WordPress is an extremely easy-to-manage CMS, but as a business owner, it can still get stressful to manage all the aspects of your business while managing the website.
It will be awesome as a business owner if you had the guarantee that your WordPress website will always be running smoothly even when you are not monitoring it.
A WordPress maintenance plan allows you to break down the different maintenance tasks into manageable steps so that your site keeps giving peak performance all the time. There are many reasons to create a maintenance plan, but you should know it in depth before creating one.
What is a WordPress Maintenance Plan?
A WordPress maintenance plan or a WordPress care plan is an actionable checklist of tasks that can monitor the site’s health. It is easy to create a WordPress website, but once it is live, you need to be able to ensure its security.
A maintenance plan ensures that your site is secure, optimized, and malware free. You cannot just create a WordPress site and abandon it. You have to keep looking after it so that its performance is optimal.
WordPress recommends frequent site maintenance work by creating a calendar of different procedures to optimize the site. Once your site is properly optimized, you will get more organic results.
To begin, you can create a WordPress maintenance plan and follow it. If you need to learn how to do it, you can take help from experts online or hire freelancers. Once you hire a freelancer, the WordPress maintenance process has been outsourced, and you do not have to worry about it.
All you will have to do is monitor the performance of the professional, and for that, you need to have basic knowledge of a WordPress maintenance plan.
5 reasons to create a WordPress maintenance plan
If your business depends on your WordPress site, that alone is a good reason to devote time and funds to WordPress maintenance plans. Here are 5 reasons why you should start creating a maintenance plan today!
1. Minimize the chances of errors while staying in the loop of WordPress updates
WordPress rolls out updates to its core version every few months, and it is important to run them when they are released. These updates carry security patches and other problems that might have been fixed.
Other than that, new features are also added. A proper WordPress maintenance plan ensures that your site has all the security features. It can create security vulnerabilities if you do not update your plugins or themes for too long.
That is why updating all your themes and plugins from time to time is important. You should not install unnecessary plugins because they can slow your site down or be a security liability.
Sometimes though, a plugin update can cause conflict or some functionality problems. However, if the plugin comes from a trusted source, the problem will be treated quickly.
A crucial part of a WordPress maintenance plan is creating a hidden staging environment from where you can test out plugin or theme updates. This way, you can ensure that once you install the update, nothing on the site will cause any problems.
It is a great way to test out plugin compatibility with your site. A conflict with other plugins or an active theme is easy to see, but the solution is difficult to curate.
Here, the developer may not be able to help as they do not know about the other plugins you use or your site’s specifics.
A website troubleshooter can resolve the issue quickly because they know your site’s specifics. They can also create a maintenance plan to ensure that a similar situation never occurs again.
2. Strengthen your site’s defenses
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platform in the world, but it is also one of the most hacked. 44% of the hacked WordPress websites were outdated. A good maintenance plan looks for any security weaknesses and makes plans to mitigate them.
You can ensure the security of your WordPress website in many ways, such as by choosing a reliable hosting company, installing a firewall, getting an SSL certificate, and other crucial tasks.
Installing a WordPress security plugin is the primary method of ensuring your site’s security. People who do not have a coding team at their disposal need something to ensure the safety of their site. A security plugin gives detailed reports of your site’s defenses and vulnerabilities.
WordFence is one of the most popular security plugins for WordPress. It scans your site for malware and filters our suspicious traffic. Because, of course, hackers visit your site to check for any vulnerabilities that they can target.
Perform regular security checks with WordFence, and you will know how well you are doing when it comes to security.
If you forget to do a security check, you will lose track of your site’s defenses, and if the site gets hacked.
You will lose business and reputation, and it will take resources to get the site back on track. Precaution is always better than cure when it comes to the security of your site! The more commercial your site is, the more hackers are out to target you. If you run a commercial business through a WordPress website, you should always be updated about security.
3. Avoid downtime when your business grows
If your website faces regular downtime, it will drive potential customers to your competitors. Sometimes the website is up but doesn’t let the user perform a specific function, then, the traffic is there, but the conversion rates will drop.
Your website should always be live, and the users should be able to do all the tasks that can be performed. It is your duty to ensure this, and the success of your business depends on it.
A WordPress maintenance plan will include tasks for measuring the traffic coming to your site and then comparing it with the limitations of your hosting partner. If your hosting plan was good enough earlier, but the number of visitors has increased, you need to buy a different one.
