Regular maintenance and management of your WordPress website is vital for your business to survive longtime in the digital age, and I’m not taking about just updating your plugins! WordPress in mu opinion is by far the best website design platform for any business. With the amount of themes and plugins available for your website, the options are endless to what can be built for your business.
With this vast number of themes and plugins available to you, along with ongoing search engine algorithm updates, WordPress is constantly evolving to achieve and maintain the number one spot for website platforms. This means regular WordPress updates. In 2016 there were 26 updates applied to WordPress that effects how your website loads, performs and functions. Were you keeping up to date with them all to make sure your business is up to date online?
Going into 2017, the only way to look at your WordPress website is to think its a living, breathing and growing thing. With anything thats living, it needs looking after on a regular basis. This is where your WordPress website maintenance comes in to keep your business alive, growing and ahead of your competition on the web.
Below are 10 highly important reasons why WordPress website maintenance should play a huge role in your online strategy.
WordPress Update & Theme Compatibility
With WordPress updating their core files on average every other week, your theme must be compatible with every new release. Theme authors do get advanced notice of any upcoming updates to allow them to adapt their theme accordingly. The author then releases an update for their theme. It is important your theme author is constantly on top of this, if not, your website will not be compatible and will more than likely stop working all together.
WordPress Update & Plugin Compatibility
Very similar to the above, your plugins need to be updated by your author on every WordPress update in order for them to function properly. On average, a WordPress website has between 8-11 active plugins installed, which drive many important functions on your website. If the plugin author isn’t updating your plugins then they will stop working.
Website Stops Load Correctly
This is the most common error due to website owners not maintaining their website correctly. They ignore all these updates for their theme and plugin over a period of time and their website simply doesn’t load. These people usually just see a PHP code error instead of their website.
Poor Load Speed
Failure to apply regular WordPress website maintenance will lead to the site taking forever to load. If important core files are not updated within WordPress, your theme and your plugins then various browsers and devices will struggle to read your outdated coding reducing in high load times.
Functions Stop Working
Important functions like WooCommerce may stop clients being able to pay for products and services leaving your website redundant, especially if you’re solely an online shop. Even basic functions can stop working without any website maintenance like contact forms and load transitions. How are people supposed to make a purchase or even send you an email if you don’t keep on top of your maintenance?
Google Index Bloat
WordPress websites are a nightmare for churning out irrelevant and duplicate pages, which Google index in their search results. If you have an eCommerce website or a large blog, you will probably find that Google has indexed 1000’s of additional pages that you were unaware of. This is called index bloat and is only the real downfall with the WordPress platform.
If you do not apply the correct settings within WordPress these pages will just keep getting indexed and keep on growing. See below for why this is a problem.
Drop In Google Rankings
There are loads of new ranking factors with Google today and your WordPress website must tick all the boxes to perform well on the search engines. The rankings factors that are directly linked with website maintenance and SEO are:
Load Speed: your website must load quickly on all devices. Slow websites do not rank well on Google.
Index Bloat: incorrect settings allow multiple filter, category, tag and archive pages to be indexed in Google. This leads to duplicate content and dilutes the quality of your main landing page content for focused keywords.
Loss Of Sales & Visitors
A poor maintained website will not generate as many sales or visitors as a well maintained site. If a website looks outdated design wise, your visitors will not put much trust in your business. Would you make a purchase from a website that looks outdated? No! Neither will anyone else!
If your website is taking ages to load do you think people will hang around waiting for different web pages to load? Of course they wont, they will just go to your competition and make a purchase.
Outdated Content & Products
There is nothing worse than going to a website and seeing a product that isn’t sold anymore! If you are not keeping on top of your products and 301 redirects, users will have a very poor experience on your site, which will reflect on your rankings over time.
The same applies to your web page content. You don’t want to be writing about 2014 when its 2017 and users will have zero trust in your business if they see this. All they will see is that you have not done anything to your WordPress website in 3 years and go else where!
Google is all about the experience users have with your business and website. If your website is taking ages to load, they will leave a review. If your site contains outdated products, they will leave a review. If this keeps happening your business will have a very low rating score and will be visible to anyone who searches your company or brand.
So Is WordPress Website Maintenance Worth While?
Well i think is quite clear what will happen if you do not keep on top of your website maintenance. Poor load speed, website not loading or functioning properly, drop in Google rankings, loss of visitors and sales, poor user experience and finally negative reviews.
For the sake of spending an hour or 2 a week keeping your website maintained will keep all the above under control and and keep your business fresh and healthy online.