As information and website security gets even more important in 2020, what are you doing on your site to keep it secure, up to date, and functioning at a high level?

You need to update core plugins, theme files, and php software on a regular basis by an experienced web developer.

It’s like any car or appliance you buy for your home. You spend money on the purchase and need to ensure the quality of your car or appliance by scheduling routine maintenance by a licensed professional to make sure all is running smoothly. You can’t wait until something goes wrong to action. Like for example, if a developer is dangerous enough to locate out of date plugins on your WordPress site, theres a pretty good chance they can also install malware on your site and set up redirects to their own site to boost SEO cache with search engine. I’ve seen it too many times.

These are a few steps that your developer can take to ensure the hard earned dollars you spent to have your new site built in the first place, is safe, secure, and efficient:

1. Outdated files put your site at an enormous security risk

Seems easy enough right? Login to your WordPress dashboard and click “Update” for each plugin that needs it. But what happens when your dashboard returns an error such as “Your plugin is not available for automatic updates”. You need an experienced developer to verify all premium plugins with purchase codes and make sure any updates that were made to a given plugin is in harmony with the latest WordPress update. Also, another huge risk to your site is having inactive plugins present in your dashboard. You’ll need to remove those for sure. Overall, less is more with plugins but keeping them up to date is paramount.

2. Your site can break completely and require a total rebuild

Most hosting companies like WP Engine, Godaddy, and Kinsta allow customers with WordPress hosting accounts to create up to 30 days of full site backups that can be restored at anytime if there was ever an attack on your site or loss of functionality for anything that could go wrong. In some cases, I’ve seen business owners try to make these files updates themselves when they login into their site and see the “Update Available” note near their plugin or site core files. This can lead to your site going down temporarily and the need for a restore from backup provided by a good hosting company. These backups should be included in all maintenance plans by experienced developers. It’s the ultimate safety net if anything were to go wrong on your site. These backups allows business owners to rest easy at night!

3. Keep site visitors and Google happy and interacting with your business

One thing most companies offer with ongoing maintenance is SEO fixes, in conjunction with your routine updates. SEO based fixes are updates such as improved page speeds, Google now indexes site based on a mobile first strategy and how fast your site loads for users on their device before they leave to find what they are looking for elsewhere. Good developers include monthly page speed tests and includes a list of recommendations on top of what they are already doing form an update standpoint. Google will penalize your site if you have a high bounce rate due to a slow site.

On top of site speed fixes, monthly maintenance should take care of any UX (user experience) fixes that a business owner requires. Your site imagery, your navigation, your homepage layouts should be updated REGULARLY to keep things fresh and most importantly, built for your customers. You can gather this kind of data through web page heat mapping from companies like Hotjar and Mouseflow. These reports provide massively important data like where users are clicking, time on site/page, and how far down a typical users scrolls to get to your contact form at the bottom of your homepage. Over time, your website should be gathering data and mKing improvements that cater to the navigation patterns of your target audience.

Below are a few of the plans I currently offer that cover all of the bases to keep your site secure and running at peak performance:

  1. Monthly update of all WordPress files, theme, plugins, and php software | $100/month

  2. Monthly update of all WordPress files, theme, plugins, and php software, plus an hour (per month) of layout adjustments on the site, or custom design work to be used on the site (new banner images, branding refresh, etc.) | $200

  3. All of #2 plus a monthly check of hosting and domain services to ensure nothing expires unexpectedly. | $250

  4. All of #3 plus monthly site speed testing and improvement implementation, and monthly malware scans of your site to prevent any attacks | $300

Let me know any questions you have and contact me to take care of all this stuff for you so you can sleep soundly at night knowing the investment you made in your businesses site is safe!