This is part 2 of my website maintenance series. For part 1 please go here.
#1. Regular Backups.
Your WordPress website is dynamic, meaning that it is always changing. Kind of like our bodies are always growing and changing, so our websites are constantly growing. So, it is very important to make regular backups of your website. This ensures that in the case of some kind of disaster you don’t lose your website. Of course you would lose sales momentum the longer your website was down. However, with a recent backup your website can be restored and brought back online very quickly.
If you are running a business, then take a moment and think how much it would cost you to have your website down. Especially, if there’s no reason for that to happen because of regular backups.
I recommend backing up your website at least once a week, minimum. Daily would be better.
#2. Regular WordPress Updates.
The reason they create these updates is twofold:
- To counter relevant and trending security threats.
- To make your website even more nimble and powerful.
The security threat is the MOST Important reason to run regular WordPress updates. Without doing this, your website WILL become vulnerable to hackers. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
I recommend that you check for updates, and run them weekly.
#3. Regular Genesis Updates.
Just like WordPress, the Genesis child theme builder must be updated regularly as well. In fact, this is the very reason that we have chosen to use the Genesis Platform to build our websites upon. We can run our theme updates, and not have to worry about the child theme getting screwed up as a result. Without Genesis, we could not make changes to the look and feel of our customer’s website, and then run an update. It would mess up all the customization that we did. So, with Genesis, we are able to run an update, and the look and feel of the website just dances right along. For the same reasons that WordPress must be updated on a regular basis, so must Genesis. Again, I recommend that you check for updates, and run them weekly.
#4. Regular Plugin Updates.
In order to help your website perform the way that it does, we have installed various 3d party plugins. These plugins are like little tools that help your website do it’s job. A perfect example of this, is the premium plugin Gravity Forms. With this plugin we are able to create nice customized forms on the website that are unique to each of our customer’s needs. We pay for this plugin, and we must keep it up to date. That is just one example. There are usually about 10 or more plugins that we install in any given website, and they all have a very specific function. And the creators of each plugin puts out updates on a regular basis. These plugins create a point of vulnerability to the security of your site, and they must be updated regularly.
Here’s a Short Story…
We recently fixed a site for someone that had Phishing Software installed in their site without them knowing it. The hackers robot found this site, and found a plugin that was not up-to-date. It used that plugin to get in the code of the site and install the Malware. We had to go and clean all the files off the server, and recreate the site to it’s original condition, so that the malware codes were completely gone. Is that what you want to happen to your website? Which would you rather, regularly maintain your site now, or do a complete site re-design because of a security breach? I recommend that these code updates be taken care of once per week. That’s what we do for all our websites.
#5. Regular System and Security Scans
It’s important not only to keep up on all the regular backups and code updates, but also to perform regular system and security scans. Run through the site and make sure things are up to par. It’s much better to find an issue that needs taken care of right away than to let it fester for a long time. So, there you have it. Just as your body needs regular updates of good healthy food, vitamins, and water…so your website needs that kind of maintenance as well. I hope that this short little post has helped you to see and understand why your website needs a regular maintenance plan, and what to do about it.
If you missed part 1 of this series you can go and learn what all is included in the perfect website maintenance plan here.