Picture this: your brand new website is on the verge of launching.
You’re doing one last round of quality assurance to make sure everything is perfect:
- Your contact form is functioning properly
- Your homepage CTA is linked correctly
- Your newsletter signup pop-up is, indeed, popping up
Everything is good to go, so you update DNS records and wait for your site to propagate. Your beautiful new site is now launched, high-fives and back-pats all around!
Time to sit back, relax, and reap the rewards of your work… right?
A week rolls by.
Now that the honeymoon phase is over, you open up your browser and check out your site with some fresh eyes. As you land on your homepage, you notice your CTA link is dead.
Strange, but it could just be a bug.
To calm your nerves, you check your contact page, only to find your lead-generating form is now just displaying a shortcode. How could this have happened? You ran an extensive Quality Assurance just before launch, and all of these functionalities were working flawlessly.
Why is website maintenance important?
Websites are not just one-and-done projects. You don’t stop watering your garden once the flowers bloom, so why would you stop maintaining your website once it’s launched?
A WordPress site has three major components that are constantly being updated. Much like an iPhone, your site needs to update to the newest version to ensure the best possible performance.
The three components that are constantly updating are:
Your WordPress theme is the foundational framework for your website. It holds all of the code, page layout, and customization that makes your site unique. A theme’s developer will periodically create updates and patches for the theme that are used to fix small bugs within the theme’s core PHP files.
Plugins are a lot like apps for your phone. They are created by a third party and often let you use unique functionalities that otherwise would not be possible out-of-the-box. Running outdated plugins can cause that plugin’s functionality to break, and in some more extreme cases, crash your entire site (see the Contact Form issue explained above).
There are regular updates to the WordPress platform itself. These updates fix bugs and ensure speed, security, and compatibility with the constantly evolving, open-source WordPress community. It is imperative to update WordPress itself on your website whenever a new update is out, as your sites themes and plugins can be severely affected.
When updating your website’s theme, plugins, and WordPress core files, it is highly recommended that you take a backup of your site before updating. Not every plugin works with every version of WordPress, so there is always a chance that running a small site update can crash your site. Creating a backup acts as a safety net and allows you to throw up a working version of your site in case an update causes any issues.
Does maintaining your site seem a bit time consuming? With our BuildThis Pro and BuildThis Core maintenance and hosting plans, your WordPress website themes, plugins, and WordPress core files are constantly being updated and QA’ed by our team. Backups of your site are taken daily, so there is never the issue of permanent downtime.
We make sure your site is as healthy as possible, leaving you with more time and energy to focus on your business.