There are a lot of companies offering WordPress support and Maintenance packages these days, so it’s important that you understand what you should be asking, and making sure you are getting, with any plan. Here is a must list of things to look for in a WordPress Maintenance service:
Security Monitoring and Scanning
Back in the good old days of the web when the websites were mostly static, we took security for granted, cause there really wasn’t that much to protect from hackers. Now that most of the sites are dynamic, they are using complex code and systems that make them targets.
With more than 30% of all known websites running on WordPress, it’s understandable why hackers target WordPress sites more and more each day. WordPress has become for CMS’s what Windows is to OS’s. If you are running a complex website that has tens of thousands of daily visitors, you definitely need a WordPress maintenance service to take care of the security for you before its too late.
When it comes to security, the following should be guaranteed by any maintenance provider in order to keep your site secured.
- Regular (or automatic) Updates
- Weekly (at least) Security Scans
- Malware removal (in 6hrs or less)
- Database Cleanup
- Hiding wp-admin dashboard
- Limit login attempts
- Usage of Strong Passwords
- Blocking suspicious IP’s
Uptime Monitoring is basically setting one website to check another website every couple of minutes and notifying you if itis offline. -This sounds complicated but it’s not.
A good website maintenance company will not just notify you about the downtime but also check your website when it happens to try to resolve the issue themselves before you even notice it. WordPress website can be down for any of the following reasons:
- Updates running in the background
- Caching issues with CDN or plugins
- WordPress plugin conflicts
- PHP Memory Limit
- Server is down
- Hosting bill overdue
- Domain Name expiration
If you aren’t monitoring your site for uptime, and you aren’t in the habit of visiting your site daily, your site could be down for days before you realize it’s not up.
So far we have discussed what uptime monitoring is and why you need to do it. Now let’s have a look at the best WordPress uptime monitoring plugins and tools available…
If you are using WordPress for your site, there are going to be thousands of updates every year! In the past WordPress had an avg. of 4 yearly updates, not counting minor updates.
If you aren’t keeping up with these updates, you could be risking a security issue with your site.
Similar to core updates, there are going to be a lot of plugin updates as long as you have plugins on your site. Responsible plugin developers release new versions of their plugin with each new version of WordPress itself. They do this to test their plugins with the new WordPress version to make sure it’s running smoothly and that there aren’t any conflicts with it.
Unlike core updates that should be done as soon as a new version comes up due to security reasons and therefore it can be done automatically, plugins should never be updated automatically!
Always check the look and functionallity of your website after each plugin update and roll back to the previous version if you notice anything not working as its supposed to.
Just like for plugin updates, I recommend that theme updates be done manually because they can break your site. Especially if you’ve added custom modifications directly in your main theme and not child theme.
The unwritten rule is to update only the active theme, all other themes are safe to delete and you don’t really have to update the ones you don’t use.
Backups are really important and you should do them properly: Schedule daily backups and store them offsite.
You should always have at least 2 weeks of backups stored somewhere separate from your web host.
Spam is a big problem these days, but with a good security plugin and some regular comments/database cleanup you should be fine. A good practice is to regularly remove all spam comments because they can slow down your site.