Now that your new website has gained some traction, you may be noticing options in the Content Management System or CMS to initiate core and plug-in updates. No question, maintenance is important. The best analogy we can offer you and your company is the process of changing the oil in your car. You undergo periodic maintenance to keep your engine health well and your vehicle primed to go.
Likewise, WordPress is a constantly evolving piece of software. The WordPress team who wrote the open source code for your website releases periodic core and plug-in updates packed with new features, bug fixes, security fixes, and more. This is done to keep the code in the site in “tune” with constantly evolving technology. As you know, web browsers are updated continuously. New phones are released with new technology; Google is constantly changing their algorithms. Websites that continue to run old versions of WordPress will always be susceptible to attacks from savvy hackers who abuse security.
We recommend that your website undergo quarterly — or at least bi-annual updates — to keep in step with the world and prevent malware. We don’t want prospective clients or other visitors to see a message like this one when they attempt to find your website:
Our Updating Process
Given the client and publicly facing nature of your website, taking measured, proactive steps to ensure that you are not unknowingly exposed to potential threats is a good investment. Here is the process we follow at 4C when we update a site:
- Install a recent version of your site on a development environment.*
- Perform the WordPress update on the development environment.*
- Perform any and all theme and plug-in updates.
- Test the development version of your site thoroughly.
- Fix any issues that may have been caused by the updates.
- Backup your live site; code and database.
- Merge your fixes and the updates with those on your live site.
*Development environments can be supplied by hosting provider in typical cases. We can provide one in the event the hosting provider cannot.
Updates Offer These Benefits:
- A guarantee that your site is running smoothly.
- The best options for the quickest load times.
- The best security available to prevent bugs, hacks and malware.
- Assurance that your site can be found by Google and that it is optimized for search.
- Access to new site features and improvements.
- A framework and schedule to manage website performance.
To Infinity… and beyond!
As for maintenance moving forward, we typically obtain approval from clients to set up a bucket of time that will be billed as needed. This support is intended to facilitate your maintenance program and updates for the year. A bonus is that any time that does not get used, is not billed. Likewise, we do not charge you for the time until it is used. Our clients have also used this time on everything from these kind of website maintenance updates (run on a regular quarterly or bi-annually basis depending on the client request), to consulting, to graphic design time, to development updates, to email marketing assistance, to support for marketing campaigns.