Originally developed as a blogging platform, WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) and now powers around 43% of all websites globally.
Since its release in 2003, WordPress has revolutionised website design and development. And in 2023, two out of every five websites use WordPress.
As an open-source CMS, WordPress plugins are contributed to by tens of thousands of developers worldwide, allowing for the construction of highly customisable websites. WordPress also allows websites to easily adhere to modern standards of search optimisation and observe web development best practices. And WordPress enables web developers to tap into this collective intelligence of other developers and bring that wealth of experience to website projects.
That’s why we, as a tourism and hospitality marketing agency, love WordPress; it is easy to make changes and scale to our client business needs.
But, It’s Not Set and Forget
Security is the biggest concern raised with WordPress. Because it is an open-source platform, the plugins created by other developers need to be kept up to date.
However, there are simple ways to keep your site hack-free. This includes:
- Keeping your WordPress version up-to-date
- Downloading plugins from trusted developers and keeping them updated
- Changing your password regularly and making your password strong
- Installing an anti-spam prevention plugin such as Akismet
- Backing up your WordPress website regularly
- And getting support through specific regular WordPress Management
It’s important to remember that WordPress 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 it very long if you didn’t look after its maintenance, would you? Well, the same is true of your website.
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.
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, depends on the software and plugins functioning as they should.
Website scalability, fresh content, analytics monitoring, and design changes are all critical to running a successful business. And they are dependent on you having someone make sure all website updates are smooth and error-free.
Dangers of Do It Yourself Maintenance
Maintaining a WordPress website yourself could cost you more than you may think. You won’t record work undertaken if you update your WordPress admin dashboard.
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.
The topic here is not website copy and text refreshes but website back-end maintenance.
If an update to a plugin creates an issue, it may be challenging for you to know how to fix the problem. And you could possibly lose content changes, sales orders, contact entries… you name it.
It costs more to fix than to maintain
Like your car, WordPress can cost more to fix than maintain 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 WordPress Care Plan should cover the following:
- Regular website backups
- Updating plugins and themes
- Testing for any issues after updates
- Security & vulnerability scans
- Broken link scans
- Emptying of spam
- Database optimisation
- Standard performance and security scans
- Speedy assistance if things do go awry
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 WordPress 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 offer WordPress Care Plans. We are WordPress developers and want to ensure our wine, tourism, and hospitality clients have their best foot forward 24/7/365.