“Using WordPress to Manage Your Website’s Content is a Good Choice, But it needs looking after”
Depending on your requirements, using WordPress as the Content Management System (CMS) for your website is a good choice for many. However. poor maintenance could lead to major issues for your website.
WordPress – Feature Rich and Cost Effective
It is WordPress’s development framework and ever increasing popularity that has led to thousands of people investing their time and expertise, in making it far easier for websites to carry complex features and functionality, at a reasonable cost.
However, it is these very same hugely beneficial aspects of WordPress – the development framework and its popularity – that make it essential that your WordPress based website is well maintained.
Why WordPress Maintenance Matters
The WordPress development framework allows the core system to be expanded upon using a ‘plug-in’ architecture. This means anyone can add new customised features and functionality to WordPress.
Like all software applications, WordPress and these plug-ins, will likely contain ‘bugs’ :- programming errors. Typically, fixing programming errors (squashing bugs) is achieved via regular software release updates: Improvements are made to the software, whilst known bugs are fixed.
This process in WordPress however, is made more complex, because thousands of semi-independent programmers (plug-in developers) are involved. So avoiding coding conflicts and keeping all development schedules in sync, is difficult.
WordPress has best-practice procedures in place to minimise potential problems, but there’s no way to offer a fail-safe guarantee.
The unfortunate consequence of software bugs usually manifest as an unexpected functional error, that means the software can’t be used as expected in certain scenarios. This is obviously a major headache in itself, but sometimes bugs can even introduce an unintentional security risk.
Although rare, hackers can use software bugs as a means to gain access to areas of a website that are designed to be secure and protected.
This ties-in directly to WordPress’s aforementioned popularity. Although WordPress’s popularity brings great benefits, it also means it is targeted by those with less than good intentions.
Like other popular technologies, if a hacker can find a security flaw with WordPress, they have far more to gain by exploiting millions of users via a single hack.
Minimising the risk of introducing serious bugs in to WordPress, is why it is essential to carry out a regular maintenance routine on your website.
In order to keep your WordPress based website stable and secure, everything must be kept up-to-date, as far as is possible.
It is also good practice, that when you need to add extra features or functionality to your website – usually via a plug-in – you avoid choosing an option that is excessively ‘buggy’ or unstable. Some research is required and an understanding of how WordPress works will be helpful here.
Without taking the necessary precautions, the process of updating itself carries some risk, as it introduces new code that may introduce new unforeseen conflicts or bugs.
Ideally, maintenance work on WordPress should be carried out regularly, at least once per month. This could be work done in-house if you are fortunate enough to have someone with the necessary experience. Alternatively you could contract a specialist to carry-out regular maintenance for you.