February 16, 2017
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Why Regular Maintenance is Key to a Successful WordPress Website

Since its release in 2003, WordPress has revolutionised website design and development for businesses. Originally developed as a blogging platform, it is an open-source content management system (CMS) and currently powers around 30% of all websites globally.

The CMS is contributed to by tens of thousands of developers worldwide and grows from strength to strength. WordPress allows the development of flexible and customisable websites to modern standards and observes web development best practices. Furthermore, the community of web developers that use WordPress reaches far and wide. It allows web developers to tap into this collective intelligence and bring that wealth of experience to website development projects.

That’s why we love WordPress; it is easy to make changes and scale to your tourism business needs.

FURTHER READING: 10 Reasons to Use WordPress for your Tourism Website

However, have you ever wondered what will happen if your WordPress website breaks down or, heaven forbid, is hacked? 

What are you going to do?

Call a website developer and get them to get it back online – for a whooping BIG fee, no doubt! 

And what if the backup hasn’t been working correctly – would you even know if you have a backup system in place? 

 With no current backup, you’d have to re-build the website or at least redo the last lot of changes you made – that leads to headaches and heartaches!

Many people forget that their WordPress website is just like any software; it requires maintenance to keep functioning at its peak performance. 

Think of it like your car; you wouldn’t drive your car very long if you didn’t look after its maintenance, would you? Well, the same is true of your website. 

We have said it before and will repeat it – your website is your most diligent employee and should always present your business at its finest 24/7/365

It’s not a ‘Set and Forget’ resource.

Why?  

Technology continually changes. And so do booking and reservation systems, eCommerce, mobile devices, Google algorithms and how the end-user (your prospective customer) uses the internet. 

So, don’t be fooled into thinking a WordPress website, once built, can then be left for another five years. No matter the CMS, a successful website is a continual work in progress and should be refreshed continually. 

And just like your car or any precious machinery, a WordPress website needs to be maintained. 

The Benefits of Maintenance

Many business owners don’t realise the benefits of WordPress website maintenance.

Website performance, including load time, downtime and uptime, is all dependent on the software and plugins functioning as they should. 

Website scalability, fresh content, analytics monitoring, and design changes depend on you having someone make sure all website updates are smooth and error-free fashion.

Dangers of Do It Yourself Maintenance

Maintaining a website yourself could cost you more than you may think. If you update your WordPress admin dashboard, you won’t record work undertaken.

Now, don’t get me wrong, as we are strong supporters of managing content additions in-house. So, if you want to change a menu item or add new imagery, you need to have the ability to do this yourself. Don’t let any website developer ever tell you otherwise!

But there is a happy medium. 

We are not talking about updating content here. We are talking about website maintenance.  

If an update to a plugin created an issue a couple of weeks later, it would be difficult to know what changed and how you should revert without restoring an old backup (and possibly losing content changes, sales orders, contact entries, you name it). 

It costs more to fix than to maintain

Inexperience and neglect can damage the look and functionality of your hospitality website. 

When that happens, you have a choice to make. 

  • You try and fix it yourself, in which case you may do further damage. 
  • You can then pay the (sometimes hefty) price for someone experienced to fix it. 

 Just like your car, it costs more to fix it than it does to maintain it properly. Regular oil changes help keep your vehicle running correctly – regular site maintenance helps keep your website running properly.

WordPress Care Plans

That’s where a website maintenance package comes in handy (or, as we call them – WordPress Care Plans). 

A solid Care Plan should cover:

  • Regular website backups
  • Updating plugins and themes
  • Testing for any issues after updates
  • Database optimisation
  • Standard performance and security scans
  • Speedy assistance if things do go awry

TIP

Before you start down the road of a new website build, ask the website developer – Do you offer Website Support Plans?  

If they answer no, move on. 

Would you try to fight that court battle without a lawyer? Then why try to maintain your website if you’re not a web professional? You save potential lost sales and visitors by securing an experienced web professional to correctly update and maintain your site. 

And yes, we, of course, offer WordPress Care Plans as we are WordPress developers and want to ensure our wine, tourism, and hospitality clients have their best foot forward 24/7/365.

LEARN MORE about our WordPress Care + Maintenance Packages

Tania Shirgwin

Tania Shirgwin

Founder + Head Consultant

Tania is a wine, tourism & hospitality marketing strategist specialising in wine tourism and epicure experience marketing. As founder of Decant Digital (formerly bizeez communications), Tania’s unique role over the past 12 years has enabled her to follow her passions of travel and her marketing obsessions of consumer-focused web development, search optimisation, strategic planning, and training. With over 70 customised wine & tourism websites built to date, successful event marketing and new business launch campaigns, Tania’s wealth of experience ensures businesses continually increase website traffic, direct bookings, and sales via proven marketing tactics.

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