What is WordPress care?

Published Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

WordPress care is a series of activities you need to perform periodically to keep your website up and running and secure, which means being updated with everything in a specific environment.

We can compare WordPress website care plans to a periodical car service. It would be best to keep your website in good condition and safe for you and others. Proper website care keeps your website healthy, prevents disasters that can be difficult to repair later on, and creates a strong base for online success.

WordPress care team at work. Care and maintenance activities.

The most common WordPress maintenance activities are:

The above is only a prominent part of the WordPress website care activities you should do periodically. WordPress website owners who want to deliver a good user experience and be visible in Google rankings should do much more every day/week/month. The comprehensive list has more activities connected with improved website accessibility checks and presence and performance. Also, SEO technical audits, content audits, and WCAG audits are significant. 

WordPress, as a specific environment, requires special attention from the owner. It is not enough to watch for a new update in the WordPress dashboard. After all, some plugins can be abandoned by the author or not updated anymore. In this case, plugins will never inform you about a new update, which may have vulnerabilities. You also have to keep track of security gaps, forms of attacks, etc. It is also vital to track at least major changes in the WordPress community to be “on track” with everything.

Fast-changing WordPress environment.

Continuous ongoing changes in search engines and intense competition on the Internet require proper adaptation of the best practices and maintaining high standards. A professional service efficiently delivers this. And like in the car industry, doing it yourself is arduous, complicated and time-consuming for the website owner, especially if they are multiple sites to manage.

What to do when I have a newly developed website?

Sometimes, when a company develop a new website decides not to take a proper approach to website upkeep, but it is not recommended because WordPress updates are often happening these days. Regular maintenance provided by the qualified WordPress support team is the cheaper and best solution in most cases.

How to keep your WordPress website safe and in good health?

WordPress managed backups.

In information technology, a backup or data backup means a copy of computer data that the user takes and stores elsewhere. You can use this to restore the original after a data-loss event. For example, a WordPress website backup is a data backup with a copy of all files and databases.

The typical WordPress installation contains thousands of files, including:

  • Core files (PHP, JavaScript, CSS and other code files)
  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • Media files (images, videos, audio, etc.)
  • Database

A website backup creates a complete copy of your WordPress files and database. You can restore your website to the point/date of the last backup date. You can read more about WordPress website backups in our article Why are WordPress Backups Important?

Important for website backup.

  • Backup frequency – an essential part of the maintenance plan is to set up an adequate frequency of backups, from monthly for blogs to daily backups for e-commerce sites.
  • Backup localisation – we don’t recommend hosting backups. A good solution is to have offsite backups e.g. in the cloud storage. For the high-security standard, at least one hard backup on the local storagManyany WordPress plugins has built-in functionalities to do automated offsite backups directly to the cloud storage.
  • Remember – Your backup is as good as you can restore it!

Managed WordPress core updates.

The best way to keep the core of WordPress CMS is to update these versions, which are critical for security and essential for core functionality. The best practice for core updates is monitoring them, testing and applying updates to keep your site stable and secure. 

In this case, the word “managed” is significant. Before any update, you should check, understand and test it. It is a process of deciding what is crucial for your website and demands deep knowledge of WordPress core and an understanding of how specific changes can impact your website. 

WordPress theme managed updates.

As the core of WordPress needs to be regularly updated, WordPress themes often need periodic software updates. It will boost and optimise website performance, fix vulnerabilities, and correct design or functionality.

It also protects your WordPress website from known vulnerabilities and malware. If you find something you identify as malware, please follow the most important do’s and don’ts in this article “Your website has been infected. What’s next?

WordPress website dashboard - WP updates section
WordPress website dashboard – WP updates section

WordPress-managed theme updates are usually a complex task, even for advanced WordPress users. The WordPress theme is responsible for a website’s overall look and functionality. It has associations with all WordPress elements, and even small changes can impact the website. In reverse this, you can read the paragraphs above about plugin updates and how they can affect the theme.

Managed plugin updates.

Whether you have plugins from WordPress.org or another premium provider, you should manage all ongoing updates. You are also responsible for maintaining active licenses for premium products. 

Like in the paragraph above, the best rule is to do managed updates, which means only performing updates you previously checked and tested. However, why shouldn’t you sometimes do a plugin update? Some updates do not contribute anything (e.g. correct a typo in a translation into a language we do not use). Sometimes you cannot do some updates because it will lead to a conflict with another plugin or theme, and you need to give the author a given solution time to adapt the plugin to a given update (pretty frequent case, e.g. when working with WooCommerce websites).

WordPress dashboard, plugins regular maintenance
WordPress site dashboard – plugins.

What if an author abandons the plugin? It’s always a sad day when a plugin no longer has anyone taking care of it. You need to find a similar (and better supported) alternative plugin in those instances. If it is not available, consider developing a dedicated one for you. 

Plugins changes monitoring.

Plugins change monitoring means monitoring installation/uninstallation, activation/deactivation, and updating a plugin. It is an important activity and helps keep your website’s integrity. 

Plugin changes are also a critical indicator for security, and any not admin-initiated changes can indicate plugin vulnerability and potential risk of infection or website hack.

Content changes monitoring.

Monitoring content changes and modifications on the website, including posts, pages, media and other content types. It is essential, especially when many website users, editors (admins), or content creators create a blog post almost daily or weekly. Usually, website owners give access to the website to SEO/SEM agencies or external copywriters. 

