All too often, website owners will put the maintenance of their site on the back burner, leaving it open to possible hack attacks and vulnerabilities. In our blog post WordPress Best Practices: Why is WordPress Maintenance Important, we explain how maintaining your website is compared to an oil change for your car. With your car, we are all aware that an oil change is necessary in order to keep it running, as well as prolong the life of the car. In many ways, your website must be treated the same way.
As web developers, we see that malicious activity is found no matter the size of your website. For hackers, they aren’t just fishing around for information, but instead, plan to hijack your site to gain full control of your server, which could result in spam emails, exploitation of your employees and customers, as well as destroying your website’s reputation. On the bright side, this can be completely avoidable by performing routine website maintenance to ensure that all components of your website are functioning in a safe and healthy manner. As we enter 2020, take a look below at the many reasons why it’s important to perform maintenance on your website and why you should take action sooner rather than later.
Security & Vulnerabilities
Studies show that security is the primary reason why website maintenance should be taken seriously. When your website has outdated plugins, themes or code, hackers will take advantage of those weak spots to pull back the layers of your website. This causes a problem for you as a website owner, and it will also create issues for your visitors too. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that everything from your CMS to the plugins and themes that you use is up-to-date with the latest versions to ensure a high-level of security is in place.
It’s important to routinely perform quality checks on your website to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Clicking through your website every now and then is a great way to stay on top of errors. Things to look out for when quality checking your website are 404 or redirect errors, spam comments, submission form errors, site speed, broken links, etc.
If you use Google Analytics or any website tracking platform, an important report to check out would be your bounce rates. Check out the pages that have high bounce rates and see if it’s due to an error. Optimizing pages that have high bounce rates will benefit your SEO efforts. If your website has a high bounce rate, search engines could rank websites higher than you.
Search Engine Optimization
Google loves nothing more than websites that constantly add fresh content to their website, and the same applies to website maintenance. When your website is continuously secure, search engines will take that into consideration when ranking your website. By performing routine maintenance, you will continue to boost your website through search engines.
Along with routinely maintaining your website, it’s important to take a backup of your site. Having a backup will come in handy if for any reason your website was to go down or be hacked. Having that data will allow you to restore your site with any data or customizations that was lost. It’s important to note that before you update any plugins or themes, you should take a proper backup of your site in the event that your current site doesn’t take the new updated plugins or theme.
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