WordPress Maintenance

WordPress is the leading Content Management System

WordPress is without dispute the leading Content Management System (CMS) chosen for websites worldwide. It is known to be used by more than 60% of all websites on the Internet 1. Like most successful products on the web, this success makes WordPress a target for malicious hackers and spammers. WordPress counters this through the dedicated work of the WordPress teams and through support from the WordPress community, who are quick to identify and fix any threats. WordPress then provides regular updates which contain these fixes making WordPress one of the most secure Content Management Systems available – for those sites where the updates are applied regularly.

The Golden Rule for WordPress

Hackers are continually trying new things and looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit. The online world changes quickly and the same is true of security. Good security is about minimizing risk.

Security Concerns?

If WordPress is one of the most secure Content Management Systems, then why is security one of the major concerns with WordPress? Statistics show that the big problem is that only 11% of the WordPress installations are actually kept up to date 2 and this explains why so many sites are compromised. In other words, the problem is not with the CMS, it is due to owners who do not not keep their websites up to date (in addition to the number of hackers continually trying to compromise WordPress sites).

Keeping the CMS up to date is not optional if you want your data to remain secure

Fixing a hacked website, or in the worst case, having to completely restore of a website, coupled with the potential lost of business resulting from a malicious attack on the site is expensive, time consuming and frustrating to website owners. Therefore, every site owner should have a maintenance process in place to prevent their WordPress site being compromised.

The solution

A preventative maintenance process may be as simple as, visiting the administration panel of the site regularly to make sure that all recent updates are applied. WordPress makes this easy for site owners and at the click of a button or two, updates are applied. There sometimes is a concern that updates may cause the site to crash and lead to a WSOD (White Screen of Death) but this is unlikely unless updates are skipped. Also, for more peace of mind, site owners should make sure that they have a full backup of the site in case the worst should happen. Finally, site owners should install security software and malware scanning to prevents hacking and spammers from getting access to the site.

The Golden Rule is to keep the CMS, the themes and all plugins up to date at all times

For those people that are not technical or for those who have the resources, there are a number of companies who offer ongoing Wordpress maintenance. These maintenance services are relatively inexpensive and worth the peace of mind that they provide to site owners.

CreatorSEO, Ireland’s leading Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company, offers a range of WordPress Maintenance Support packages to meet your requirements and your budget. Our WordPress support service can include CMS and plugin updates, backup and restoration, security and malware scanning and monitoring of WordPress Sites. For more details please visit our WordPress Support page or give us a call on 061 513267.

References

  1. http://w3techs.com/
  2. https://wordpress.org/

Does more web traffic lead to higher ranking?

The question is whether having more traffic to your site leads to an improved search engine ranking (SERP) on the major search engines (Google and Bing in particular).

The logical conclusion must be that higher traffic to a website suggests:

  • that there is more interest in the site;
  • that the site is considered to be relevant;
  • that there are more incoming links to the site.

However, to complete the picture, the bounce rate also should be considered. Higher bounce rate implies that visitors are less interested in the site or perhaps that the site is not all that it is made out to be. Therefore if higher traffic is a positive indication, then this needs to be offset by bounce rate (or something similar).

Then of course, more traffic may be due to the successful efforts of the SEO team to optimise the site. If this is the case and traffic leads to improved SERP, then we have a ‘chicken and egg’ situation where the number of visits is related to the ranking which is related to the optimisation which is related to the ranking and so on…

Watch your analytics

Watch your analytics – measure traffic and bounce rate and try to improve both.

If traffic is important then we also need to consider how the search engines would measure this traffic and this bounce rate. If the web site does not have Google Analytics installed, then can Google get these measures?

Taking all of this into account, I can only conclude that web traffic has little impact on search engine ranking, but is an important measurement and should be monitored by the site owner.

An improved perception for SEO

Based on comments from a number of website owners and people who were unfortunate enough to have had bad experiences with SEO consultants, I believe that many potential clients are doubtful of the value of SEO to their businesses.

No doubt this stigma attached to SEO has arisen from consultants who:

  1. Sell themselves as SEO experts but have little knowledge or understanding or
  2. Use ‘black hat’ or dubious techniques to increase their clients ranking or
  3. Promise more than they can deliver or
  4. Hide behind SEO being a ‘black art’ rather than a process or
  5. Claim for more hours than they spend.

This bad perception of SEO does little to help the SEO professionals who do not fit into any of the categories above.

How then can we change this perception?  Is there some way of exposing the fraudulent SEO practitioners? Do we need to create a new name for SEO? or is it all about educating the client base?