Website Care & Maintenance FAQs
What is website maintenance?
The best analogy we have for website maintenance care is changing the oil in your automobile. Everyone know that a car needs to have its oil changed on a regular schedule – without that, the car will begin to break down. A website is no different. The software code that comprises a website changes all the time and needs to stay updated to function properly and remain secure.
Why does website code change?
If you own a smartphone, you know that apps are updated regularly. Tap a button and your app is updated. The three main reasons the code changes are: 1) to correct bugs in the existing code base, 2) to add new features to the app, and 3) to fix security issues that arise. Website are pretty much the same.
Exactly which code changes?
There are three main pieces of software in a WordPress website. First is the “core” WordPress software which is open source (free to download and use). The developers of WordPress are continually updating the code to fix bugs, add features, and fix vulnerabilities. Second is the “theme” of your website. The basic “template” that governs the website is your theme. Themes are updated by developers regularly, for the same reasons as core WordPress. Third and last are plugins – extra code sets that add functionality to your site, such as SEO, contact forms, typography and graphics, and so forth. When “core” WordPress is updated, it often produces a cascade effect of code changes in theses and plugins.
How often do these code changes occur?
Weekly. If your website is up to date on a Monday, it’s a good bet that code will need updating by the end of the week.
What else needs to be maintained or monitored?
Maintenance plans normally monitor other changes to websites. For example, your web hosting account manages the PHP version that your site runs on. PHP is the underlying programming language of WordPress websites. PHP versions are updated throughout the year and should be kept up to date so sites don’t break down or create security vulnerabilities. We also monitor and fix issues that might arise with your SSL/TLS certificate, which keeps your site on a secure HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol) connection.
Again, with the automobile oil-change analogy, when someone is regularly monitoring your website, you can stay ahead of other changes or fixes that may need to be made to your website. Maintenance means fewer surprises.
How does this maintenance happen?
It is best to contract with a developer or agency to provide regular, weekly maintenance. Our website care plans do just that. Modest payments are made monthly and we keep your site up to date.