You’ve spent months researching, planning, preparing and then finally building the website that will be the face of your business.
You’ve utilized WordPress for the backend because of the amazing out-of-the-box benefits.
You’re using the best plugins available, both free and premium, and even a couple of custom plugins you’ve had coded to bring that unique functionality and feature to your business that none of your competitors can match.
It’s not uncommon that after an extended period of preparation, your mindset will need to change drastically from one of planning to one of action. This is especially true when the business site you’ve built coincides with a new product launch, or even a brand re-launch.
Your focus now is on building your business, making sales, and reaffirming brand recognition within your industry.
And This is Where the Trouble Can Start
The problem with building and managing this business website yourself, with a small team, or even a large team who may not be as experienced in managing a WordPress powered website, is that often times the ongoing maintenance gets left behind.
Or even completely forgotten.
Worst Case Scenario
WordPress core software has been on a four time per year release cycle for some time. That’s a minimum of four times your site needs to be update, and this doesn’t include security updates which can happen at any time.
Now couple these core software updates with the number of plugins you have installed. Ideally, each plugin author will text their code against new software versions and verify that nothing breaks and provide an update release to their code if it does.
All of these moving parts that form the structure of your site need to be attended to regularly.
If your website code gets outdated, you can run the real risk of some functionality or feature not working correctly on your site and you having no idea something is wrong for weeks, months, or even longer.
I’m not trying to be an alarmist here. I speak from experience.
I ran a small business site a couple of years ago that was dependent of submission form contacts to drive sales leads. One day, I stopped getting leads and the culprit was an update to one plugin that conflicted with the plugin I used for my forms.
What You Can Do to Keep your Business Running Smoothly
Make sure you keep all of the software on your site up-to-date. Easy to say, but needs some dedication to actually do.
I’m betting you use some kind of calendar to manage your schedule. Why not add a recurring weekly item that reminds you to log into your site and check for software updates?
If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to do this yourself, why not pass that task to a trusted and capable employee?
Or better yet, leave those tasks in our capable hands.
A Few Words of Caution When Updating your Software
It’s not enough to simply push an update button, as evidenced by my own experience above.
Before updating you need to perform a backup of your database, and better yet, both the database and the files on your server.
The next thing to remember is to test, test, test. After you perform any website software updates, you will want to go through the most commonly used and important parts of your site to make sure everything is working as expected.
The last thing you want is the terrible surprise of learning that your business was broken without you even knowing it.