WordPress Updates & Website Maintenance
Building a website starts with a software framework called WordPress. Plugins (software add-ons) are installed for specific functionality like contact forms, ecommerce, spam filtering, etc.
We strongly recommend ongoing preventative maintenance (including software updates) to keep your site functionality flawless and maximize security. To get started, contact NAVEO today – or continue reading to learn more about the benefits of updated plugins & regular maintenance:
Why WordPress Plugins Are Used
We use plugins to reduce costs during the website development process. Using plugins helps us focus on core functionality and design while making use of well-established, pre-built solutions to reduce the time to produce your site. We could build everything from scratch, but it would take longer and cost more.
Another major benefit of plugins is they reduce the amount of work needed to keep a particular feature up to date in terms of both functionality and security. Keeping a plugin secure and functional is up to its author(s) and/or the open-source community. This is good because the people who spend the most time focusing on those plugins can identify and fix things much faster, as there are a larger number of eyes on them (and it’s free).
Why Plugins Need Updating
Some updates add to or enhance existing features of the plugin’s functionality. Others are based on making use of new language features offered in PHP (the programming language used to build WordPress & plugins). Some updates are focused solely on resolving security issues.
Keeping the plugins themselves updated on the site requires developer time and labor, and it’s best to update them on a regular, ongoing basis. It’s also important to make sure updating one plugin doesn’t create conflicts with other plugins or site functions.
Benefits of Preventative Website Maintenance
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this applies to websites just like computers and cars. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid something potentially catastrophic. While there’s no way to get to ZERO risk, keeping everything up to date significantly reduces the likelihood of problems.
Ongoing updates and site maintenance help improve performance by keeping programming language current. PHP has had many changes over time that improve performance and efficiency, but without the most recent versions of WordPress, plugin developers can’t take advantage of those changes.
Our preventative maintenance program focuses on keeping both WordPress and any installed plugins up to date. The plugin updates are provided free, and the cost of the program covers developer time and labor spent checking for updates, making recommendations and possible emergency services if required for security updates.
Why We Recommend WordFence
If you sign up for our preventative website maintenance program we’ll also install the premium version of a security plugin called WordFence. WordFence allows us to block traffic from high-spam regions known to produce malicious requests. We can also exclude regions where you don’t conduct business, whether that’s Europe, South America, Asia, or specific nations/regions. WordFence also maintains a database of IP addresses that have been identified as malicious, either resulting in spam, increased attack frequencies against websites, or other security risks.
It should be noted that we use a free version of WordFence on all sites we produce, which offers some of the same functionality. But the free version doesn’t include features such as blocking by geographic location or blocking known malicious IP addresses – those are premium features.
The other major difference is when new exploits are found and rules added to firewalls, they are shared with users of the free version 30 days after implementation. Premium users get new detection rules applied immediately.
How Much Does It Cost?
Annual membership in website maintenance is billed quarterly. Current clients who participate find the quarterly rate very affordable. They especially love the peace of mind knowing we’re keeping tabs on updates and keeping them in the loop. We’re happy to share pricing for preventative website maintenance and answer any questions.