It is not in the least recommended to leave your WordPress website unattended.
Why? Here’s an example: I used to work for a small business web design company that provided WordPress websites. I was in charge of the content.
One day, I opened the site on which I had to work and surprise: I was greeted by strange music and a background that clearly didn’t belong. The site, needless to say, had been hacked.
You might think that you don’t have to take care of your WordPress site, but you’re terribly wrong. Here are some of the risks you’re exposing yourself to:
Hackers destroy websites just for the pleasure of doing so. WordPress websites are likely to use many plugins and here’s the deal: almost half of those are security-related.
If you don’t update them every so often, your website will be 100% defenseless against hackers, no matter how inexperienced they are in wreaking the havoc they’re known for. Also, update the website itself.
If you see an “Update Now” notification, don’t overlook it. We know that updates can get fairly annoying, but they’re a necessary evil. Another good way of keeping hackers at bay is to limit the logins on the website.
This won’t allow them to try to log in until they’ve broken your password.
Keeping your WordPress website up-to-date is crucial. If you don’t update it whenever prompted to do so, the likelihood of it crashing is high. Moreover, there are those clients who think they can handle everything.
In some cases, they can do more damage than hackers by deleting indispensable plugins, messing around with the code, installing shady plugins, getting into phishing scams, etc.
These will certainly make the website malfunction. If you’re tasked with the maintenance of the website after you’ve created it, keep an eye on plugin updates; if you’re not, educate your clients and tell them what they should not tamper with.
If for some reason, the website crashes, you can return it to the original form by using the back-up. The back-up, however, won’t be available unless you take an active interest in creating it.
Whenever you add something new to your WordPress website, update the back-up. This way, you won’t have any issues with recovering it should it be hacked or tampered with by an inexperienced employee.
Overlooking your WordPress will automatically lead to overlooking the back-up, which is as more important as the website itself.
Slow Loading Speed
Updates play an important role in optimizing the loading speed of your website. Having a high loading speed, believe it or not, can place you higher in search results. This is extremely advantageous for your business.
Not giving those frequent updates the credit they deserve can take a huge toll on your website’s loading speed, subsequently on its ranking in search results.
We think we can all agree that it costs a lot less to keep your WordPress website to date than to pay somebody to repair it. In case of hacking, you can pay a fortune in order to regain your website.
You could have easily avoided that with frequent maintenance, updating the plugins that ensured the security of your site, strengthening your passwords and usernames (“admin” for username and “password” for password are the worst choices you can make), etc.
Broken Links, 404 Errors, and Bugs
These are some of the most recurrent problems on WordPress websites. Broken links can result from old sources being moved elsewhere. The user’s experience, consequently, will leave a great deal to be desired.
Bugs are normal, and every website has its fair share of them. They can make it extremely difficult for customers to surf your website and that’s why you should perform functionality tests as frequently as possible, but ideally once every month.
If you don’t know how to spot all the bugs on your website, bugs and broken links can add up and negatively impact user experience.
Not correcting them will diminish your base of clients because they will simply be too annoyed to use your site. 404 errors are common and nothing to worry about, really, but again, they can make clients angry and word goes around fast.
Maintenance and performance tests can solve all these 3 issues with the utmost of ease, as long as you know what you’re doing and what exactly it is you need to address immediately.
Cluttered WordPress Database
The WordPress Database is the safe where all the info concerning your website is stored. However, after a time – especially if left unattended – a lot of data that has no use for storing ends up in there.
Why would I care, you may ask? Well, you should, because a cluttered WordPress Database will inevitably lead to larger and slower backups. Make sure you take your time and see what your Database should contain and what it should not in order to improve the overall functionality of your website.
Creating a website with WordPress is insanely easy, but that should not warrant not taking proper care of it. In fact, WordPress sites need more maintenance than those built on other platforms and are more prone to being hacked.
It is very important that you hire a reputable web design company that knows what it’s doing can solve all your WordPress issues. After your website has been created, they perform constant performance tests and take care of the overall maintenance.
As you can see, many things can go south in the absence of periodic maintenance. We hope you’ve found this article useful and that it shed some light on some of the potential reasons why your website is either slow or hugely dysfunctional.