WordPress has a lot of moving parts. As a business owner, managing all the different aspects of a WordPress site at the same time can quickly become overwhelming.
A WordPress maintenance plan will allow you to break down the different maintenance tasks in manageable steps so that your site functions at peak performance all the time.
In this article, we’ll run through five reasons to create a maintenance plan for your WordPress site, including why and how to hire a professional through Codeable to do the work for you.
What is a WordPress Maintenance Plan?
A WordPress maintenance plan (sometimes called a WordPress care plan) is an actionable checklist of WordPress-specific tasks that monitors the health of your WordPress site. A plan like this keeps your site secure, optimized, and free of harmful malware.
Looking after your WordPress site is vital. WordPress recommends frequent site maintenance work by creating a calendar of maintenance procedures to optimize your site and increase search engine hits.
How do you go about it? You can build a WordPress maintenance plan yourself, or you could hire a freelancer to do it for you. If you decide on the latter, have a look at Codeable for WordPress experts who can implement a WordPress maintenance plan for you on an ongoing basis.
5 Reasons to Create a WordPress Maintenance Plan + What a Good Plan Should Include
There are compelling reasons to devote time to WordPress website maintenance. A good WordPress maintenance plan includes best practices of performance optimization for your site and WooCommerce store (if you have one), as mentioned below.
1. Minimize the chances of error while staying on top of WordPress updates
WordPress rolls out updates to the core version at least every few months, and it’s important to run them as and when they’re released. These updates patch security vulnerabilities and extend the functionality of WordPress core. Having a proper WordPress maintenance plan in place with periodic checks for updates in WordPress will ensure that your site is prepared for any changes to the core WordPress framework.
Plugin and theme developers also roll out period updates to their products. These updates typically patch vulnerabilities, add new features and keep the plugin or theme up-to-date with the current version of WordPress. Sometimes, however, WordPress plugin and theme updates can cause conflicts with existing aspects of your site.
An important part of a WordPress maintenance plan is creating a hidden staging environment from where to test out plugins and theme updates. This way, you can make sure that nothing will break, that the plugin meets your requirements, and that it will be compatible with your WordPress site.
A conflict with other plugins or an active website theme is easy to see, but the solution is hard to find. The plugin developer may not be of help as they aren’t aware of your website’s specifics and the other plugins you’re using. A WordPress troubleshooter can step in to solve the issue quickly, and build out a maintenance plan to avoid a similar situation from surfacing in the future.
2. Strengthen site security
WordPress, the most popular CMS on the web, is also the most hacked, accounting for 83% of compromised CMS platforms. Notably, 44% of the hacking is caused by outdated WordPress sites.
A good WordPress maintenance plan looks for any security vulnerabilities in your site and takes the necessary steps to mitigate them. You can secure your WordPress website in many ways, such as choosing a reliable hosting company, installing a firewall, and getting an SSL certificate. One of the easiest ways to protect it against hackers is to use a top-rated WordPress security plugin.
WordFence is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins. It scans your site for malware and filters out suspicious traffic. Regular security checks like these are of paramount importance, as a compromised WordPress site can be extremely damaging for your business – especially if you’re an eCommerce store holding customer, order and product details.
3. Avoid downtime as your business scales
Regular bouts of website downtime are undesirable. If your website is down or doesn’t function optimally and prevents end-users from completing a task, it can result in reduced website traffic, a loss of customers and other negative consequences.
A good WordPress maintenance plan will include a task for measuring the amount of traffic coming through your site, in comparison to the limitations of your hosting set-up. This is called uptime monitoring, and it ensures that your site loads without any issues even when you have a spike in traffic.
Uptime monitoring helps ensure that your website is up and running all of the time. This can be achieved with a monitoring solution that monitors the front-end and back-end issues that affect your website’s availability. Your WordPress maintenance plan can include actions to conduct the required checks and make your site more reliable.
4. Ensure a great user experience (UX)
Having a WordPress maintenance plan in place will allow you to spot any errors as and when they arise. By periodically scanning your site for broken links, images and redirects, you can fix problems and ensure a smooth user experience (UX) for your website visitors.
Core Web Vitals are another important aspect of a good user experience and a key ranking factor for SEO. As opposed to focusing on generic metrics like website loading speed, Core Web Vitals connect various aspects of your WordPress site’s performance to the user experience.
A WordPress maintenance plan will allow you to stay on top of your Core Web Vitals, which include metrics like Largest Contentful Paint (how fast the largest block of your page renders on-screen), First Input Delay (how long it takes after loading until your site becomes interactive), and Cumulative Layout Shift (a measure of the visual stability of your site).
Core Web Vitals metrics are measurable SEO performance indicators that show how your users experience your website. You can use this information to focus on those aspects of user experience that need improvement to attract return visitors and keep shopping abandonment rates low, among other advantages.
5. Regular backups can save your site
Backups of your WP site are a fundamental maintenance task. Carrying out regular site backups will keep all of your data in one place, allowing you to restore your site in the event of a security compromise or critical system failure.
You can go about it in two ways: use a plugin that automates website backups or engage a WordPress expert to take care of your site’s security.
