Growing up, I can vividly remember my father threatening to take away my car if I didn’t get the oil changed every three months. The younger me liked to “ride the line” and stretch that three months out as long as possible, but that did not come without ramifications to my vehicle. As I got older, I realized the significance of regular oil changes and check-ups on my car. In fact, there are not many things these days that don’t require some version of extended service and support. That’s why I’m taking the time now to address the importance of ongoing website maintenance and why the client transition from WebDevStudios (WDS) to Maintainn makes sense.
My iPhone, laptop, even a new air purifier I recently purchased all had the option to buy some form of a maintenance plan. I’ve never regretted purchasing one because while I’d like to think of myself as responsible, I’m far from graceful. Working in the tech industry now as the Director of Client Strategy at WDS, I’m often asked whether or not an ongoing website maintenance and support plan for a website is necessary. My answer is always the same, “Absolutely.”
I understand being hesitant to engage in this extra expense. I’ll be the first to admit that YouTube tutorials, online classes, and documentation have me believing that I’m an expert developer at times; and while these tools are helpful, they don’t always account for the unexpected. There are many reasons why ongoing support is critical but let me just share a few.
Plugin, Theme, and WordPress Updates
All of the code that goes into making WordPress work is often referred to as the “core.” WordPress sends out updates a few times a year to ensure that the core is always in tip-top shape. Some releases are small, but some are important, containing things like critical security updates. Every update is worth taking seriously.
Plugins are created by this amazing open source community to extend the functionality of your website. Plugins can update more or less frequently depending on how engaged the developer is in improving the tool.
There’s also your website theme to think about. Whether you’re using a free or premium one, chances are that as WordPress releases new updates, so will your theme.
I hesitate to hit that “update” button sometimes. You don’t always know how your website will be affected. While most agencies develop websites to be as update-proof as possible, there are no guarantees. Having a professional on deck to handle these updates for you is critical in the ultimate performance and health of your website.
Hacking: it’s a term we are all familiar with. A quick look at the news and there is a story of some website being hacked somewhere. There are numerous measures you can take to protect your website. Some are easy and could merely require a plugin, but others tend to be a bit more complex. With ongoing support, trusted professionals will ensure the health of your website. One thing you may want to consider is if your website is being monitored on a regular basis. Constant security scans alert the website owner if a file has been tampered with, if there are irregular logins, or even if there have been DNS changes. Regular monitoring can detect if these changes are out of the ordinary and quickly put things back to normal.
Here is a typical scenario—you hire someone new to work on your website. It could be a new developer or maybe someone just adding content. They are given more access than they need, and accidentally something happens, and your site is not looking like it should. If you have regular backups being performed on your website, restoring to the last one should be a painless process. Without backups, you are in for a ton of investigation and work. Having regularly scheduled backups is the insurance policy you need most.
Big and Small Changes
The real hero of a maintenance and support plan us simply having access to a team of experts available to help. That form you want to add to the website, those images that you just haven’t had a chance to upload, the new ads you want to put on the homepage; with a support team, it’s as simple as letting them know your plans and then allowing them to take it from there. Think of your support team as an extension of your business. They are here to support you. No task is too small or large.
This may seem like a lot, and it is. There is no need to tackle all of this yourself. That’s why WDS has Maintainn. At Maintainn, a brilliant team of support specialists is there to answer your questions, help plan for changes, secure your website, back it up regularly, and update it consistently. All of this is to ensure you have a high performant and rock-solid website. Not only does this bring you peace of mind but it also assures your visitors are enjoying their experience. Yeah, there may be some additional investment, but it can’t compare to the investment needed if these safeguards are not in place.