What is Website Maintenance, and why is it important?
Website maintenance is the most important tool in your arsenal to keeping your website secure and functioning. Website maintenance protects you from the very real threat of hackers, promotes a good Google ranking, and keeps your information up-to-date. Off-Center Design offers ongoing, monthly website maintenance to all of our clients. After all, what good is a website if it’s a magnet for malware and a low SEO rank?
What’s included in Website Maintenance:
Each of Off-Center Design’s website maintenance contracts comes standard with five checklist items to cover the most important essentials. Those essentials are:
1. WordPress Platform Updates
WordPress releases core software updates periodically — about once every month or so as technology develops and hackers find avenues to exploit. If WordPress (as with any website platform) is left un-updated, your website will be vulnerable to attacks from hackers. In addition to these holes being the fastest way for a hacker to break into your website, similar functionality holes will break your website in the blink of an eye. It’s like driving a car and never changing the oil. If the core isn’t maintained, eventually the whole thing will come to a screeching halt.
2. Basic Plugin Update Maintenance
What is a plugin? Think of it as an app that is built to integrate into your website’s core software to provide additional functions, such as an event calendar or social media share buttons. These plugins are built by developers. And each plugin is usually built by a different developer. Each developer will release updates as technology changes and evolves to keep your website safe and running smoothly. Your plugins also need to be updated to maintain compatibility with the latest WordPress core update. As a result, plugin updates occur several times each week.
3. Regular Website Backups
Imagine the worst happens and the server that is home to your website is damaged. Your website goes down, and all the information on the server is gone. That means your website has vanished into a digital black hole, never to be seen again. Could you afford to start over on a new website immediately? Do you have the time and the assets for such an emergency? Instead of worrying about this scenario, be confident that it will never be a problem with regular website backups.
At the beginning of each website maintenance agreement, the best backup plugin is installed on your website at no additional cost to you. (Unless your website was created by Off-Center Design, in which case the plugin has already been installed.) This plugin creates a current copy of your entire website, which is then saved to Off-Center’s local computer. If anything ever happens to your website, like it becomes infected with malware or is hacked, we can scrub your domain back to squeaky clean and reset your website in almost no time. Anytime there’s a significant change to your website, like a blog post addition, a new backup is created to ensure you’re not losing anything if the website needs to be restored.
Note: In the event that your website is hacked or an outside party installs malware on your website, additional costs will be incurred to clean and restore your website.
4. Brute-Force Monitoring
In addition to logging in once per week to update the WordPress core and the plugins, Off-Center Design monitors all website maintenance sites constantly through a security plugin that is installed and configured to recognize normal website use and potentially malicious hacking attempts. If anything fishy starts to happen — like a hacker is making multiple attempts to log in, or a file has been modified on the back-end of your website — Off-Center is notified and can quickly handle the situation. If the threat is suspicious enough, Off-Center will log in to your website, no matter what time of day, and manually block the threat.
5. Simple Corrections or Changes Throughout Website as Needed
Simple website corrections and changes are included as a standard feature of website maintenance. If you see a sentence that doesn’t fit your business model anymore, or you have an updated photo you want on your website, this kind of simple change is included at no extra cost. A simple correction is defined as anything that takes less than 20 minutes to complete on your website, once per month. Each time a correction or change has been made, specific steps to achieve great SEO with that change are made. If changes are not requested throughout a month, the time cannot be saved for later.
Custom Website Maintenance Agreements
Additional maintenance requirements, such as updating an events calendar or blog posting, can easily be added to any website maintenance agreement. If you know there’s something you’ll need that doesn’t fall under the above definition of a simple change, then let’s talk about it. We can build you a custom maintenance agreement if you’re going to need information updated frequently throughout your website.
Is Website Maintenance right for you?
- Are you confident you can update the plugins, platform, and monitor for brute-force hacking independently?
- Are you nervous about the security of your website?
- Are you concerned about making a mistake on your website while you make a content edit?
- Are you too busy to keep up with your website maintenance?