Every time I think of my 1970 Chevrolet Impala, I think of WordPress maintenance.
Well, okay, maybe not WordPress maintenance, but I definitely think of how important regular maintenance is on our largest investments.
In 1995, my first car was a 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura, which was a complete piece of garbage. Luckily (for me), my Dad hit a deer with it, and so he tracked down this sweet, sleek driving machine for me.
The Impala was 25 years old and only had 20,000 miles on it. Its 400 horsepower engine roared down the interstate like Nixon was still in office. And while all my friends were scooting around in Geo Metros and Toyota Corollas, I took my future wife to prom in a car that could comfortably seat 4 people in the trunk.
In just three years, this mythical beast was gone. But it wasn’t because it left because I grew into an adult, losing my imagination and sense of wonder. It was because it blew its head gasket, and everywhere it went it from then on, it was followed by a magical tail of white exhaust.
Somehow I put 25 years of wear on a car in less that 36 months. How?
I’ll tell you my secret: I didn’t change the oil.
You see, not only was I young and dumb, I was young and poor. My money went to important things, like bleaching my hair and buying gas for this 12 mile-per-gallon monstrosity. Getting oil changes and tune-ups were the last thing on my mind.
You may not realize it, but your website needs regular maintenance. It needs to be updated regularly to keep things running smooth and secure. And, as we’ve seen in the untimely demise of my street machine, putting it off will eventually catch up with you.
What kind of maintenance needs to be done?
WordPress Core, Theme, and Plugin Updates. Because WordPress is open source, anyone can extend its code by writing plugins. However, these plugins are often maintained by volunteers (not necessarily professionals), and security issues can arise over time.
SEO Analysis. As your content expands and grows, it naturally develops the need for SEO improvements, like properly labeling images and links, as well as writing the most optimized page titles and document descriptions.
Performance Optimizations. Browsers, devices and computing languages are constantly evolving. Regular checkups are required to ensure your site continues running, and running as quickly as possible.
Reporting & Analysis. With so many tools to evaluate your website, it’d be foolish not to take advantage of them. They can help you quickly find areas that need improvement.
Recommendations. Reports need nothing without actionable steps. Plan for the future well in advance.
Need a Hand?
Some of this work is easily done by simply clicking a button, but some of it requires special tools and online accounts to find areas in need of improvement. I’ve been doing this work for years for many, many clients, and could be your go-to person for your regular maintenance.