Your Website is Critical to Your Business
Your website is one of the most important assets in your business.
It’s vital that you keep it updated, protected and online so that you can serve your customers.
If your website is offline or suffering from problems, it’s no longer effective for your business and will lose you revenue (directly through lost sales / visits or indirectly through word of mouth or social media posts).
In today’s modern world, there are also many other factors to be aware of. It’s common for websites to be targeted with hacking attempts.
In fact, the average website will have automated attacks looking for weaknesses multiple times per day.
Are you looking after your WordPress website right now?
Can you remember the last time you ran updates in the admin dashboard?
Some of you reading this have never even logged into the back end of your WordPress website.
What you need to understand is that your website runs using software, just like your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet or mobile device. If you don’t keep that software updated, you run the risk of errors, malfunctions or in the worst cases malware infections.
Paying attention to updates, ensuring they’re carried out effectively on your website and testing afterwards does take time. It may not be time that you have available personally, but it’s a critical task as it will keep your website secure, online and visible to your target audience.
Do you have someone in-house who is suitably knowledgeable with WordPress to perform these updates?
It’s okay if you don’t, no one can blame you considering this could easily cost you $30,000+ per year to have an employee with the right skillset to be able to look after your website. But you’ll need to have a plan in place to keep your website updated and safe.
In this guide, I’ve put together five key essentials to help you set up a maintenance schedule and to keep your website secure. Taking these steps will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what’s important to you in your business.
Essential #1: Back Up Your WordPress Website
One of the worst things that can happen to you as a business owner is to try and access your website and find that it’s offline.
Even worse though, is when you get that dreaded email from a customer who tells you that your website is down or that there is a message from Google telling them about malware.
What do you do in a situation like that?
For most people, this would mean reaching out to your hosting company and being completely reliant on the ability of their support team to assist you.
In most instances, they’ll be able to restore a backup of your website but this may not have all of the latest data, especially if you have transactional data like eCommerce.
As a business owner, you need to have a disaster recovery plan. If you don’t have one already, you must take a few minutes out of your day right now and think about what you will do when something goes wrong with your website.
TIP: Make a note of key telephone numbers or contact details for your hosting company, domain provider and email provider (if separate e.g. Google WorkSpace) If you have any problems with your website, you need to have these contact details on hand. Don’t plan on keeping these in the same place as your emails, because it’s possible for your website and emails to be down at the same time.
The most important part of your disaster recovery plan is going to center around backups. With a full backup of your website, you can recover this to ANY hosting provider, even in the worst situations.
3 Keys to Your Back Up Schedule
There are three key things you need to think about with your backup schedule:
1. Off-Site Backup: For proper security and safety, your backups should be stored with an external service. For example Amazon’s S3 platform, Google Drive or Dropbox. This mitigates against any issue where your current hosting provider is inaccessible.
2. Regular Schedule: Your backup schedule will vary depending on how often you update your website and the type of audience you serve. For the average small business WordPress website, a full backup once per week and a daily database backup would be enough . For eCommerce, a daily full backup and an hourly database backup may be a much better recommendation.
3. Encrypted: For the safety of your business data, you should choose a solution that encrypts the backup of your website before storing it off site. This keeps your data and most importantly your customer data, secure.
Over to You
Now you have more knowledge as a small to mid-sized business that it is crucial to have a back up of your website and automatically schedule them for security and in emergency situations.
You also don’t have to be a genius to back up your WordPress website.
There are many options that allow you to back up and restore your website at anytime. I will cover those options in a future article. For now, let’s move onto the next essential, your website security.
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