Why Do I Need Ongoing Website Maintenance?
Serving up a website involves many layers of technology that all rely on each other, and rely on current up-to-date versions to work and remain secure. All of these layers of technology are constantly updating to keep up with the latest technologies and security patches. They all play off of each other in such a way that if one updates, eventually the others will also in order to keep pace. Older versions eventually become deprecated and over time are no longer supported.
The Short Answer
Everything needs to be kept up-to-date to current versions for everything to continue to work together, and MOST IMPORTANTLY so that everything remains secure. Think of it like your desktop operating system, perhaps like Windows Vista that programs run on…same principal. If you didn’t keep things up-to-date it would be like trying to run Office 2011 on an old Windows 98 operating system, running on a 7 year old laptop (hard to imagine any computer having a lifespan of more than about 4 years or less these days). If you didn’t login to your computer for about 8 months you know that you’d have tons of security patches and updates to load before you can do anything. So it is with WordPress, plugins, and themes. Everything needs to be kept current by constantly running the latest ‘updates’.
What if I don’t do regular maintenance updates?
Think about it like going to the dentist. Most people don’t like the dentist, and put it off. If you ignore doing regular check-ups and teeth cleaning, which are normally done twice per year or so, you will end up with cavities and probably an expensive root canal or two. Way more painful both in terms of actual pain and pain in the wallet by hundreds of dollars more.
For your website, regular updates are what keeps the site secure and working over time.
Without regular maintenance updates most sites would not work after about 9 months, and would probably be hacked, causing lots of grief and additional cost.
In such case you’d have to incur cost (~$1,000-$3,000) to build a new website in about a year or two using the then current technology…and this cycle repeats itself every couple of years.
So you either pay a little to maintain as you go (the cost of doing business, but in this case a minor incremental cost), or you end up with a broken and insecure site that needs to be entirely rebuilt with current technology, at great cost.
Makes the old adage come to mind…‘a stitch in time saves 9’…and in this case its 9 times the cost we are talking about.
Theme and Plugin Updates
Plugin & Theme Licensing
If you read through the 'Plugin & Theme Licensing' tab within our Terms of Service you'll find that... Having an ongoing Managed WordPress Hosting plan is place is required in order to keep all of the commercial plugins that were used to build your site up-to-date and supported. Here's an excerpt from our Terms of Service:
- If we BUILD your site then there is no cost, any commercial plugin or theme we use to build your site is included FREE. But no ongoing support or upgrades are provided.
- If we HOST your site (active Managed WordPress Services subscription) then there is no cost, you have access to our full library of commercial plugins and themes all FREE. That even applies if you host your site elsewhere and we just provide Maintenance + Support. Support and upgrades for plugins is included free as long as your Managed WordPress Services account is current.
Don't forget that every time you make a major change or update that there should be a current backup of your website pulled first. This is mission critical stuff. You don't want to lose your data due to a failed update, so always have a current backup of your entire website! Our Managed WordPress Service Plans include pulling frequent off-site backups of your entire WordPress website...all files, content, plugins, themes, configurations, MySQL database...everything!
PHP is the programming language that runs on the server that WordPress runs on. The MySQL database (required by WordPress) also runs on PHP. It is mandatory to keep PHP and MySQL up-to-date for WordPress, plugins, themes, etc. to work properly so that your website works properly and remains secure. Some web hosts don't keep their server platform updated with the latest versions, so you may run into problems with WordPress not running properly.
If you are using an old browser version, without making the suggested updates to your browsers latest version, you are likely making yourself vulnerable to security threats, and you may find that things don't work properly in your browser. Mozilla Firefox is churning out updates to their browser every 6-13 weeks, making it pretty hard for everyone to keep up...from users to web developers.
The Best Browsers
- We recommend Chrome by Google.
- FireFox (although with their constant updating they are losing favor with us).
Whatever you do, AVOID INTERNET EXPLORER! All versions of Internet Explorer are finnicky and hard to develop for from a website development standpoint. You best web browsing experience would be from Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
Who is going to maintain all of that??
On top of that our Website Maintenance Service offers another hugely important layer that covers keeping WordPress core up-to-date, along with all plugins and most themes.
Included with all of our Managed WordPress Hosting Plans we also provide frequent offsite backups as part of our Website Maintenance service.
In addition our Managed WordPress Hosting Plans include Technical Support and Security.
With our Managed WordPress Hosting Plans you get continual updates and support for all commercial plugins and themes in our vast library (typically used when we built your website).
We provide a very necessary layer of expertise to keep things running for your website to work properly and minimize security vulnerabilities…saving you many hours and headaches every single month.
Our Managed WordPress Hosting Service is worth every penny to keep your website up and running hassle free!