GXC MEDIA 2019
As I always tell my clients, web maintenance is entirely *optional*.
But is it really worth the risk?
After all, if my website looks fine, it should be stay that way as long as I don’t touch anything… right?
This may be true to a certain extent.
However, websites are a lot like cars. They need to be maintained whether or not you use them. You could definitely leave a car on display in your garage for a long time without doing any maintenance on it, and it will certainly still look fantastic! But would you dare take that car out for a spin?
If you’re reading this, I assume that your website is running on a CMS such as WordPress.
As of 2020, WordPress powers 35% of the internet. Hence, hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit security vulnerabilities to hack into WordPress. In response, WordPress constantly releases new versions to solve the security issues of the previous version.
When this happens, the developers who create the themes and plugins used on your website also have to release a new version that is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
This is a never-ending cycle.
The problem comes when these themes and plugins are not compatible with each other. When this is happens, there is a good chance that the website will either not function properly, or just crash entirely.
Despite popular belief, your web maintenance guy isn’t just clicking a button and collecting a free monthly pay check. He probably couldn’t even if he wanted to, because the risk is just too high! Here are some of the regular processes of doing web maintenance.
In order to keep the website secure from low-life hackers who utilise bots to hack into every and any WordPress website possible, it is important to keep WordPress, your themes, and your plugins up to date at all times.
As mentioned in the last section, the problem comes when the new versions of plugins and themes are incompatible with each other. This is why keeping regular backups is essential, so that if a certain update goes wrong, there will always a backup file of the website.
It is also highly recommended that backups are also kept offline in a physical drive, as there is a greater risk of online backups being lost or compromised.
Any website is vulnerable to being hacked.
Hackers do this for a number of reasons including:
It is important to be consistently monitoring the website for activity such as failed login attempts, suspicious code embedded into the pages, and suspicious activity.
And more often than not, the person hired to handle web maintenance ends up becoming a full time IT consultant!
If you have a HTML website, there would likely be no maintenance fee as these platforms do not utilise the WordPress CMS.
However, the skillset needed to make any changes to such websites is much higher, therefore companies will often charge an even higher price for any edits to be made.
The reason why some companies would choose to use HTML websites despite the higher cost is because they tend to offer a higher level of customisation.
For big companies like Apple and Nike, this in necessary as they have extremely specific requirements and demand a highly specialised branding identity. They are also able to afford the manpower needed to keep such a website running.
However, this level of customisation is not something most SMEs require, hence it would be impractical and not cost-effective to have a HTML website.
With WordPress, you are able to choose from a bigger market of freelancers who specialise in WordPress development, as compared to having a HTML website where you are usually stuck with the company that made the website for you to provide technical support and content updates, or have to search for another developer who is willing to work with someone else’s style of code.
Look at it this way.
With a custom coded website, you own a house that only a certain cleaning company knows how to clean.
If the company happens to provide a terrible service, that’s too bad for you because you’re pretty much stuck with them.
With a WordPress website on the other hand, you own a house that can be cleaned by any cleaning company. Hence if you are unhappy with the service provided, or are able to find a better deal elsewhere, you can always fire your current vendor (within contract terms of course).
A web maintenance package typically comes with all the services that will prevent all the possible issues outlined in this article. Below, I provide the various tiers of web maintenance packages I offer under my company, gxcmedia.