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Website Maintenance

Website maintenance

Quarterly Website Maintenance for WordPress Sites

Quarterly website maintenance (QWM) is available for your WordPress site. This includes all or some of the following tasks. QWM can be tapered to your particular needs. No commitment required. Opt out any time.

  1. Software updates – WordPress software updates are periodically released to enhance security, patch vulnerabilities, fix bugs, and provide new features. The updates come from various software development teams that support the different elements of WordPress, i.e., themes, *plugins, and the WordPress core.

    *Plugins are software modules or add-ons that extend the functionality of your WordPress site. There are more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository created by a wide variety of open source software developers. Some plugins are high quality and some are not. Most are free with premium versions available that carry a license fee.

    RVC vets plugins for quality before using or recommending to clients. Poorly coded or poorly maintained plugins can make a site vulnerable to malware and/or slow it down. Slow page load speeds can negatively influence search engine rankings.

    RVC will evaluate each of the plugins currently installed on your site and make recommendations if potential problems are identified. Additionally, RVC will create a list of recommended free plugins that provide useful website functionality – especially, in the area of security.

    It’s important to upgrade your WordPress software to the latest versions within a reasonable period of time after a release to protect it from hackers who capitalize on vulnerabilities when they occur. A hacked site can be expensive to resolve and can have a negative impact on visitor traffic, especially if it is flagged as compromised by Google in SERPs (search engine results pages).

    While some web hosts offer an auto-update option, that function typically does not work with custom themes and some plugins. Regardless, if errors occur during the upgrade process (due to software compatibility issues or bugs, for example), many web hosts will not resolve the problem for you. If you’re lucky they might point you to online help documentation. An RVC quarterly website maintenance plan will ensure that all software for your site is updated every three months, including the PHP version. If problems arise during the upgrade process, we will deal with them for you.
  2. Security: firewall installation, malware scans and blacklist check – As part of our quarterly website maintenance, a firewall will be installed on your site (if one doesn’t already exist) during the initial QWM session. It will be configured to provide a variety of security protections including security scans which will run automatically on a periodic basis to check for malware as well as for any files containing modifications that do not match the official files residing in the WordPress repository. This could be an indication of an intrusion. A check will also be done to determine if your site’s domain has been included on any blacklists. If so, recommendations will be made on how to remedy that situation.
  3. Spam protection – Functionality will be added to your website to block users and bots originating from IP addresses that are known to be malicious. These bad actors leave spammy comments, send spam through contact forms, and persistently attempt to log into websites with malicious intent.

    A less known type of spam which occurs “under the hood” is called referral spam. This can distort analytics reports by erroneously inflating visitor traffic. There are two types: crawler referral spam and ghost referral spam. Unscrupulous marketers use these black hat tactics to expand their visibility on the web. Each type requires a different approach to combat. RVC will check your Google Analytics reports for referral spam and, if found, will put appropriate measures in place to address it for more accurate Google analytics reporting.

  4. Contact form test – Contact forms can sometimes break when software modules are updated. Are your website visitors sending you emails from the contact form on your site that you’re not receiving? The worst way to find that out is when you receive a call from a prospective customer asking why you didn’t reply to their earlier email. To avoid this problem, your site’s contact form will be tested every quarter after all software updates have been installed. In the unlikely event a problem occurs, it will be investigated and resolved.
  5. Website performance reports – Every quarter, a 90-day Website Traffic Report will be provided showing your site’s visitor volume by location including average session duration and number of pages viewed per visit.
  6. Website uptime monitoring – Most web hosts provide a guarantee that your website will be live online (not down for any reason) for a minimum amount of time usually somewhere between 99% and 99.99% of time. If they are not living up to this guarantee, how would you know? For that reason, as part of RVC quarterly website maintenance, your website is monitored 24 x 7 x 365 for any downtime. If your website is down for any extended time frames, it will be reported to you.
  7. Automatic website backups – In addition to backing up your website’s files and database before and after each maintenance session, functionality will be added to your site to generate automatic backups on a monthly or weekly basis (depending on how often you post blog articles) independent of any backups created by your web host.
  8. Broken links and 404 errors (Page not found errors) – Your website will be checked for broken links. This is particularly useful if you regularly post blog articles on your site. Broken links do not directly cause ranking problems but they can have an indirect effect by annoying site visitors which can result in an increased bounce rate.

    While most people tend to think only of broken links as the cause of 404 errors (Page not found errors), they are also caused by malicious bots and humans probing a site for vulnerabilities. In many cases, a much higher volume of 404 errors is caused by the latter. For this reason, during each quarterly website maintenance session, IP addresses associated with high volumes of 404 errors are blocked.

  9. Duplicate content – RVC quarterly website maintenance includes an inspection for duplicate content for two reasons. First, to see if your site contains too much text copied from other websites. Nothing holds down a web page in Google’s search results like one with excessive duplicate content. While short excerpts with proper attribution and links are generally not a problem, pages with a significant percentage of duplicate text definitely can be.

    The second reason we check for duplicate content is to determine if unauthorized copies of your content exist on other websites. If so, that’s copyright infringement and recommendations are made on how to handle.

    As with broken link checks discussed above, duplicate content checks are very worthwhile if you regularly add content to your website.

Finally, in addition to the above, each time quarterly website maintenance is performed, your site will be checked for obsolete (abandoned) plugins and evaluated for any enhancements that might make sense for you. If abandoned plugins are found, a comparable plugin is identified and installed. If recommendations are warranted, they will be included in a QWM recap report and may be SEO, security, design or structural in nature.

Pricing for RVC’s Quarterly Website Maintenance

  7-Point Service$150/quarter
($50/mth)
1 Software updates
2 Security firewall, malware scans
3 Spam protection
4 Contact form test  
5 Website performance reports
6 Website uptime monitoring
7 Automatic website data backups  

  9-Point Service$210/quarter
($70/mth)
1 Software updates
2 Security firewall, malware scans
3 Spam protection
4 Contact form test  
5 Website performance reports
6 Website uptime monitoring
7 Automatic website data backups  
8 Broken link check   
9 Duplicate content check

If you would like to learn more about RVC’s quarterly website maintenance, please contact us. Customized plans are available.

 

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