It keeps happening.
Say I’m building someone a shiny new WordPress website. Normally this is where I ask what their plans are for maintaining it once live. And the the most common reaction I get?
Or the email equivalent.
There’s a big assumption that once a WordPress website is built, it’s done. It’ll keep on working fine – after all, millions of other people use it.
This may be true of pay-to-use platforms like Squarespace, but certainly isn’t true for WordPress. You see, WordPress is free-to-use which is very attractive to most people. However there is still a price – NO support department. That means no backups, security is your responsibility (not theirs) and you can’t ask for help very easily. In short, you get what you pay for (or don’t pay for in this case).
The problem is most websites start out all shiny and new. It’s set up with the latest version of WordPress, and everything’s fine. Life is rosy. But over time there are things that will happen which affect it’s running or it’s value to you – just like with your PC.
You will continually add new content…
Gradually, by adding more and more content you’re adding to the value of your website. That means you need make backups! Groan, yes we all fail to do it until it’s too late. Even if you have a copy of all the original text and photos you added to your site somewhere, putting it all back together as a website can take a huge amount of time – unless you implement and maintain a good backup tool.
The software needs updating from time to time…
Most WordPress websites use anything from 1 to many pieces of software to make it run and work (I’m talking plugins here). All those pieces need to be kept at a compatible level, but the challenge is they’re often made by different companies who release updates at different times – so it’s like spinning plates.
Internet attacks are now common with WordPress…
Yes, there are unscrupulous people out there trying stuff designed to bring down or enslave your website. With WordPress this kind of behaviour rocketed up to new levels in 2015, as hackers realised most people don’t maintain their WordPress websites. If it does happen it’s costly work to clean up, so it’s best prevented.
Is it worth risking?
So what am I saying? I’m simply urging you to think about two things:
- How important the smooth and continuous running of your website is to your business. It’s too often something people realise only when it goes down.
- How much cost and value you’ve put into your website. I’ve created a simple calculator to give you can idea on what it would cost to replace.
So don’t risk downtime or the content you’ve built up. If you can’t do it yourself, I have a monthly package that covers essential maintenance for you.