In the past few years we’ve had clients who have decided to manage their own WordPress websites after we completed the development. We gave them instructions, turned them loose in the wild, wished them luck, and moved on to new projects. After some time passed we would get a call, more often than not, that something appeared to be broken on the site with a request to fix it. In most cases it was a matter of updating the plug-ins and WordPress version and then restoring the website to a previous state if necessary. This is not an ideal situation to be in because in many cases the website may have been displaying incorrectly for many weeks before the client even noticed.
It’s pretty obvious that a broken website is not the best advertisement for your business. A majority of customers today research businesses online before ever making contact. If you have the good fortune (through correct SEO practices) of having a visitor land on your website during their buying process, you want to make sure they have the best possible experience. A website with broken images, a non-functioning map, or even slow loading website will ruin the user experience and likely send the potential customer off to the next business. All because you didn’t have the time to update your WordPress website.
WordPress is the Bomb!
WordPress is recognized worldwide as a solid and robust platform. Recent data by W3Techs shows that WordPress now powers 25% of ALL websites worldwide! Additionally, it is the platform used for 29% of all new websites. Why am I telling you this? To confirm that a decision to build your business website on WordPress is good one. If you have a small business, like a local service business, and a web developer has recommended WordPress for your website, they did you a favor. The platform is constantly being updated and thousands of developers are building new plugins to enhance functionality.
So What is the Issue Then?
Because the platform is so robust and has so many users it is constantly evolving. This means that to keep your website current and safe it needs to be monitored regularly for updates. Something most small business owners don’t have the time or the skills to do. While it doesn’t take a lot of skill to do simple updates, trying to update a site with a broken plug-in can crash the whole site! If there is no back-up you could be left with nothing but a website that needs to be rebuilt. This happens all too often.
Ok, that is the worst case scenario and doesn’t happen every time you try to update a plug-in but it does happen, and has happened to me. In my case it was an outdated maps plug-in on a new client website. Fortunately, I had taken a backup before updating (whew!). In more than 8 years of working with websites it was the first time it had happened -I had overwhelming nausea as I reloaded and saw a blank page in Google with a big ERROR message! At that moment I was hoping and praying that the backup I took was complete – it was! Not only that, the outdated plug-in had a vulnerability which had allowed hackers to get in and spam the site with hundreds of spam pages in Japanese promoting Viagra and Coach handbags.
Then there was the client who came to us when their website was hijacked and turned into a porn site, from a far northern Canada travel site to a porn site! Their reputation tarnished by the fact that this went unrecognized for several weeks, they had to start over completely fresh with a new domain.
Getting Back to Why You Need WordPress Support…
If, as a business owner, you have the time and/or the resources to keep your website updated and regularly monitored for security, uptime, page speed loading as well as adding fresh content – you probably don’t need support. If you are a busy owner who looks after his own website and can’t seem to find the time to keep it updated regularly, or you have new images or content that you would love to get uploaded, you need WordPress Support! Managing your own website may seem like a good way to save money for your business, the question you must ask yourself is; do you really have the time to do what is required to keep your asset safe? Be honest with yourself and then decide if paying a small monthly price to manage your website is worth it to you and your business.