When it comes to an open source CMS such as WordPress, updates are constantly being made by developers in order to keep up with the latest technology and security concerns. These updates are being implemented within WordPress, custom WP themes and plugins. Not staying on top of this can lead to website problems, errors, slow loading times, security vulnerabilities, and a plethora of other issues as well as the possibility for the site to not load at all. On a regular week-to-week or month-to-month basis, there are several things that need to be taken care of in order to keep your website in check. Here is what needs done at minimum:
1. Update WordPress CMS
Every now and then, WordPress rolls out a new version of its CMS. It is important to implement these updates with due diligence since these updates address a wide range of areas from site security/stability to performance.
2. Update Plugins
Your site uses at least one plugin, usually many more. Plugins extend the functionality of a WordPress website. The developers behind these plugins are constantly working to keep them up-to-date with the latest version of WordPress. Many plugins are free, but some require a license to get current updates and support. Make sure you have proper licensing for these.
3. Update WordPress Theme
Your site uses a Theme to control how your website looks. Theme developers are also constantly working on their products to keep their themes compatible with newer versions of WordPress and address any bugs or other problems with previous versions. As with plugins, many themes are free, but if you have a premium theme make sure you keep the license current to receive updates and support.
4. Create Off-Site Backups
If you have a hosting account with Site Rockstar you get daily backups for the last 30 days. What happens if there’s a problem with your site and a problem with the local backups? Short answer: You’re out of luck. It’s very important to keep off-site backups, ideally in two locations so you can be sure you’ll never loose your site completely.
5. Have a Plan for Site Issues
Sooner or later there will be a problem with a site update or even a security breach. If you site is hosted with Site Rockstar you can call the 24/7 emergency number to get basic troubleshooting help. If it’s a bigger issue (i.e. your site was hacked, a plugin or theme is no longer compatible and needs replaced, etc.) they will tell you to contact your web developer to address the issue. If you don’t have a web developer our Website Care Team can help.
6. Uptime Monitoring
It’s important to sign up for an uptime monitoring service. This tracks the overall performance of your site, uptime and downtime, alerts you if the site is down, and helps pinpoint when a problem occurred.
What Should You Do Now?
These are the most important things to consider when keeping your WordPress website updated and maintained. For more details on learning how to maintain your WordPress website visit the Site Rockstar Help Center or WordPress.org. If you’re not the DIY type or just don’t have time to do these things, we can take care of everything for you. Our Website Care Plans address everything mentioned above, plus a lot more!