- WordPress theme and plugin conflicts can be messy
- Accounting for ever changing CMS.
- Updates may require more function.
- A Mission-Critical Website Requires Attention.
If you want stability and performance from your WordPress website, it demands a commitment to frequent maintenance. At the most basic level, logging into the dashboard very often and installing any available updates.
That may seem easy enough. And, if you want to make things even simpler, simply turn on the auto-update function. New releases are applied without needing to raise a finger. Even the most technophobic of clients should be capable of managing it. Problem solved, right?
Not so fast. While the process of managing a WordPress website has considerably improved, not every part is that user-friendly. Several instances still demand the skills of a web professional.
Here’s why you may not want to transfer those maintenance obligations over to your client once their site has been launched. At least, not without outlining the risks that are involved.
WordPress Theme and Plugin Conflicts Can Be Messy
Troubleshooting a website may be tedious. And when you consider the fragmented technique utilized to develop a site using WordPress, things may grow incredibly difficult as well.
There are so many moving elements. WordPress core, the active theme, and other plugins all play a vital part in how a site appears and performs. When anything goes wrong, it may be quite difficult to find out the core of the issue, much alone address it.
The process frequently requires actions such as removing plugins or rolling back to older versions, switching to a “default” theme, and examining the browser’s console for issues. This takes a lot of time and work — not to mention a few tears.
And since the WordPress ecosystem is so far-flung, technical assistance varies quite a bit. Some theme and plugin creators are more responsive than others. In addition, there is typically a greater degree of technical understanding necessary to adequately describe what’s occurring.
When anything goes wrong, understanding which channels of communication to utilize and having the proper technical resources are crucial. Therefore, it’s a circumstance that is best efficiently managed by a seasoned WordPress expert.
Accounting for an Ever-Changing CMS
It’s no mystery that WordPress core has undergone some big modifications. The Gutenberg block editor and its ripple effect across the software have only heightened the necessity for expert maintenance services. And it’s only one of many evolutionary stages that have taken place.
A large component of website maintenance is keeping older themes and plugins functional. There are occasions when these things are vital to a website’s aim. Thus, a developer has to assure that they’ll continue to work, even as WordPress itself advances ahead.
Refactoring code is frequently necessary. For example, changing a script so that it would function with the newest packaged version of the jQuery library. Likewise, theme templates and custom plugins might need to be patched up to be compatible with the newest version of PHP.
The second side of the equation is in taking use of cutting-edge features. It might include implementing a block theme, constructing custom editor blocks, or converting old JPG photos to a newer format such as WEBP.
Neither time nor WordPress stands still. A website needs to retain pace, and this requires a qualified individual who knows what’s involved.
Updates May Require Further Action
Applying a regular plugin or theme update is often a basic procedure. But there are situations when further action is required. Sometimes such responsibilities may go beyond the comfort level of a client. Or they may go entirely overlooked.
For instance, WooCommerce is known to demand a database update after installing certain new updates. In addition, a plugin may radically modify or stop a single function, forcing someone to go in and adjust settings.
There are also situations when an update conflicts with a site’s settings. It might be that the current edition of an SEO plugin doesn’t operate with your version of PHP. Or a picture gallery plugin will only operate with a newer version of WordPress than is now installed.
These types of changes can be critical to keeping a website running smoothly. At the same time, the fact that they need to be done isn’t often clear. Error notices might be ambiguous. And such things may even be hidden in a changelog or a blog post. Thus, they’re simple for a client to overlook.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have a professional assess and test any modifications before uploading them to the production site. This has long been a great practice for WordPress developers. And it may be the difference between a flaky site or one that’s reliable and secure.
A Mission-Critical Website Requires Attention
For many companies, a website is more than simply a marketing platform. It manages sales, customer enquiries, and functions as a library of critical information. In other words: it’s mission-critical.
While WordPress makes installing updates very straightforward, the process goes much deeper. The fact is that maintaining a website running at optimal levels involves commitment and know-how.
For clients who wish to manage their website, this might be a tremendous task. And, without a complete grasp of the task, crucial stuff might easily slide through the gaps. Over time it may lead to unsatisfactory outcomes — or worse.
The solution? Keep a professional (like you) in the loop!
Take some time and educate your clients on their site’s maintenance needs. Together, devise a strategy for maintaining everything in tip-top condition. That will have a good influence on you, your customer, and users.