A person's hands extended to a Macbook keyboard, editing a WordPress blog post
PHOTO CREDIT: (Pixabay) https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-turned-on-silver-laptop-computer-261662/

Did you know that your CMS-driven website is software? Whether your site is built on a self-hosted WordPress instance, WordPress.com, Drupal, Wix, or Square Space — you’re using software.

Software can be a pretty broad concept, so we’ll narrow it a little:

The programs, programming languages, and data that direct the operations of a computer system. Word processing programs and Internet browsers are examples of software.

https://www.yourdictionary.com/software

In the case of your content management system, you’re relying on programmed templates and sub-routines that work together to render out your website in a very specific manner — for Internet browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari to interpret and show to visitors on various devices.

Put another way, your CMS is the app with which you interact and put content into, in order to produce a result within your customer’s browser in the form of a page, post, menu, taplist, etc. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll be focusing on WordPress since PRÜF specializes in creating custom WordPress sites for restaurants, hospitality, craft beverage, and craft cannabis customers.

Why Does This Matter to a Business Owner?

Glad you asked. This is important to address; in fact, it’s the reason for this post. As a business owner you’ve got a lot going on. You’re busy creating new sales and marketing campaigns to pull in new customers, managing employee schedules, balancing books, and attending to a host of other really important tasks as part of your overall business strategy. As difficult as it is to keep your phone and computer updated, it can be equally challenging to remember to keep your WordPress website updated as well.

Does My Website Need to Be Updated?

That depends somewhat on which CMS you use. If you’ve got a self-hosted, custom WordPress or Drupal web installation, the answer is a resounding “YES!” We like to look at it like this: if the WordPress CMS is the operating system for your website, like Android or iOS is for your smartphone, your theme and plugins function a lot like the smaller apps you’d install on your phone to extend its functionality.

As you well know, in the regular course of months or years, your smartphone receives numerous updates to its core operating system (OS), as well as updates from the app developers. These updates usually includes security patches, bug fixes, and upgrades to various aspects of OS and app functionality.

Is It a Problem If I Don’t Update My WordPress Website?

By and large, not updating tends not to be a huge issue if you go a short time between WordPress Core and plugin updates. But there can be significant downsides, though, as time progresses between update cycles. Like anything, website software is a lot easier to maintain incrementally than if you have to address massive changes in large chunks. As time goes on, your investment requires work and upkeep to maintain it at a level that’s desirable.

When you do allow long intervals between updates, the risks to the health and safety of your site increases — just like waiting too long between checkups with the doctor or dentist. You run the risk of plugins and themes with security holes exposed for prolonged periods of time. As developers add new features, you may also be missing out on those, so of which could save you time. Additionally, incremental updates usually help exposed plugin and theme conflicts in ways that are easier to diagnose than if you’re making big leaps between version updates. These can potentially affect your data, as well.

Doesn’t My Web Host Perform Updates?

This is also a question we see a lot. Some hosts do, most don’t.

If your host uses the words “managed hosting” in their marketing copy, there’s a much higher probability that automated site updates come as part of your hosting package. The big names in the managed WordPress hosting space are WP Engine, Flywheel, Pantheon, Kinsta, SiteGround and Blue Host.

Hosts like ours, WP Engine, do offer CMS updates as part of their routine hosting. WP Engine gives site owners the ability to defer WordPress core updates if necessary, and generally only force through major updates if there is an extreme security risk to your site and/or their infrastructure if your WordPress site isn’t updated.

What If I Don’t Know How to Update My Site?

It’s OK, because you don’t have to become an expert. Since WordPress powers approximately 40% of the web as of 2021, there are LOT of people who can help you stay current.

In fact, WE GOTCHU FAM. You probably saw this one coming… PRÜF is happy to be your guide to taking better care of your custom WordPress site. We offer a range of site care plans, and as WP Engine partner we can migrate you to affordable enterprise-grade hosting that does a bang-up job of keeping your site current and secure, backed up, AND automagically updated.


Introducing PRÜF Site Care Plans

Price Title
Price Subtitle Description
$
49
/mo
  • Product Feature One
  • Product Feature Two
  • Product Feature Three
Price Title
Price Subtitle Description
$
49
/mo
  • Product Feature One
  • Product Feature Two
  • Product Feature Three
Price Title
Price Subtitle Description
$
49
/mo
  • Product Feature One
  • Product Feature Two
  • Product Feature Three

Introducing PRÜF Site Care Plans

TASTER PLAN
Basic
$
75
/mo
  • Google Analytics Monthly Report
  • WordPress Updates
  • Plugin Updates
  • Limited Technical Support
FULL POUR PLAN
Intermediate
$
150
/mo
  • Google Analytics Monthly Report
  • WordPress Updates
  • Plugin Updates
  • Backups
  • Migration services
  • Security Monitoring
  • Uptime Monitoring
  • Limited Technical Support
BARREL PLAN
Premium
$
350
/mo
  • Customization with integrations, managed hosting
  • Standard monthly content updates
  • Monthly executive summary
  • Ongoing user training, 24/7 training videos & process onboarding
  • Social integration, content calendar scheduling
  • Menu/taplist buildout and updates
  • Forms and Private Event Pages
  • Support for Multiple Locations
  • 24/7 Technical Support

OK, But Do I Really Need This?

Think of PRÜF Site Care as similar to insurance, or a regularly scheduled oil change for your car — we’ll be checking on your site periodically. We’ll run uptime monitoring on it. Depending on the plan you choose we’ll send you monthly reports on your site’s performance as well as your site visitors and effectiveness of your content strategy. There’s real value in knowing what your site doing and how that relates to your business and decisions you may need to make.

Otherwise, what could you be missing and how can that HURT your business?


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