So, you have taken our advice and decided to subscribe to a web maintenance package after all. The next step is finding out which elements of a web maintenance plan are important to you and which are not. This article attempts to look at some of the more common services that most businesses in Singapore need to be included in their website maintenance retainer.
Choosing a Web Maintenance Package
1) Website Firewall
A website application firewall (WAF) serves as an application firewall for HTTP applications and protects it from common attacks such as SQL injections. It also stops brute-force attacks and malicious traffic. This is an important addition to any site. If you look at the screenshot below, you can see that our WAF has blocked 22 attacks on our website just in the first week of August 2018. Any single one of those attacks could have crippled our website.
2) Plugin & Core Updating
Your WordPress CMS and plugins will be constantly improved and updated. You need to keep up with those changes by constantly updating them as well. Some of these updates may be critical security patches and trust us, you do not want to be caught unawares like Mossack Fonseca.
3) Content Management
Your website’s content will need to be updated from time to time. Ensure that your web maintenance provider includes this in their package. Most of them may have a limit on the number of hours allocated to content management (you know, just in case a client wants them to upload the entire phone book) so ensure that those are enough for you.
4) Bug Fixing
One of the sad facts of life is that websites will, for sometimes no apparent reason, experience bugs. Things may not work as they should have. You need to be able to call in web developers who are familiar with the idiosyncrasies of your website to get it working properly again. There is a difference between fixing bugs and adding new functionality though, so you might want to clarify upfront what comes under the purvey of your maintenance package and what does not.
5) Uptime Monitoring
Does your website go down every day at 3am? What percentage of uptime do you have every month? If you have a high traffic website, every second that your website is down would cost you a lot of money.
6) Regular Website Backups
Sometimes, despite the best of efforts, things go wrong. You need to have a contingency plan for this. Most likely, it would include restoring your site from a backup of some sort.
Not all backup services are created equal though. You need to find out:
- How often do they backup the site?
- Where are these backups stored?
- How many backups do they store?
7) Regular Offsite Backups
No, I am not getting lazy and repeating the same point twice. Most web maintenance providers will take a backup of your site and leave it on the same server. That’s fine for instances where only your website gets hacked or goes down. But what happens if that server gets hacked, crashes or goes up in flames?
You still lose everything.
On the other hand, an offsite backup means the backup is taken and stored in another physical location. This means that you are covered even in the event of the physical destruction of your server.
What Else Should be in a Web Maintenance Package?
We believe that those are the core elements that should be included in every web maintenance package. Do you have others that you think are just as important? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!