You can’t ignore it – unexpected website downtime is bad for business. Compared to the losses you may incur due to a malfunctioning website, the cost of WordPress maintenance is a relatively small (and absolutely invaluable) investment.
Unexpected downtime is only one issue that businesses face when they try to do DIY WordPress maintenance. You also run the risk of messing up your site’s appearance or functionality, getting penalized by search engines, and leaving business and customer data vulnerable to hackers.
Professional WordPress maintenance services are dedicated to keeping your site healthy, secure, and user-friendly. Here are nine signs it’s time to let a WordPress expert take the wheel.
^DIY WordPress maintenance
1. Work has ramped up and you don’t have as much time for WordPress maintenance
Could you learn to fix everything on your car? Sure, but a great mechanic could do it in a lot less time. If your air conditioning breaks, do you disassemble the unit and try to find the fault? Of course not! That’s why there are trained HVAC technicians. Would you be able to master programming, user experience, responsive design, data analysis, industry trends, search engine optimization, and so on? Probably (you seem pretty smart), but you also have other things to do.
WordPress maintenance takes time, especially if you don’t have the tools to automate the process. While you might be keeping a close eye on your website initially, as soon as you get busy it’s the first thing to drop down on your to-do list.
A WordPress expert has time to ensure your site is always online and running smoothly. (It’s kind of our job.)
2. You’ve reached your technical limits
Whether through inexperience or neglect, it’s easy to damage the look and functionality of your website. When this happens, you have two options:
- Try and fix it yourself, potentially making things worse and definitely wasting time better spent running your business, or
- Pay someone more experienced a hefty fee to fix it for you.
At this point, you might as well have invested in preventative maintenance services.
3. You’re worried about website security & hackers
WordPress itself is a very secure platform but, unfortunately, the same can’t always be said for the hundreds of thousands of themes and plugins developed by the community.
We have years of experience working in the community and know which plugins and themes are well maintained and which have a history of being trouble (cough, JetPack, cough). We also know the warning signs of a poorly coded plugin or theme and can steer you to safe and well maintained alternatives.
Security is about more than just knowing which plugins are safe. It involves:
- Making sure your WordPress configuration is locked down
- Verifying that your host (server) is properly configured
- Making sure you’re not unknowingly infected with malware
- And if you are, safely and completely removing it
Expert WordPress maintenance companies take a comprehensive approach to security that typical users simply don’t have the time or resources to implement and maintain.
4. You want to take advantage of new features but don’t know if it’s safe to update WordPress
Every day thousands of plugins and themes are updated with new features. If you’re running on the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, you’re missing opportunities. There are so many things to be improved by staying on top of updates and implementing new features and functionality.
That said: When your WordPress site is telling you there are updates, you’re living dangerously if you click “Update” without backups.
When an update inadvertently breaks some part of your site (this WILL happen), you might not notice until weeks later. That means it’s difficult to say:
- What went wrong
- When it went wrong
- How it went wrong
- How far back you need to revert your site if you haven’t logged changes.
WordPress agencies identify these issues immediately and have the expertise to fix them to minimize downtime (without screwing up anything else).
5. Your WordPress site keeps going down
WordPress downtime hits some businesses harder than others, but it’s not a good look for any company. If your business operates exclusively online, downtime means your sales come to a grinding halt. Every second of downtime is more critical to you than it would be to a business that only conducts 25% of its transactions online.
The volume of website sales is another factor in the impact downtime has. If you average $5,000 in sales per hour, then every minute of downtime is costing you $83 (that’s $120,000 if your site goes down for an entire day). Just imagine if your site went down during Black Friday. 😱
A WordPress maintenance company is constantly monitoring your site’s uptime and can quickly diagnose and fix the issue. You’ll see minimal losses from downtime (if any at all).
6. Your website is as slow as a tortoise in a 0.5x-speed YouTube video
By now everyone knows that speed affects performance; from your ranking in the search results to your conversion rates, having a site that is fast and efficient matters.
Improving website speed could mean:
- Installing a great caching plugin
- Optimizing your images
- Reducing the number of elements loaded on each page
- Reviewing your analytical data to see where visitors are having trouble
- Or just working with you to improve the general user experience
That means getting it right on mobile, too. If your website isn’t responsive or mobile friendly, that hurts your bottom line.
7. You want to improve search engine optimization (SEO)
You might not realize it, but the security of your website, as well as its speed, can impact how your site ranks in Google search. If you don’t have an SSL certificate for HTTPS or your website is slow to load, it might as well be invisible online because Google will prioritize other websites – including your competition – over yours.
A comprehensive WordPress search engine optimization plan can assist with technical and on-site SEO including meta tags, keywords, content, and management to improve your ranking in search engines.
8. You don’t have good backups (or any at all, eek)
You’ve just updated a plugin or theme and your site crashed. It’s completely unusable. Time to restore from a backup. Oh wait, you don’t have one.
That’s a scenario you don’t want to be in. Having a reliable, accessible backup is critical in an emergency, or even if you made a change you don’t like and want to revert your site back to a previous state.
Many hosts now provide integrated backup solutions but we usually find them lacking in several ways:
- Sometimes they’re stored on the same server as your website. What happens if that server crashes or your host goes out of business? Bye bye website.
- The backups aren’t always automated, and they don’t usually store many of them at a time. What if you need to restore from a week ago, or a month?
- You can’t configure the backups. Almost every server backs up on a schedule that you can’t control and creates the backups without your being able to modify what gets backed up and when.
Partnering with a WordPress maintenance company means you get backups!! Frequency will vary by agency–with Barrel Roll, you get weekly or daily backups stored securely on an off-site server that you can access any time. We’ll even restore the data for you if needed. Want to keep them longer? You can download them at any time and keep them forever! We’ll also work with you to configure the backup to suit your needs.
Reliable backups are especially important if you run an eCommerce site because not having them can mean losing customer orders, contact entries, and content changes.
9. You want access to dedicated technical support & customer service
Are you sick of Googling things to fix your site? Are you tired of translating web dev Klingon tech-speak into English so you can make your site look the way you want?
We’re fluent in WordPress tech-speak. It’s what we do. Our maintenance services come with dedicated U.S.-based technical support over phone, chat, and email. No more waiting on hold for half an hour to get answers to your questions. We’re here for you.
Conclusion: Do you need WordPress maintenance services?
If this is your reaction to the above article, then you need professional WordPress maintenance services.
(Final danger gif count: 5)
LOOKING FOR A WORDPRESS EXPERT?
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