The Hidden Consequences of Not Doing WordPress Website Maintenance
Keeping an Eye on Your Website, Security, Performance & Marketing Maintenance
Most WordPress website owners understand that there is a certain level of maintenance required daily, weekly, and monthly in order to keep their site functioning properly and their customer data safe & secure.
The level of regular maintenance required depends on factors such as:
- The amount of traffic the site receives
- The number of plugins and addons running
- Number of scripts running
- Advanced configurations applied
- The complexity of functional elements
- Complexity of forms
- Degree of ecommerce usage
- Degree of shipping complexity
- The number of leads and sales the site is generating
Avoiding High Unexpected Maintenance Costs
It can often come as a surprise to many website owners that regular maintenance is even required at all. Especially for those with already limited budgets to support any further development, marketing, maintenance, or improvements of any kind. That leaves web administrators to try to explain why they need maintenance, often ending in confusion and even conflict. Such a scenario can result in site owners not wanting to do any maintenance at all, leaving their site unmonitored and vulnerable which can lead to many hundreds or thousands of dollars in avoidable additional maintenance charges.
Examples of Avoidable Maintenance Services Resulting in Additional Charges
- Partial or Total Database Corruption
- eCommerce Platform that can no longer get necessary updates resulting in long heavy maintenance
- Mysterious Performance + Networking issues that can take a long time to pinpoint
- Malware Infection + Cleanup Efforts or Total Website Takeover…
Regular Maintenance, Monitoring, and Tracking allow Web Administrators to pick up right where they left off eliminating so much additional investigative efforts and guess work resulting in far fewer maintenance and charges.
Having a Seasoned Operator Maintaining & Monitoring
Without an experienced operator at the helm watching over things on a regularly scheduled basis, issues are sure to follow catching both potential customers and site owners by surprise during business hours. The potential for a single lost sale is often enough to justify the need for regular website maintenance & monitoring services.
Sure there are things like enabling auto-updates that can help a bit but that’s more for small websites lite on plugins that are easy to update. Once a website has a good number of plugins and addons installed, the chance for conflicts, issues, errors, failures, bugs, and security vulnerabilities greatly rises. And without having an Operator Testing things like Plugin Updates first, unrevealed issues can lead to a ton of additional investigative charges in order to finally find the culprit that caused the website malfunction or total failure. There are many website errors that are very vague and give no clues as to the cause. Having an seasoned experienced WordPress operator in your corner watching your back is like having a good accountant. Pays for itself and in the case of the web and marketing, can result in a nice incremental or sharp increase in revenue.
A WordPress Site is a Collection of Ever Changing Ever Improving Moving Digital Parts…
A WordPress website is in a constant state of flux every week. Even though software developers test their updates before deployment to the masses, there is no way to test for every possible combination, configuration, or installation out there. Every website is different and a single issue can wreak havoc sending your existing traffic into Freefall… By the time you catch it, you could have lost a massive amount of traffic and sales that could take a serious amount of time to gain back.
It is much easier to retain the traffic you have and squeeze more leads out of it than try to climb back up after a massive traffic loss. Especially these days with the much tighter search engine algorithms and ranking factors. Ranking on page 1 of Google’s search results has never been harder so if you do manage to rank some content and see traffic building, you are going to want someone monitoring your site, doing security and performance maintenance, and making regular improvements. Competitors have people and bots watching and will exploit anything left undone or unmonitored to outflank your business to gain the traffic that was once all yours….
Why Performance Maintenance Should Be Done Regularly
Another large collection of maintenance tasks falls within the Performance Optimizations category. The overall load time and speed of a website is a major factor both site visitors and search engines look at very closely now. If your site is getting a failing grade, it is really not going to have much of a hope to rank in the search engines for much, and users will usually quickly get annoyed and exit out fast. Luckily, adding regular performance maintenance to your Administrators monthly duties will allow for a great deal of performance gains at an affordable rate that will be incrementally performed over time. Alternatively, you could secure the budgeting to have heavy optimizations expedited quickly.
Generally, the heaviest optimization maintenance is done in the beginning. After that, its all maintaining to a varying degree. The factors that typically contribute to a low website performance score include things like:
- Memory & Resource Issues
- Unoptimized & Unsized Images
- Excessive Usage of Theme Options & Addons
- Excessive Use of Plugins
- Slow Plugins
- Unoptimized Video Usage
- Not Utilizing Caching
- Unoptimized HTML, CSS, Java
- Heavy Scripts Loading on Every Page
- Server & Hosting Issues
- And Much More…
Having a fast-loading A+ Speed Score on every page is very achievable and well worth the effort as both your visitors and search engines will reward you for that. Especially your mobile visitors. Much like a Computer, a website also needs Cleaning, Optimizations, More Memory, and many other tweaks to keep it running nice and fast. A single extra second of load time can cause a dramatic drop in traffic, leads, and sales so pretty important to keep an eye on your site speed and do regular performance maintenance.
