Do I need a Care Plan? Why is it important?
The internet is ever changing and there are many forces within it that can wreak havoc on your digital property. Whether it's a hacker, changes to browser software or changes by search engines, a care plan can prevent your site from going down.
So yes, in short, if you own or manage a website you will absolutely need a Care Plan.
What is a WordPress Care Plan?
A Care Plan or Maintenance Plan is a subscription for regular service, monitoring and/or repair of your website. Care Plans can vary in cost and services. All plans will provide basic monitoring and protection while other plans may include many other services.
Care Plans are often grouped with other services such as SEO reports, Social Media Monitoring, Online Reputation Services and many other possibilities. In choosing your plan, be sure to weigh the services included with each plan and choose the one that's right for you. Buying unnecessary services is costly but not buying the right services can also be costly.
All Care Plans for WordPress should include these essential services at the very least
- Quality Managed Hosting should be provided as a part of any good maintenance plan.
- Backups should be made at least monthly. Sites that change or add info often should backup more frequently.
- Regular updates to WordPress and any themes and plugins. Updates should be performed quarterly at a minimum although more frequently is recommended.
- Website Optimization covers a vast array of services and maintenance tasks. However, even the smallest care plans should have some optimization tasks covered. Tasks like broken link checking, checking browser responsiveness and loading speeds are a few of the tasks that may be covered.
- Website Security is the most important part of any Care Plan. Without proper security monitoring your site will be vulnerable to many types of attacks.
Avoid the Embarrassment
As a business owner there are a few things we know will always be true. One of those is that we will make mistakes and sometimes our business will look foolish for it. Another is that it is really embarrassing when a customer or potential customer is the one that points out our foolishness.
How often do you look at your website? If it went down yesterday would you know about it? If your website was injected with a malicious code that was sending your visitors to some unknown foreign website instead of showing your page, how long would it take you to figure it out?
And how embarrassing would it be when your top client called to tell you that when visiting your website his computer was infected by a virus because your site had been hacked?
This, of course, is an extreme example of what could happen without someone monitoring your site. However, extreme or not, it does happen and many other less extreme things happen. Hackers don't just target big sites, there are many, many motives for hackers and your site is or will be on a hackers radar at some point.
Much like any real property, digital property must be protected and maintained. A good Care Plan can keep your investment safe and beneficial for you and your customers.