Every year, the market for web design services in the United States alone is worth more than $11 billion! The demand for web design services employs more than 41,000 people.

Of course, a lot of those services go toward WordPress maintenance. In fact, WordPress is the most popular web design platform in the entire world, powering more than 40% of the web.

Some people use managed WordPress hosting services to help them with their maintenance. Other people try to figure out their WordPress maintenance on their own. Some people succeed at this, but some people fall prey to some of the most common WordPress maintenance mistakes. 

So what exactly are the most common mistakes, and how can you avoid them? Read on to learn all about the most important things to understand about common WordPress maintenance mistakes that businesses need to avoid, and how WP Octane can help.

1. Failure to Update WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins

Sometimes, many WordPress maintenance problems flow from a single mistake. For most people, the biggest mistake is failing to update their WordPress core, themes, and plugins. 

There are a lot of reasons that it is important to update all of these things. Perhaps the most pressing reason is to protect your website from viruses, hackers, and other internet dangers. 

Many people do not appreciate this fact. They think that updates are just to provide fancier aesthetics or to add new features.

The truth is that regular updates are completely necessary even if everything looks and functions the same for the user. That is because the techniques of cybercriminals continue to constantly evolve. The number one cause of WordPress security problems comes directly from out of date plugins and themes.

Most updates include some kind of security update. These updates generally make a system resistant or impervious to the new techniques of cybercriminals.

Evolving technology means that new cybercriminal techniques often develop in surprising directions. In most cases, all companies can do is wait for new techniques to come out and figure out ways to protect their digital tools from them.

Once they figure out how to do that, they will send out updates to everyone who uses their digital tools. If you failed to install those updates, then you will be left vulnerable to new cybercrime techniques.

On top of that, failing to update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins can leave you looking behind the times. People might consciously or subconsciously conclude that you do not have the resources to take care of your website. That can make customer wonder if you lack the resources to properly care for their sites as well.

WP Octane provides automatic safe updates to ensure that your site is always running the latest, most secure, and most stable themes, plugins, and WordPress versions.

2. Too Many Plugins and Themes

Some people fail to appreciate how useful a good plugin can be. However, many people have the opposite problem. They get excited about plugins and end up installing too many.

WordPress uses plugins provide much of the functionality you need for your business. Need to create a complex form? Want to host a podcast on your site? Need to make your site rank high on SEO? There are plugins for all of this and so much more.

The same thing could happen with themes. Installing too many themes or plugins can slow down your website, hurt security, and become difficult to manage. The slower your website loads, the lower it will tend to rank on the search engines.

On top of that, some plugins are poorly maintained and contain adware or worse. To make sure you are using safe plugins, you should usually avoid installing any plugin that is not carefully verified. For example, the WordPress.org repository contains thousands of plugins and themes. All of these are tested and verified by dedicated volunteers. Fro third party plugins and themes, you should do you research and make sure the developer is trusted.

Another mistake people make is holding onto plugins and themes that they are not using anymore. It is pretty typical to install themes and plugins to test out. There also times when you need a plugin for only a short period of time. If you are not actively using a plugin or theme tools, you should get rid of them. Otherwise, they will potentially slow down your website and may introduce serious security concerns.

With WP Octane you can quickly and easily manage all of your plugins and themes, across all of your websites, in Octane Command Center.

3. Not keeping PROPER backups

Keeping regular backups for your website may be the number one most important thing you can do to protect the security of your website. Why is that? In the simplest of terms, if anything bad happens to your website, a backup enables you to quickly recover and get your site back online or fix whatever error may have occurred.

Unfortunately, many site owners overlook the importance of backups until the day they go to open there site and it simply is not there. Now its too late. You may just find yourself having to completely rebuild your site. 

Another common mistake related to backups is where they are stored. One of the worst things you can do is to store your backups on the same server as your site is hosted on. If a hacker gains access to your server or database, you may be out of luck if the stored backups are also compromised. Backups should always be kept “off-site”. This means keeping your backups on a separate server, whether it is managed by you or a third party.

WP Octane automatically backs your site up every day onto a secure encrypted server. These backups can be restored quickly and easily in our Octane Command Center.

4. Proper Caching

Caching mechanisms can make almost any website WordPress page load faster. That will immediately help you rank better on search engines. It will also provide a higher quality experience for your website visitors.

Unfortunately, some businesses fail to make the most of caching opportunities. Look around for a quality WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your cache. However, make sure not to use more than one such plugin at any given time.

WP Octane includes a powerful WordPress optimization plugin that includes caching for your website. In addition, we use the latest server side caching best practices to make sure that your server does not slow down your site. Finally, we include a powerful CDN that not only helps your site load faster, but also improves the security and stability of your website.

5. Failure To Secure Your Site

Making sure your site is secure from malicious actors is essential. It is important to make sure your site is using the latest security practices. But it is also sometimes difficult and confusing to know exactly HOW to secure your site. That is where using a robust security plugin, like the one provided by WP Octane, comes in. Things like 2 Factor Authentication, strong password enforcement, and brute force protection are frequently overlooked or ignored altogether. With WP Octane’s robust tools, all of this can easily be handled for you.

6. Check Responsiveness

Most people install a WordPress theme and simply assume that it will provide a responsive experience on any device. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Every time there is a WordPress theme update, you should check both the computer and mobile versions of your pages. Some businesses make the mistake of only making sure that their WordPress page looks good on a computer. These days, a huge segment of your potential audience will be using mobile devices instead. In fact, more sites are visited via mobile devices each day than are visited on a computer in a week.

Search engines look very closely at how responsive a website is. The less responsive your site is, the harder it is get to or stay on top of the search engine rankings.

Understand the Most Common WordPress Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid 

We hope learning about the most common WordPress maintenance mistakes to avoid has been helpful for you. Many people find that WordPress maintenance is simply too much to add on top of their other responsibilities. Some people turn to managed WordPress hosting services to help them make the most of their web pages.

To learn more about WordPress maintenance and hosting services, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!