WordPress is currently the most popular website builder in use. It offers endless options for themes, plug-ins, modules and e-commerce. However, it also requires proper set up and clean up of unnecessary components. Ongoing maintenance, usually through a skilled developer or third party support, is required as the sites are vulnerable to hacking and exploits. The two biggest concerns with a hack is the loss of your data and the chance that Google will de-list your website due to malware issues.
Cleaning Up Your Installation
One of the main ranking factors for Google is Page Load Speed. A bloated website will be a drag on performance. Depending on the theme you use there may be a lot of unnecessary files and plug-ins. While a typical small business website may be 50 MB to 100MB, a standard WordPress theme can be over 1GB. That can slow down your site speed and performance. You should completely delete anything you will not be using, especially unneeded plug-ins.
Also, be sure to clean up the databases and unused stock images, deleting all unnecessary files.
Average WordPress site size:
- WordPress core: 52 MB (5.7+)
- Average plug-ins directory (/wp-content/plugins): 100 MB
- Average theme directory (/wp-content/themes): 25 MB
- Average uploads directory (/wp-content/uploads): 500 MB
- Average MySQL database: 85 MB
By comparison, an typical HTML site will be under 100MB and will load very fast. So, you need to clean up your site to be competitive for good search rankings.
Test your website here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Security and Weekly Updates
WordPress sites are frequently hacked due to outdated themes and plug-ins. Google recently blocked 11,000 WordPress sites from their index due to a theme wide malware infection. In general, you should be doing weekly updates for your theme and all the plug-ins. There are online services that can manage this for a cost of $40- to $100- a month.
Third Party Support Services
Having a WordPress support contract is the best way to keep your website safe. We can recommend https://wp-techsupport.com/ as they have done good work for our clients.
Support and Maintenance plans usually include:
- Bug fixes
- Website Health Check at onboarding
- 24/7 Support Ticket cover
- Weekly Reporting
- Daily secure off-site backup of database and site files
- Weekly WordPress Core Update
- Weekly WordPress Plugin Updates
- 24/7 Uptime Monitoring
- Site Security Measures
- WordPress Theme Updates
- Daily Security Scan for Malware
- Malware Removal (if ever required)
- Inclusive development time each month for changes, improvements, and customizations
There are other many WP support companies, which we don't have direct experience with, including: