WordPress makes it easy to get your business site up and running but comes with a major caveat. You need to do regular maintenance and updates if you want your customers to be happy and secure. Knowing the common WordPress maintenance mistakes to avoid is crucial.
These include not backing up your site prior to doing work and relying too much on host companies. Creating an unoptimized experience with too many plugins is also a no-no. Not updating WordPress will also leave your website open to many security issues.
If you aren't careful while doing maintenance, you could leave yourself off of Google too. Unfortunately, this causes your traffic to tank. Read on for a guide to the most common WordPress maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Not Preparing Backups And Working Live
This is one of the most common WordPress maintenance mistakes people often make. They work on their sites without proper backups. This is a huge mistake, as if something goes wrong, you can't restore things to how they were.
Some companies will hire someone to redesign their website from scratch without backing up the old version. Worse, they'll work live on the current version, making irreversible changes. If you end up not liking the new site, being able to back up to the old version could save you a headache.
Not working on it live is another key piece of advice. However, another reason to have backups is to deal with the inevitability of security breaches. The sooner you can roll things back and get going, the better it will be for your business.
2. Not Following Proper Security Practices
Like any website online, your WordPress site has vulnerabilities. Failing to take security seriously leaves you open to attacks and breaches. This is bad news for your customers and your bottom line.
Google will also mark you as unsafe, further hurting your traffic and reputation. A good WordPress maintenance service can help you craft and update your security to keep up with emerging threats.
3. Relying on Your Hosting Company
It's important to do regular WordPress maintenance, but this can feel like a chore. The worst thing you can do is rely too much on your hosting company to handle maintenance. While some will offer these services, they have other things on their minds.
Only you care about your business enough to ensure maintenance gets done the right way. Make sure you prioritize maintenance or hire a service that does. If you opt for the hiring route, keep up to date with what they are doing and when.
4. Not Remembering to Re-Index Your Site
It's inevitable that you'll work on your WordPress website design after it's launched. The best way to do this is to take it offline or have a "test" version separate from your active one. A handy thing you can do is turn off indexing on your work-in-progress pages.
What this does is stop Google from including those pages in search results. This lets you play around, experiment, and test the new site online without worrying customers will see it in its unfinished state. The mistake, however, is when companies forget to turn this feature off when they're done.
Failing to do this ensures your site won't get any organic traffic from Google. When doing any major maintenance like this, double-check you haven't left indexing off before going live.
5. Failing to Run a Speed Check
Not testing website speed on a regular basis is a huge maintenance blunder. It's a fact that speed and response time lead to conversion. No one likes dealing with a slow or laggy site, and milliseconds actually make all the difference.
The closer you are to 2 seconds or less, the happier your customer base will be, which leads to conversion. Any WordPress maintenance company worth its salt will make checking and optimizing speed a priority.
6. Not Updating WordPress
WordPress has a cornucopia of plugins and themes that need constant updating. The same is true for the core software, which makes WordPress tick. Updating WordPress websites often should be part of every maintenance routine.
Not keeping WordPress updated is a huge mistake. A significant number of WordPress security vulnerabilities hide in non-updated features. You should be keeping everything updated and roll-back buggy plugins.
Failing to do this will leave you with a laggy, unoptimized, and unsecured user experience. None of these bodes well for business growth.
7. Going Overboard With Plugins
When it comes to plugins and WordPress, more is never better. There's no doubt that plugins are a convenient and efficient way to add and execute additional functions. What's even better is that they can do this without heavy alterations to the host program.
However, overdoing those does more harm than good. Know that plugins are still software code. The more there are, the higher the chance for a security or data breach, especially if they're inactive.
Additionally, the more you add, the harder it is to keep track of them, and the slower your potential speeds are. Also, know that not all plugins are compatible with each other. This is why it's better to only use a handful and stick to those that work.
Don't "double down" if you already have ones that execute a certain function well. It's best to limit plugins to the bare essentials, a good ballpark for how many are 15-20 plugins. However, this can be an arbitrary number if you have access to all of WordPress' features.
Despite this, it's still better to err on the side of caution.
WordPress Maintenance Mistakes To Avoid
There are a host of WordPress maintenance mistakes you need to avoid. Most of them lead to issues with optimization and security. Staying on top of regular maintenance is key to avoiding all of these mistakes.
It's important to have people you can trust helping you grow and maintain your site. At Work Hero, we have the knowledge and dedication necessary, so contact us today.