Today we are going to talk about how to protect the initial investment of your website build after your project is completed. After your website is built, it is important to understand that over time, your website can become increasingly vulnerable, especially when it is built on a popular CMS system such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. Don’t get me wrong, there are huge benefits of having your website built by professional developers on a CMS system. The most popular CMS of choice for our clients is WordPress.
Using WordPress as an example, let us go over the things we should assume before we begin:
- You had team of WordPress experts develop your website and WordPress, all of the plugins and the base theme architecture was 100% up to date when you launched.
- The development team followed all the rules of securing your WordPress site when it was built, they REALLY know their stuff.
- The website is hosted on a very reputable host and the server is very secure.
- You are using an SSL to serve all of the pages of your website to your visitors offering them maximum protection.
- You are using several plugins to give added features to your website such as a contact form, SSL handling, caching, better SEO control, a fancy slider, advanced website security and a page building system.
Ok. By now you are starting to understand the big picture. Your website is very secure! Now let us talk about what happens to your website over the course of one year even with all of the precautions that you have taken at the time of your website launch. There are 3 main components of your website that are going to have updates regularly throughout the year.
- Core WordPress Updates
- WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Theme / Architecture
On average, there would be about 1 update per component, per month. That adds up to 9 updates per month or roughly 108 updates per year. Even more if you have additional plugins. So why all the updates? With any programming technology there are updates that are released to increase performance, add new features, fix bugs, increase compatibility with other components and most importantly patch any known security risks. Odds are that if your development team did their job, your websites speed and the features it offers would probably suffice for quite a few years. The security risks are what concerns us the most. There are programs out there that will scan websites for known vulnerabilities and exploit those vulnerabilities. You don’t even have to be a target to be a target. Over time, those vulnerabilities are more widely known and more likely to be found during a scan on a website that is not regularly updated. So as your website ages, your website would increasingly become more vulnerable over time. If your website becomes insecure, you are putting your visitors at risk, jeopardizing your initial investment of the website build, destroying your SEO if hacked and in some cases your website could be suspended until the problems are fixed.
So let us look at a few common approaches to protect your initial website investments and your visitors.
- You might decide to have your developers update your website once a year. If you go this route, you put yourself in the same position year after year where your website becomes increasingly vulnerable over time.
- You decide to perform the updates yourself. If you fail to backup the website files and database and just hit the update button and something goes wrong, you will not have a backup to revert to and chances are this will cost you more in the long run to have your developers locate and fix the problem. Even if you do have a backup, if you are not a developer, you will probably waist more time and effort than if you had a yearly maintenance plan.
- You have a yearly maintenance program where all 108 updates are done by a professional team that is notified when your website has an update released. If something goes wrong, they have a backup and are extremely efficient at correcting any issues that might arise.
Ultimately, #3 is undoubtedly the best choice and you’d be surprised at how affordable it is. Through Pennsylvania Web Technologies, you can signup for our year round updates program for only $300 per year if the website was built by our developers. For websites that were not initially developed by us, we would need to perform a website audit to determine if you qualify for the $300 per year rate. Our clients are extremely happy with the results of this cost effective program. Many view our program as website insurance. It’s a smart decision for any business.
Contact us today at (234) 678-7967 or via our contact form to enroll.