A website care plan is a rigorous, structured, and consistent routine which optimizes your WordPress website’s health, speed and security.
Without a proper game plan, the systems that make your website function can quickly change from assets to liabilities. WordPress is open sourced software (meaning its code is contributed to by many), so there are many cooks in the kitchen. The downside to being open source is that any of those plugin authors could inadvertently bring your business to a grinding halt.
Most websites have at least 10 to 15 plugins running simultaneously. Some have double or triple that. Every file on your web host will be come infected, including the other websites on the same hosting account, if an outdated plugin is hit with a virus. If you have multiple websites, your risks and responsibilities multiply.
The purpose of a website care plan is to make sure that the underlying systems running your website are safe and functional.
Would you drive across the desert or over an icy mountain pass in a car that hasn’t been started up in the past 6 months? 1 year? Probably not. Let’s break down exactly what you should be doing every day, week, or month, to avoid a website meltdown.
1. You should be making scheduled off-site backups of your website, its database and files.
Make sure that you have backups of your website before doing any technical work. “Off-site” means that they are stored in a location that is not on your web hosting account. Popular solutions for this are Dropbox, Google Drive, or AmazonS3.
Just because updating a plugin can break your entire website doesn’t mean you shouldn’t update your plugins. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does not ring true in the area of website design. “If it ain’t broke.. yet, it will break soon” is more accurate. Everything WordPress related is in a constant state of change, and the best plan of attack is to seek out and smooth over any potential bumps in your website’s setup.
2. Be sure that you know how to restore your website from an earlier backup in the event of an error.
If you’re in the progress of updating your website and it suddenly breaks, you need an “un-do” button so to speak. You need to be familiar enough with your database, web host, and WordPress setup to restore an earlier version of your website before those changes were made. This is why it comes in handy to have daily backups of your website and its files & content, as opposed to weekly or monthly.
3. You should be updating your WordPress core software at every new release.
WordPress makes updates to their software for a reason – because it needs to be updated. Running your website on an older version of the software is putting your business and your customers at risk. It’s important to have a backup of your site before doing this step in case your plugins or other software is incompatible with the update.
4. You should be updating your website’s plugins as often as possible.
Remember the Panama Papers? Yeah, the 11.5 million leaked financial documents that sent shockwaves throughout the world? The hackers infiltrated through an outdated image slider plugin on a WordPress website. I can name three or four clients who currently use this plugin on their website. We don’t condone illegal offshore banking, but I’ll bet that Mossack Fonseca wishes they’d updated that damn Revolution Slider, or just spent the measly $65 per month on a website care plan!
The moral of the story is – if you value your privacy, personal data, and the safety of yourself and your customers, you need to be extremely vigilant with maintaining your plugins.
5. You should be using a security scanner to check every file for malicious content.
Security scanners can pick up on vulnerabilities within your system before they are actually exploited. As new exploits become common knowledge, security scanners can keep an eye out for outdated plugins or configurations that could lead to a security breach. If possible, run a security scan on your website every single day.
6. You should limit login attempts and change the location of your login page.
Imagine a hoard of zombies piling up outside of your WordPress login page, day in and day out. These spam robots are literally trying every single combination of numbers, letters, and symbols possible until the right string of characters happens to work. They will sit there and do this for years and years on end.
Limiting login attempts can alleviate this problem, but an even better solution is to change the location of your login page so that the zombie hoard can’t even find the door (which is normally located at /wp-login.php/ or /wp-admin/ )
So, will you save money doing it all yourself?
Possibly. But will you do it right? Will you do it consistently? Do you have enough time or bandwidth to worry about this kind of thing? Probably not.
For example: If I needed an alarm and security monitoring system on my office building, I would probably hire an alarm and security company to install the equipment and monitor the cameras. It’s a little bit silly to work all day in your building, clock out at 5PM, put on your security hat, and then sit in a different room and monitor the camera recordings of your office space, isn’t it?
Some people might have the time and energy to wear all of the hats in their business, even for security, but most people don’t.
And here comes the pitch!
Because we have acquired so many clients over the last 10+ years doing website design, we’ve dealt with every sort of panic situation possible. To be honest, we developed the idea of a website care plan in order to alleviate the chaos and stress of dealing with hacked websites and extremely time sensitive projects. All situations in life are just better when you think ahead.
Websites Cost Less to Maintain than to Repair
Inexperience and neglect can damage the look and functionality of your web site. When that happens, you have a choice to make. Either you can try and fix it yourself, in which case you may do further damage, or you can then pay the necessary 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 car running properly, a website care plan helps keeps your web site running properly.
Our Experience Will Save You Money
Your business is yours and only you know what’s best for it. Maybe you have enough free time to handle WordPress security in addition to your other responsibilities. If so – great.
If you think it makes more sense for a professional team to handle the website care plan for your website, you might be right. Would you try to fight a court battle without a lawyer? Try to fix your damaged heart valve without the benefit of medical advice? Why take on the responsibilities of maintaining your own web site if you’re not a professional web designer?
The Choice is Yours
In addition to security scanning, plugin updates, software updates, and off-site website backups, our website care plans include discounted hourly rates, free malware cleanup, designated hours, and a monthly website report.
Learn more on our website care plan page.