Website maintenance and security is something that unfortunately a lot of new website owners don’t take serious enough, that is until they have the unfortunate event of something going wrong with their site. This past week I had a client come to me who unfortunately had just that very thing happen … her site was hacked. And the worst part about it is that she didn’t even know it had happened for a few days because she hadn’t visited her own site in a while.
Thankfully we were able to restore everything pretty quickly and she is back up and running. After reviewing everything there were a few sticking points that may have made her site vulnerable, one being that she had not updated to the new WordPress version and none of her plugins had been updated in quite a while. Thankfully there are a few things you can put in place to help avoid ever having this happen to you.
Here’s a quick list of things to take note of and put into place on your website when it comes to ongoing maintenance and security of your WordPress site:
- Update WordPress, they just released the new version last week WordPress 3.5 also known as Elvin, make sure you get it updated if you haven’t so far.
- Update Plugins, you will receive an alert in your WordPress admin area when any of the plugins you are currently using need to be updated to a new version
- Update your Theme when needed
- Make sure you are not using the default username admin as your login information, you should change this if you are because it can leave you more vulnerable. (If you do change it and you have been using it for a while make sure to remember to address your current posts to the new username you create before you delete the admin username)
- Back-up your site regularly so in case you do have any issues you will always have the latest version of your site and content to get everything set back up
- Set up a security plugin on your website that will alert you of any issues, malware, and suspicious activities so you can stay on top of the problems before they cause big issues
Just like with anything in your business making sure things are running smoothly and putting systems into place to avoid issues is really important. The ongoing maintenance of your site is included in that list of things that should be considered important and vital to your businesses success.
Here are a few things in addition to preventing any vulnerabilities of your site that ongoing regular maintenance of your site can help with:
- Spammers ~ Unfortunately the web is full of people with nothing better to do then try to find vulnerabilities in websites, so making sure your site is updated at all times will help avoid becoming a victim of them
- Downtime of your site ~ not everyone visits their own site daily especially if they aren’t adding new content so having a system in place to monitor downtime and alert you of any issues is an important step to put in place
- Search Engines ~ regular updates to your sitemap can keep your content fresh to google and the other search engines meaning your site will show up better within the search results
- Website Speed ~ The developers of the plugins, themes and WordPress release new versions because they are addressing known issues or bugs in their systems, so it is important to update when suggested by them to keep everything current. Keep things updated and current will ensure your site is running smoothly and at optimal speed.
If the thought of doing all of these things to your website yourself seems scary … don’t worry that’s what we are here for. Stop over to check out my Website Maintenance Packages and see how we can help.
To Your Success!
The Marketing Momma
Kate Wilber is the founder and CEO of The Marketing Momma. She helps small business owners bring their brand online in an effective and affordable way. Specializing in WordPress Website Design and Social Media Marketing she thrives in working with other small business owners to bring their dream alive online using the top industry strategies for ultimate success! She has been working online full time since 2008 Read More