Your organization’s digital presence is almost as essential as its physical presence in today’s world, and your website acts as a formal representation of your firm online. If you are here, you must have done your research on website content management systems and decided on WooCommerce as any responsible decision-maker would. Alternatively, you might have inherited WooCommerce from a previous project. In any case, you’re not alone.
Setting up a WooCommerce website, on the other hand, is not a “set it and forget it” approach. If you’re using WooCommerce for your online store, you’ll need a WooCommerce maintenance plan to keep it running smoothly. You don’t want to be one of the webmasters who have to learn this the hard way.
Why Do You Need A Solid WooCommerce Maintenance Plan?
Yes, WooCommerce is a complicated database-driven system with many underlying source codes, despite its simplicity and ease of use. Like any other program, WooCommerce requires regular maintenance to stay stable, secure, and in excellent working conditions.
Safeguard From Viruses, Hackers, and Bots
WooCommerce is a popular target for hackers, malware, bots, and other harmful factors in cyberspace since it is a widely used platform (like Microsoft Windows for websites). According to ZDNet, WordPress was responsible for about 90% of all hacked content management system sites in 2018.
Imagine finding out one day that your website is infected with malware and is hazardous to use. Alternatively, sections of your website may vanish altogether. Or, even worse, hackers seize control of your site, steal your customers’ information, and deface it, causing significant damage to your company’s brand and image.
Fortunately, the bulk of these security problems can be avoided by just keeping your computer updated.
For Keeping Your Website Up-To-Date
WooCommerce receives new updates regularly to improve the platform’s security and speed. To keep your WooCommerce website secure, you’ll need to maintain the core code as well as any plugins you’re regularly using.
“Experts blamed most of the attacks on vulnerabilities in plugins and themes, misconfiguration issues, and a lack of maintenance by webmasters, who often failed to update their content management system, themes, and plugins,” according to the previous ZDNet story.
By regularly upgrading your WooCommerce website and its plugins, you can ensure that your site has the most up-to-date security updates, lowering your exposure to typical attacks. Ignore these notifications at your peril.
To Deliver A Great User Experience.
Aside from security concerns, keep in mind that most WooCommerce sites rely on plugins created and maintained by third parties. Compatibility issues can arise with each new WooCommerce update, depending on how diligent the plugin developer is with their updates. This is all the more reason to keep both the WooCommerce core version and any plugins up to date and perform quality assurance testing with each update to ensure that nothing breaks and that performance does not suffer in a way that will impair your business.
Hosting Maintenance Is Not Website Maintenance
Every WooCommerce website requires hosting, and hosting options range from low-cost shared hosting to fully-managed dedicated servers and high-performance VPS/cloud services. Unless you are responsible for complete server management, these plans often involve some degree of maintenance and administration from the host. This may include routine software patches and updates and firewall monitoring. The “maintenance” of the server/hosting environment, on the other hand, is a different set of duties from the “maintenance” of your WooCommerce website.
To Tackle Factors Outside of WooCommerce
While we’re on the subject of hosting, it’s also worth noting that the standards for the underlying technologies that WooCommerce relies on (such as PHP and MySQL) are susceptible to change. This is yet another reason to keep your WooCommerce version up to current. If you’re running WooCommerce on an older version of PHP or MySQL, or if they haven’t been updated with the latest security updates, your hosting environment may become incompatible with WooCommerce, and your site may stop working. Worse, it may continue to run, but with a slew of back-door security flaws that you aren’t even aware of.
To Customizations Effortless
Not only in terms of design but also in terms of setup and configuration, WooCommerce websites may be very different. Only a tiny percentage of professionally designed WooCommerce websites are launched with an “out of the box” setup. Instead, most WooCommerce websites are made up of a mix of third-party plugins, themes, and their different customizations. Each WooCommerce website is usually further modified to fit the specific requirements of each company.
While WooCommerce makes it simple for non-technical people to update primary material like blog posts, events, press releases, and other page content, you’ll eventually need the help of a WooCommerce developer. You’ll subsequently want to change anything more behind the scenes, such as updating input fields on a website, a contact form, or a theme or page template adjustment, basically anything that involves touching or generating source code.
In these situations, you’ll want to make sure you have a dependable resource to make these changes for you, and that’s where a WooCommerce maintenance plan may come in handy.
To Be Proactive
Preventative maintenance is your best defense in keeping your website functioning well and avoiding any unpleasant shocks. But, despite your best efforts, unforeseen difficulties like bugs, mistakes, and outages might occur. When they do, you’ll need a dependable, committed resource to act on your behalf and get things back up and running as fast as possible. You don’t want to be left waiting or scrambling to locate a new consultant or agency to assist you like your website visitors experience issues and your reputation suffers. It is possible to leave things to chance without a strategy, but it is not a sensible alternative.
What Does An Ideal WooCommerce Maintenance Plan Should Include
The following obligations should be addressed at a minimum by a good WooCommerce maintenance and support plan.
- WooCommerce core version releases and plugin updates are updated on a regular basis, with quality assurance testing performed after each upgrade.
- When conflicts or issues occur on your site, you will need to troubleshoot them (for example, when third-party tools do not work together).
- Continuous monitoring and protection against spam, malware, unauthorized logins, and other harmful efforts are among the best security practices for preventing possible problems before they materialize. This includes using SSL to secure your site adequately.
- Continuous, automated backups in the event that your site has to be restored due to a disaster or data loss. You should have incremental (e.g., daily/weekly/monthly) redundant backups saved in several places in the best case scenario (e.g., a backup drive, as well as offsite cloud storage).
- A well-maintained server/hosting environment that includes up-to-date and secure versions of Apache, PHP, and MySQL and correctly set SSL certificates, a security firewall, and other server management best practices.
- Speed optimization, which includes best practices like page caching and image compression, to guarantee that your WooCommerce website is configured for maximum performance. After all, a quick website isn’t only good for business but also for SEO.
- A committed resource familiar with the site has access to the required administrative documents and permissions. It can accept responsibility for site maintenance and, if necessary, restoration and reacting to on-demand demands promptly.
- Finally, the strategy must be proactive, providing continuing, forward-thinking counsel to safeguard your website and business.
Related: Top Frequently Asked WooCommerce Questions You Should Know
Whether you maintain your WooCommerce site, hire an in-house administrator, or hire an outside vendor, the most important thing is that you have a plan in place to keep your website up and running. This is the basis for keeping a professional and long-lasting website, and the peace of mind that comes with having a solid strategy in place is priceless.
You’ve put a lot of time and money into designing your website, creating content, and getting it up and operating correctly. it’s well worth it to maintain it that way.
If you need some extra help or support with your WooCommerce site, we’d be delighted to answer any questions you might have and even give you a free review. Please feel free to contact us or fill out the form below, and we will respond as soon as possible.