. Routine maintenance can greatly reduce the chance of this happening, but it’s still always wise to have at least a month to 90 days of daily backups on hand in case you run into any issues.
Including daily backups in your wordpress website maintenance plan can give you the assurance that your covered if the worst happens.
3. WordPress post and revision optimisation
Every time you update your website, wordpress will create revisions of your edits, this can come in very handy as you can easily roll back to a previous revision of your edit. The only problem with this is that over time your revisions will begin to bloat your database. The more files you have on your website the more sluggish it becomes, so unless you routinely optimise your revision your website and wordpress admin will start to slow down.
A WordPress website maintenance plan should include optimising your post and page revisions.
4. WordPress website Security
WordPress security can be complicated, but the easiest way to keep your website secure is to keep everything up to date and to use a secure password. On top of this you can use a WordPress plugin such as Sucuri to further improve the security of your website.
An effective WordPress website maintenance plan, should include security and website monitoring capabilities.
5. WordPress page speed load monitoring
Performance is critical when it comes to user experience, so its not only important that your web pages as load as fast as possible, but it’s equally important to ensure it remains that way. You can use a tool such as Google lighthouse to identify where you can improve your page load speed, but this is something that most small business owners are not going to pay any attention to.
A WordPress website maintenance plan should include a page speed load monitoring service to ensure that you are periodically checking that your website is loading as fast as it can.
6. Tracking keyword performance
Understanding which keywords are working or not working for you, can ultimately steer your content creation strategy and help you understand which keyword search terms are worth pursuing.
I also find tracking keywords, helps to motivate business owners to become more offensive with their content creation strategy and encourages them to improve their website over time.
Make sure that your WordPress website maintenance plan includes the ability to not only track your own keyword position, but your competitors as well. This can work as the foundation of SEO strategy and help you plan to achieve realistic SEO goals.
7. Broken Link monitoring
Broken links are the unseen villains of your SEO strategy. Again this is something that 90% of website / business owners will not of even heard about. Broken links are what they say on the tin, they are links throughout your website that no longer click through to their destination for whatever reason. Google frowns on these as they represent bad usability and so your website is usually marked down in SEO rankings.
Ensuring that your maintenance plan has a link monitoring strategy in place will improve your on-page SEO.
8. Tracking website analytics
Just as important as tracking your keyword search term positions is tracking your wordpress website analytics and the interactions that your users have with your website, this will give you a better understanding of how effective both your design and content are working in helping you achieve your website goals.
Receiving a monthly automated analytics report to your inbox can greatly improve how much attention you give your website performance and set up a routine that you can build upon as a pose to having to manually login to Google analytics “when you remember”. A solid wordpress website maintenance plan should include this.
The unseen benefits of WordPress website maintenance plans
I also think it’s important to mention the unseen benefits of wordpress maintenance plans. I’ll briefly touch on two areas of maintenance plans that aren’t features, but are more benefits to the business owner who decides to employs a maintenance strategy.
Running a business can be stressful, and theres always seems to be more things to do than you physically have the time for. This is where you should embrace smart outsourcing for certain areas of your business. By outsourcing the upkeep of your website along with other routine aspects such as keyword research and checking your analytics, website maintenance can provide a great return on investment and allow you to focus on task which are important to the growth of your business.
Another area of benefit is that receiving a monthly report detailing your website stats and performance can open your eyes to potential opportunities and gaps in your content strategy. Websites are supposed to be marketing tools, which is often easy to forget, but the visibility of a maintenance report can spur website owners on to realise the potential of their websites as a lead generating machine.