If you're on WordPress, yes, you need to be doing regular maintenance. WordPress is an amazingly expansive and collaborative ecosystem with 55,000+ plugins, thousands of themes, and endless opportunities to customize, add, and tweak code. Its open source nature makes it one of the most powerful and scalable website content management systems on the planet. However, as the saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility
WordPress powers roughly 34% of the internet, but accounts for 90% of website hacks. Out-of-date plugins, poorly coded themes, plugin update conflicts, and poor host security opens you up to a whole slew of issues, from poor performance to security risks to downtime.
Think of it like a car. It's tempting to stick your head in the sand and assume all is well — and maybe all will
be well, for a while. However, the longer you neglect it, the more likely it will be that something catastrophic (and costly) will happen. Just like regular oil changes and tire rotations for your car, simple maintenance tasks for your website will keep it running smoothly and extend the value of your investment. A little TLC now safes you a load of pain down the road.
That being said, if you feel like you can't afford a professional care plan right now, make sure you turn on "enable auto updates" for most of your plugins and installed themes. This is now available in the WordPress dashboard, and many hosts offer this feature, as well. Log into your website at least once per month and check for any updates that were missed, and make sure that your most important pages are still looking great and running smoothly. Limit the number of plugins you use and only install new ones if they're absolutely necessary for the functioning of your website. When possible, stick to well-reviewed, high quality, well coded plugins and themes. They're less likely to cause bugs and plugin conflicts. In general, more plugins invite more problems.A quick note: while it's super important to keep plugins updated, sometimes those updates can cause plugin conflicts and break your site — especially if you have a ton of different plugins installed. This is why frequent backups are so important.
It's also incredibly important to be on a quality, well-secured Managed WordPress website host. They will help you to keep your site safe. My top suggestions are Flywheel
, and Cloudways
. Flywheel actually offers free malware cleanup if you do
get hacked, which is super helpful if you don't have a web professional caring for your site.