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

WordPress Login Error ScreenWhile 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.

David Felfoldi

David Felfoldi

David Felfoldi is a digital marketing strategist for SHERPA Global. Over the past 15 years, David has guided the digital strategy behind notable organizations such as ADP, Spanx, Racetrac, Gables, and the National Center of Civil and Human Rights. When not tinkering with technology or musing on marketing David enjoys running and cycling adventures across the globe.

One Comment

  • It’s up to the web designer (or person selling the website) to really let the client know this in advance. I have created websites for other graphic designers who created and sold their client a website but never explained the importance of maintaining them. In the end the client always comes back with issues due to the theme experiencing problems and was upset to find out that they actually have to take care of the site or hire someone to do it for them.

    Great article!

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