From the business owner, unexpected content changes (e-commerce!) can negatively impact sales, registrations, and site security. Knowledge of who changed, when and what can be crucial to restore the previous content state and identify potential risk sources.

Website login monitoring.

Login monitoring means monitoring the registration of a user and user login to the WordPress administration panel. As in the paragraph above, this knowledge is crucial for website security. 

Website uptime monitoring.

Knowing when your site is unavailable is critical to any business. Uptime monitoring means when your website is “up” and tests your website’s availability for users. It immediately alerts you in case of “down-time” in a way that suits you via email or SMS.

In practice, uptime monitoring means monitoring the availability of the website’s home page. The test runs continuously (24/7 uptime monitoring) and checks the server’s response to the call (query) of the home page. The test does not examine the page’s content but only the operation’s continuity. The standard test time interval is 1 to 10 sec.

It’s critical for a business to have a website responsive to the user. Not only is an unresponsive site a terrible experience for the visitor, but it can also impact your presence in search engines. There are many uptime monitoring services available on the market.

Example of uptime monitoring report
Example of uptime monitoring report (for the higher maintenance plan), from updown.io

Google Search Console (GSC) errors monitoring.

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that helps you monitor your website’s performance and identify any potential problems that prevent it from appearing in Google’s search results as expected. You should monitor and check all errors detected by the GSC.

Common errors and performance indicators you can monitor using Google Search Console are:

  • index coverage for errors impacting website coverage in Google index (4XX, noindex, 5XX etc.)
  • XML sitemaps
  • page experience, Core Web Vitals, mobile usability
  • Google manual action and security checks
  • International Targeting 
  • links tracked by Google
  • Broken link checks (much more efficient than the popular Broken Link Checker plugin)
Google Search Console coverage report - WordPress care Standard plan
Google Search Console checks should be a part of regular maintenance. Coverage report.

Google Search Console is a complex tool, and you can find help for all your questions here https://support.google.com/webmasters/?hl=en#topic=9128571.

Standard and priority support.

Usually, during the website care agreement owner has technical support available. Standard WordPress support is generally provided by contact forms or as phone support. In some cases, users have access to the support ticket system. Priority support is expected for higher care plans. The important thing in a care plan agreement is the maximum reaction time. Maximum reaction time is usually counted in hours from the confirmation of the error report to the moment of remote or direct intervention to remove it.

Website care monthly reports.

Some website care plan operators provide monthly website reports, including WordPress updates, theme and plugin updates, uptime monitoring and other activities. From our experience, most website owners prefer simple website reports. They are not interested in in-depth reports because they are usually not tech savvy enough to understand complicated jargon and prefer to hand over things to ultra-capable hands.

Example of WordPress care plan Standard plugin updates report.
Example of website care plan Standard plugin updates report.

Should I do WordPress maintenance and manage my website?

You can maintain your website if you have the time, know what to look for, and are confident in fixing errors. However, regular website maintenance takes too much time and energy for most businesses. You should perform some tasks weekly, and incorrectly attempting to fix issues can lead to disastrous outcomes. Most businesses prefer to outsource their website care to professionals as this helps to save time, energy, and stress. They can put their website care to rest and be assured that their website is always healthy, running smoothly, and free of defects. 

The most thoughtful way is to hire a web maintenance company focused on performing the required tasks. They will already have the resources and know-how and be an expert in dealing with and responding to issues appropriately and quickly. 

How much does WordPress keeping cost?

Regular website maintenance and care plans with 360WebCare start from AUD 79 per month; check WordPress website care plans and fin which is the best for you. Even a basic “Mini” plan includes website backups,  updates to the latest version of WordPress, plugin updates, technical support on email, and infection removal after a hack or another attack.

Professional website care plans are the perfect solution for small business owners. The whole process of the care plan guarantees that nothing is left unchanged and the website is running efficiently, and last but not least, it gives peace of mind to the business owner.

Do not be tempted to put off your website maintenance. When issues accumulate, they can be harder to fix, and having a weak website can lead to more downtimes, costing you customers and conversions in the long run. As a result, it can cost you a lot more in the long run. It’s a much more brilliant business move and more cost-effective to have your website regularly checked on by an expert. 

What additional services are not a part of the WordPress care plan?

Development, bug fixes and speed optimisation work.

Some plans on the market include hours of development work. In our opinion, it is not a good solution for the client because he pays for something he doesn’t need at a specific time, and it is usually nothing. One hour of bug fixes, new functionality build (e.g. new theme plugin), database optimisation or speed optimisation is nothing, especially for larger sites. WordPress websites can be very different and need ongoing care and improvements.

Performance scans, technical SEO and Google Analytics.

It is a vital part of online marketing activities. Small businesses need to improve site performance by optimising speed and Core Web Vitals, which are currently part of technical SEO jobs. Also, adequately implemented analytics can be time-consuming and strictly depends on the business type and website functionalities.

Graphic design, theme and theme plugin development or changes.

If your business goals change or you need to rebuild a site, you will need to use the development team to develop a new-looking theme. You will need proper graphic web design and development, which is not a part of standard support.

Summary

When you want peace of mind, choose professional WordPress care plans services for your website. Give a chance to WordPress experts to support your big or small business with these tasks. Our motto is “You take care of your business; we’ll take care of your website.”

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