Updraft Plus is a popular free plugin that lets you schedule automated backups, which can be restored from your admin dashboard at any time. You can set backup schedules every 2, 4, 8 or 12 hours, on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. If your day-to-day business involves storing customer information and orders, then it’s a good idea to backup as frequently as possible: daily backups are the recommended frequency.
Alternatively, an experienced WordPress security professional can look after your site security, which will give you greater protection than if you were to handle it yourself. The expert will harden your site’s security by implementing various measures, including daily backups that allow you to carry on your business even if a new malware wipes out your data.
Note: Codeable is not affiliated with any of the (plugins) recommendations mentioned in the post.
How to implement a WordPress maintenance plan
With the idea that the maintenance plan will cover backups, site security, malware removal, plugin updates and more, you can then determine how you’d like to implement it.
Do it yourself
You can implement a WordPress maintenance plan yourself by identifying the aspects of your site that require routine maintenance and creating a calendar for scheduling that maintenance. This would require you to:
- Create a schedule for updating themes and plugins, and a staging environment to test them on. Delete old or unwanted plugins.
- Use a backup plugin to automate periodic backups of your website (ideally daily).
- Set up regular malware scans using a WordPress security plugin like WordFence.
- Frequently check Core Web Vitals and site speed with tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, and make the necessary speed optimization to your site to attain top scores (in a staging environment, if necessary).
- Monitor traffic levels through Google Analytics, and ensure your hosting plan is sufficient to handle traffic levels.
- Optimize your database using a tool like WP-Sweep.
- Use a crawling software such as Screaming Frog to check for broken links and 404 redirects.
- Manually test your site after updates by logging out of the admin dashboard and clicking through the site as if you were a user.
- Make the HTML, CSS and XHTML pages on your website standards-compliant to ensure that users don’t experience any problems using your site. Typically, this is done annually or when you make significant changes to your site.
- Delete spam comments (if there are one too many) in batches.
There’s a lot to do, and automation can take care of some of your WordPress maintenance tasks without requiring your intervention. But automating those tasks for free isn’t a good enough reason to manage site maintenance on your own. Also, every maintenance task cannot be automated for free. Think about the time you can actually afford to spend on maintaining your site, and how much you can run on autopilot with plugins.
Hire a WordPress professional
The alternative to a DIY implementation is having a WordPress expert do it for you.
You may wonder if you really need to bring in a professional and pay for their services, but keep in mind that if you don’t have a WordPress maintenance plan you could get hacked, lose customers due to a poor UX, lose your data and miss out on SEO gains. All of this matters a great deal if you’re a solopreneur or business owner making money via your WordPress-based website.
Someone with a personal blog or site that has a non-commercial purpose can do with minimal maintenance and depending on how often they use their website – not need it at all. For anyone that runs an income-earning business on WordPress, due attention to site maintenance will help boost conversions, retain customers, and improve search engine rankings.
There are a variety of companies online that offer maintenance plans for your site. However:
- Not all are specialized in WordPress
- Some maintenance packages can be very pricey and some companies may even apply a price depending on your website’s number of visitors
- Many do not include support after maintenance has been completed
- Many do not cover essential services like security monitoring or uptime monitoring
- Some offer weekly service reports and other services that are not necessarily useful for small businesses.
Engaging a WordPress professional through Codeable
Codeable is a WordPress freelance platform that matches your project with WordPress experts. It introduces and connects you with a selected number of professionals who have the right skills and experience, and you take it from there. In this sense, Codeable isn’t a traditional hiring platform.
Generic marketplaces that accommodate all types of talent require you to review the many professionals on the platform and may ask you to pay extra to access vetted talent.
Codeable offers some of the features of a hiring platform, but has added benefits. While all WordPress developers on Codeable are vetted, they will provide an estimate only if they’re absolutely clear on the scope of the work, and if they can deliver on-time and on-budget.
Choosing Codeable for your WordPress maintenance services means saving time and gaining peace of mind. Devote your time to strategic and profit-generating tasks, while your WordPress support and maintenance duties are in capable hands.
The process to hire a WordPress professional on Codeable is easy:
- 1. Fill out a brief
- 2. Codeable recommends 1 – 5 experts who are suitable for the job
- 3. Get a price estimate for the work
- 4. Start working with your expert on the maintenance and support plan of your site
It’s fast! You can get matched with one or more WordPress experts within a day.
Create and implement a WordPress maintenance plan painlessly
A good website maintenance plan will keep your website functioning properly and up to date, which is essential for business success. Creating and implementing a WordPress maintenance plan involves many tasks and hours of your time. It may not be feasible if you’re a busy business or have little or no technical knowledge.
Engaging a WordPress expert will cost you, but the returns will far outweigh what you pay those professionals for their specialized services. Before you bring a WordPress professional on board, you want to make sure that they are vetted and can actually get the job done to your satisfaction. And if you don’t relish the prospect of participating in a bidding war, where price tends to sometimes overshadow competence, you’ll have to look past generic freelance marketplaces.
With Codeable, you can have your cake and eat it too!
Codeable experts will only engage with projects they know they can work on and the pricing model is fair, so you’re never at a cost disadvantage compared to bidding-based generic marketplaces.
Don’t wait to access WordPress professionals who will maintain your website in top shape!
Start now – submit your project to get a free, no-obligation estimate.