This is called uptime monitoring, and because of this, you will be able to ensure that your site loads effortlessly, even if a hundred thousand visitors are on the site. Uptime monitoring helps you ensure that your site is performing all its functions as intended and that it will be able to do so in the near future.
As the traffic increases, you can make changes to the hosting plan. This can be achieved with a monitoring solution that monitors all the front-end and back-end issues that affect your site.
The WordPress maintenance plan can include tasks to perform the required checks and take action accordingly. Overall, your site remains reliable because of the maintenance plan.
4. Provide a great UX
Having a WordPress maintenance plan ready will allow you to spot errors as they arise. You can regularly scan your site for broken links, images, and redirects. By doing this, you are ensuring that all the site visitors have a smooth experience and any function they try to perform is completed.
Keeping your core web vitals healthy ensures a good user experience and a reasonable SEO ranking. Instead of focusing on generic metrics such as site loading speed, Core Web Vitals connect various aspects of your WordPress site’s performance to the UX.
A WordPress maintenance plan helps you to track the core web vitals, which includes important metrics like largest contentful paint (how fast the largest block of your page renders on-screen), First Input Delay ( how long it takes for your site to become interactive after loading), and Cumiliative Layout Shift ( a measure of the visual stability of your website).
Core web vitals metrics can also be used to measure the SEO performance of your site. With the help of these, you have an idea of how your users experience your site.
You will know what is the strength of your site and the areas that need work. If you keep working to improve the UX of your site, you will see returning visitors.
This will ultimately increase the conversion rate and decrease the shopping abandonment rates. Having a WordPress maintenance plan is necessary for your business. The health of your website and your business depends on it.
5. Regular backups are necessary for the safety of your site
Creating a backup of your WP site regularly is one of the important tasks in the maintenance plan. Carrying out backup plans will ensure that all your data is synced and in one place.
If a system failure of any kind happens, you will be able to restore your WP site with the help of the backup. That is why it is important to create a backup whenever you make any changes to your site.
You can start this process with two methods: use a plugin that automates the process or get in touch with a WordPress expert who will take care of the process.
If you are taking the plugin route, you should install plugins like Updraft Plus which provide automated backups. Updraft Plus is a popular plugin that allows you to schedule automated site backups which can be restored from your admin dashboard at any time.
You can do all this for free! You can set backup schedule every 12 hours, weekly, fortnightly, or on a monthly basis. If your business depends on storing customer information, it is crucial to have frequent backups, so that no information is ever lost. The customer information is a very useful tool for your business and can be converted into revenue.
If your business has scaled up faster than you expected and you are getting great traffic everyday. It would be foolish to rely just on plugins, at this point you will need the help of a security professional. Because if anything goes wrong, the professional will be there to make the diagnosis and solve the problem.
You will not have to do it yourself and your site is too much of an important asset to leave it unprotected. Plugins are useful but you can only expect them to perform specific functions.
The security expert will apply various measures to ensure that your site is not a victim of malware and even if the site is hacked, it can be live again without any problem. They can ensure that by performing regular backups. Regular backups plus having good site defenses makes your site reliable.
How to implement a WordPress maintenance plan yourself?
You can implement the site maintenance plan yourself with the following steps:
- Create a schedule for updating themes and plugins. Also create a staging environment to test the plugins and themes. Delete old plugins or any plugin that can create conflict.
- Use a backup plugin
- Perform regular malware scans using plugins like WordFence.
- Frequently check Core Web Vitals and site speed with tools like Page Speed Insights. Make the necessary changes to attain the top speed.
- Monitor the traffic through Google analytics and ensure that your hosting plan can keep up with your traffic levels.
- Manually check the site as a user instead of an admin.
- Use a crawling software to check broken links and 404 redirects.
- Optimize your database.
- Delete spam comments.
Implement a WordPress maintenance plan effortlessly
A good WordPress maintenance plan will keep your website running effortlessly which is good for business. Creating and implementing a maintenance plan yourself will take away many hours of your time.
If you are an entrepreneur you have many other business tasks to take care of and you should not have to spend your time on technical tasks.
If your business is new and doesn’t generate much revenue you can do the maintenance plan yourself and depend on plugins, but when you are generating revenue you will need experts who can keep your site running efficiently without any problems.
Engaging an expert will cost your company but the benefits are far greater than the costs. If you do not have the funds to hire an expert now, you can do it yourself but a maintenance plan is essential for the health of your business.