Driving in my car the other day I listened to a radio ad from the owner of a local car repair business. He explained there are two types of people who come to his business. Fix it when it breaks people who come in every now and then when things go wrong with the car and see you next time people who come in on a regular basis when they see the maintenance light on their car light up. He went on to explain that see you next time people spend less money per year maintaining their car than fix it when it breaks people.
Are you a fix it when it breaks person?
After listening to the ad, I realized the same thing applies to business owners in regards to their websites. Do they fix it when it breaks or do they prefer to have their website updated on a regular basis? In order for you to make that decision, here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make that decision.
Pros of Fix It When It Breaks
- Save money with no monthly or yearly payment for maintenance
- Can spend more time on other business projects
Cons of Fix It When It Breaks
- Can end up costing you more money than paying for a maintenance plan
- Risk your website going offline more frequently
- Risk losing your website
- Your website becomes slower and might not function properly
Fix it when it breaks with a website can be a bit stressful and can end up costing you more money. Especially if your website is beyond repair and you end up having to recreate the website. In my experience, most of the time these people aren’t made aware of maintaining a website. Had they known, they would become see you next time people and avoided a website emergency.
Easy To Understand Techy Terms
I love to educate people about the website process because I believe the more information you have, the better informed you will be to make decisions about your website. In order for you to decide if a website maintenance plan is right for you, you’ll need to understand these techy terms you’ll run into:
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system written in PHP (general-purpose scripting language) and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database that stores your content. We use WordPress to create our websites.
A WordPress theme is a collection of files created by a WordPress developer to display the design of your website to your visitors. These files include the layout for your header (top of your page), your single page (middle of the page and major content area), and your footer (bottom of the page). Most developers provide you with theme options on how to display your content.
WordPress Plugins are built by WordPress developers and enhance the features and functionality of your website. I use them to save me time and save my clients money. A popular one, The Events Calendar, https://theeventscalendar.com is great for nonprofits, restaurants, and bars. You just add your event details and it publishes onto your website’s calendar.
What is a WordPress Maintenance Plan?
The top two reasons for sites being hacked are insecure passwords & outdated (vulnerable) software. A WordPress maintenance plan keeps your themes, plugins & WordPress updated to the latest versions. Updates typically happen when developers release security patches or add extra functionality. That is why a WordPress maintenance plan can reduce the chances of your website being hacked. For example, The Events Calendar plugin released a major design update recently.
Sometimes action speaks louder than words. Here is a screenshot of a local company’s website in Barnstable, MA showing their google search results.
This isn’t meant as a scare tactic, but rather a real example of a local company. In fact, about 30,000 websites are infected with some type of malware daily, according to Big Drop.
A new website for your business is another investment, just like your car. You’ve spent a lot of time (especially if you created it yourself), money, and energy gathering all the information, making decisions on what content to add to it and where it should go. If you’ve built a lead generation website you’ll be spending more time and money creating your blog or learning center content.
Should you protect your website investment?
The questions become one of risk assessment. Do you want to take the chance that your website won’t be compromised, or do you want to reduce that chance with a WPMP? The decision is up to you.
If you have a WP Maintenance Plan, you will reduce the chance of virus and malware attacks on your website, your website will be running at peak performance, and your site will be up to date with the latest security bugs and fixes.
Without a WPMP you run the risk of your website being compromised, loss of business, or losing your website completely.