I like to think of WordPress as a big puzzle. WordPress itself is the frame. The theme is the pretty picture. Then there are all the pieces (plug-ins) that come together to make it work. What many people don’t realize when they choose to have a WordPress site built is that all these working parts need to be maintained.
When I build a WordPress site I use plug-ins for different functions; the contact form is one, SEO is another, maybe a slider on the home page for another. By the time a site is done there are usually about 10-12. The majority of these plug-ins are free, as is WordPress. The theme you choose can be free or paid, depending on the complexity you want or need.
All these puzzle pieces need to work with one another and be tested to make sure they do. Every time there’s an update you need to check it again to make sure they’re all compatible or you’ll have to go look for a replacement.
Themes have both major and minor updates. After they’ve been released many people will email the theme’s developer asking questions and some of these will be rolled into the update. Other changes can make the theme function better – such as loading faster. The theme needs to be updated to make sure it continues to function well too. It’s like letting your oil change go for a year or two. The car may run OK but it may cause more harm in the long run. Better to keep it on a regular maintenance schedule.
Because WordPress is free there’s always that risk it can be hacked. Can you imagine someone logging into your site and changing the text … or changing the photos to porn? I’ve seen it happen! And if you don’t check your site every day it could be a while before it’s noticed – except by the people who decide never to come back because of what they saw. One way to avoid that is to not use the default log-in of ‘admin’. That’s like leaving your door wide open for trouble. Along with the plug-ins and theme, WordPress is updated regularly as well to improve security and functionality.
If all this is making your head spin we can help keep your digital machine well oiled and running beautifully. We have maintenance packages to keep your website updated, to reduce the threat of hacking, keep the pieces functioning and keep it at the top of the search engines. Some businesses are pretty active and should have it done monthly. Others only need a quarterly plan. You could also opt for services like Google Analytics reports or add an hour or two a month for text and photo changes or posting your blog. We’d be happy to take some of this off your plate so you can focus on your business! Give us a call today at 508-697-4027 or use our convenient form. We’ll pull together a customized maintenance plan just for you!