Doing Marketing Maintenance To Optimize a Sites Ability to Rank Well
Marketing Maintenance can be anything from doing Technical SEO work to repairing Google Errors. In any case, you will want someone doing checkups for technical marketing issues on a regular basis. After all, If your traffic is falling and you are not even aware, you cannot really do anything about it.
Site owners that are actually getting nice traffic should definitely keep tabs on at the very least the strongest ranking factors and critical technical SEO issues affecting their traffic levels. Checking for and repairs at least the most critical marketing issues each month will really help mitigate traffic losses and lead to increases. In some cases, some of the issues could have plagued a business for a long time and could lead to some nice traffic spikes fairly quickly.
What is Workflow Maintenance & Why Its So Critical To Your Operations and ROI
If your site seems to be getting a nice amount of website visitors but for some reason, you are not seeing the sales proportionately and figure you should be, that is certainly worthy of investigation. There could very well be a bottleneck or technical issue somewhere affecting your entire workflow. Perhaps Leads are captured but then don’t actually make it into your Customer Management System due to a field mapping issue or form integrations error. Doing regular workflow and customer journey testing can also help reveal areas of improvement or other additional hidden issues. Worth doing as part of overall regular maintenance.
The Need for Regular Security Monitoring & Maintenance
Hackers & Bots scour the web in searching for vulnerabilities on un-maintained websites that are not being monitored. Businesses that are serious about their web presence, growth, online reputation, and the safety of their website and customer data need an experienced operator that knows what to watch for preventing such issues from ever happening. Especially when it comes to security issues. A website can in many ways be compared to a computer. It runs on both hardware and software and is just as susceptible to malware, ransomware, and remote takeover as your computer is. It requires a firewall, security hardening, best security practices, and ongoing scanning and monitoring to quarantine such threats before they get out of hand. Your website is afterall a major public facing element of your business and you dont want it contaminated with spammy bad links or infecting your customers computers and phone. Sites that are left to sit unmonitored will grow more and more vulnerable and will eventually fall prey to infection, bad backlinks, malicious redirects, or total website takeover. Especially site owners with weak WordPress + Database + FTP Passwords.
Infections Leading to Banning, Blacklisting, and Total Removal Off of Search Engines
Once infected, Google and other search engines will quickly Ban the entire website and purge all your valuable links out of the search results in order to keep the public safe. This type of scenario can result in enormous unnecessary additional costs for business owners already struggling to survive. The severity of the malicious takeover and recovery time, if even possible still, will determine how quickly administrators can get the site back up and start to get it listed again in the search engines. Without someone watching for such a scenario, it could go unnoticed for a long time allowing competitors to outflank and steel all leads and sales making traffic and business recovery all take a lot longer to recover.
Consequences of Not Having a Proactive Maintenance Plan:
- Your website could be Hacked due to outdated WordPress Install Files, Plugins, Addons, Scripts, and Themes.
- Your website will become increasingly vulnerable from week to week.
- Your website could crash due to compatibility issues, bugs, errors, failures, and other conflicts.
- Important emails, notifications, and renewal dates are left unattended.
- Future maintenance and repairs can be a lot more difficult and costly.
- Customers could experience issues and lead to loss of leads and sales.
- Mobile issues could exist and go unattended causing more loss of sale.
- Important Google Errors can develop that will remain unresolved.
- Website Performance Issues can develop cause slowness and have a profound effect on traffic levels.
- Your site will miss out on new features, benefits, bug fixes, and all the hard work of all its software developers.
- Your site will place a higher strain on server resources further indirectly affecting your ability to rank well.
- If your site gets hacked, infected, or taken over by malware or ransomware, the cost for recovery could be steep if even possible.
- Your site could be plagued by bad backlinks and placed on blacklists affecting your domain and email health.
- Your site is in a constant state of flux but has no one at the helm watching for issues, security threats, or errors.
- Your site and database backups will remain outdated, untested, and pile up on the server.
- Your site database will become increasingly bloated affected performance, traffic, and user experience.
- WordPress & Database Vulnerabilities will increase eventually leading to total site takeover.
- Website Spam & Malicious Comments could result leading to more bad backlinks and threats.
- Your site’s forms and lead captures could develop an error but remain untested costing valuable leads and sales.
- Domain & DNS Issues could exist and remain unaddressed.
- Plugin Junk will increasingly add up leading to database and server bloat.
- Email issues could exist causing some or all your emails to go to junk folders.
- Your site could have broken links leading to nowhere and leaking valuable SEO.
- Technical SEO issues could exist affecting traffic levels, leads, and sales all year long.
- Large images may exist that require proper naming, sizing, optimization, and basic SEO.
- But most importantly, there will be no one at the helm watching for site & SEO issues or making any incremental improvements.