If your WordPress website is an integral part of your business marketing plan (and it should be!) then you absolutely need a Website Care Plan.
Whether you use your website as an online credential, or it directly generates income (through ecommerce or lead generation) then you need to have a plan in place to make sure it is always up and running – performing and looking its best. Your website is like an employee that never sleeps – which is great but you sure as hell don’t want it looking like its come in to work after a hard night and is in need of some serious shut-eye!
At Bloom Online we offer Care Plans that give you the peace of mind of knowing that your website is being taken care of by pros who know what they are doing. But if you have the capacity and skill set on hand in your business, you can definitely manage your own website maintenance and updates. It all comes down to planning and scheduling the time to check in on your website regularly.
One of the foundational pieces of your Website Care Plan is your website hosting. I recommend you choose a good managed WordPress host for your site. These hosting platforms are built for WordPress with built in caching to make WordPress perform at its best and their support teams are generally WordPress experts – which is very handy when things go wrong that you don’t know how to fix. They are also secure – so you generally don’t have to worry about adding additional security plugins keep your site safe. With the additional benefits of one-click staging sites – for testing and trying new things – and offsite backups, manage WordPress hosts are the best bet for your business site.
Having a solid backup plan for is the other foundation of a good Website Care Plan. Your backups should be stored in a separate location to the rest of your site files. Storing your backups offsite makes sure that if anything happens to your server, or your site gets hacked, you can rest assured that you have your backups safely stored elsewhere out of harm’s way and can easily use them to restore your site.
How often you choose to backup your site will depend on how often your site is updated. For example, if your website is simply and online credential and you don’t update or add content very often, then daily backups should be enough. However, if you site is a busy ecommerce site you may need hourly or even real-time backups to make sure all your data is safe in case of disaster. UpdraftPlus and Blogvault are 2 services I would recommend for backing up your website.
Once you have these foundations in place, you will need to build a schedule to update and maintain your website. Here is the schedule that I recommend to business owners that want to manage their own sites:
- Uptime monitoring – to make sure you are alerted if your site goes offline
- Security monitoring – so you are the first to know if your site has any security issues
- Site file and database backups
- Plugin & Theme updates
- Malware scans
- Visual Inspection
- Test your forms
- Monitor traffic & search engine performance
- Clean your database
- Test your site loading time
- Search for broken links
- Check your Google Search Console account for errors/issues
- Review your website set up – are there new features that you could be using, better ways to do that things you currently have your website set up to do, what integrations or automations are available that you could use?
- Review you content to make sure it is up to date
- Renew your hosting, domain and any plugin or theme licences
If anything goes wrong, I recommend that you contact your hosting company first. Most managed hosting companies have very helpful support staff who may well be able to help you fix your site. If you need more in depth technical assistance Codeable is an excellent place to find vetted WordPress experts.
Having a Website Care Plan in place for your WordPress website gives you peace of mind that your website investment is going to continue to perform at its best and contribute to your business goals. Its definitely something that you can manage yourself, but if you’d rather leave it to the experts so you can focus on doing what you do best, book a call. We’d love to help.