Regular updates and backups are both key components to keeping your website secure as well as guarding against loss of time, money and data in restoring your website after a catastrophe.
Keeping your WordPress software and your plugins up to date not only closes known holes in your site’s security, but also makes sure it plays nicely with any third party solutions you rely on. Updates also bring new or improved functionality to your website that may enhance your visitor’s experience or speed up your own work.
I run ‘as needed’ maintenance for WordPress updates. When a WordPress release is announced, I first make sure that ALL of your plugins are either confirmed to be compatible with the new version of WordPress or that an updated version has been released. Often, an unscheduled security release from WordPress sends the plugin developers scurrying to test and update their code, so its possible that it may take a day or two before everything is ready to go. Once we’re all set, I’ll schedule a proposed date and time for the updates and if there are no impacts to your business (updates may take your site down for a few minutes), we go at that time. If there are reasons to hold, we’ll work out another slot that works better for you. Just before I update the website, I will back it up one more time, just in case there are problems and we need to roll it back and figure out what went wrong.
In addition to the WordPress updates, I will also spot-check monthly for any updates to your plugins or third party software and make sure that these are up to date as well.
The fact is, despite all of the precautions we may take, bad things will eventually happen to your website, whether caused by us, by someone else, or simply by faulty hardware or software. For this reason, having a backup that allows us to simply revert back to the last saved version minimizes downtime and eliminates the cost of rebuilding everything from scratch after something goes wrong.
In addition to handling catastrophe, backing up your website also allows you to make improvements with peace of mind and confidence, having full knowledge that you can simply restore your site if things don’t work out as you’d planned.
GoDaddy will run daily backups of your website. In addition, I run a weekly maintenance schedule that backs up your website to both my local drive and a secure dropbox account that both of us have access to.
Finally, I provide a tool that allows you to take a snapshot of your website any time you start working on it so that you can craft your ideas with confidence, knowing that if they don’t work out, you can always restore your site to where it was before you started.