Most people understand and accept that complex machinery, like a car, requires routine maintenance in order to run reliably. The same logic applies to the complex machinery behind a website’s content management system (CRM), and even more so with an open-source CMS like WordPress.
Why Every WordPress Needs Maintenance
Selecting WordPress as your website’s CMS was a smart decision—it is robust, easy-to-use, and fully customizable. But don’t let your savviness end there! In order to perform reliably, WordPress websites require routine maintenance.
WordPress is Susceptible to Hacks and Security Threats
As the dominant CMS powering millions of websites, hackers often target specific WordPress versions, modules, and themes. While patches are usually quickly released once vulnerabilities become known, these updates require installation, and often by an experienced WordPress developer.
Default WordPress Settings Are Not Secure
While quick and relatively easy to install, a default WordPress installation also comes with many vulnerabilities. From access to themes and plugins to universal user registration to announcing your username in a login error message, anyone can easily figure out information about your website such as server, OS, and CMS version. What’s more, you shouldn’t assume these default settings will be made secure by your marketing agency or web developer. Changing these settings requires thoughtful expertise.
WordPress Performance Degrades Overtime
There have been nearly a hundred WordPress version updates since the 2003 release of version 1.0. While these updates add new features, they also address security vulnerabilities, or make better use of newer optimization techniques. When these updates are applied, however, they often don’t work with all your other customizations and modules; they require developer-grade troubleshooting experience.
But I thought WordPress Was Free, Right?
While a license to use WordPress is indeed free, WordPress maintenance is not free. Consider all the following basic WordPress maintenance tasks your website should undergo regularly:
- Core WordPress version updates
- Plugin updates
- Theme updates
- Security patches
- Uptiming monitoring
- Backup schedule (nearline and off-site)
- Removing unused or deprecated plugins
- Cleaning out spam comments
- Checking against dead links (internal and external)
- Updating XML sitemap (for SEO)
- Updating robots.txt file (for SEO)
Don’t be penny wise but pound foolish—keep your WordPress website up and running smoothly by budgeting for necessary maintenance.