Getting your WordPress Website Black Friday Ready – The Critical Importance of Maintenance

In the fast-paced digital landscape, the importance of maintaining your WordPress website cannot be overstated. Over 43% of websites worldwide rely on WordPress to power their online presence, making it a prime target for cyber threats. Yet, the task of updating and maintaining often falls to the wayside amidst the hustle and bustle of day-to-day marketing operations. 


However, neglecting WordPress updates and not keeping a properly maintained WordPress site can lead to disastrous consequences, especially in the lead-up to events like Black Friday, where the stakes are higher than ever.


WordPress remains a prime target for cyber threats


WordPress powers nearly half of all websites globally, making it an enticing target for cybercriminals. Outdated plugins are a significant source of vulnerabilities, accounting for over 52% of WordPress security issues. Regular updates and proactive management are the first lines of defence against these threats.


With 101 new WordPress plugin vulnerabilities emerging in a single week, no one can afford to be lax about their maintenance or security updates. But when your marketing team is working on an endless list of higher priorities, it’s easy for your CMS to follow to the bottom of the pile…


WordPress cyber attacks on the rise


Unless you have a dedicated technical team to rely on, these vulnerabilities can quickly put the spanner in the works of your operations, especially in the lead-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when trade significantly increases for business. 


It’s not just the large corporations that have to worry either. In 2022, 54% of SMEs in the UK were victims of a cyber attack. Of the SMEs polled, 19% said that an average cyber attack would cost them up to £4,200. A sum far larger than the cost of keeping on top of your WordPress maintenance before things go wrong. That’s before we get into the financial ramifications if a cyber criminal decides to hold your systems or information hostage, for a hefty ransom. 


The financial impact of downtime


Downtime has a direct impact on your bottom line. On average, downtime could cost companies $12,000 per hour. Effective management and rapid support are essential to minimise downtime, preserving revenue streams and customer trust.


Of course, the financial impact of downtime isn’t just about what it takes to get your WordPress site up and running again. For businesses heavily reliant on internal systems and applications, website downtime will also lead to a decline in productivity. 


Employees might not be able to access essential tools, data, or communication platforms, leading to wasted work hours. This decreased productivity directly impacts your bottom line too, as tasks take longer to complete, and deadlines might be missed.


During downtime, customer support teams are also flooded with inquiries from frustrated users. Handling this increased volume requires additional resources, including manpower and technology, to address concerns in a timeline manner. These added support costs further dent your budget, impacting finances in both the short and long term.


Putting your site ranking at risk


To encourage a safer internet environment, Google has been actively promoting secure websites by labelling unsecured sites as “Not Secure” in the Chrome browser. This warning can deter visitors, leading to higher bounce rates and negatively impacting your SEO efforts.


Search engines, especially Google, favour secure websites (those starting with HTTPS) over unsecured ones (HTTP). Google does not want to send valuable traffic to unsafe sites. Its algorithm considers HTTPS as a ranking factor, meaning that secure sites are likely to rank higher in search results. Consequently, websites without SSL certificates may find themselves pushed down the search rankings, resulting in decreased visibility and organic traffic.


A properly maintained WordPress site protects your SEO efforts, preserving your online visibility and driving traffic to your site. This allows your marketing team to focus on your wider SEO strategy and improving your rankings, rather than doing damage control on ranking issues caused by inadequate WordPress maintenance.  


Protecting user experience and customer loyalty


A good user experience is a cornerstone of customer loyalty and retention in the digital sphere. Almost 9 out of 10 (88%) of online users won’t return to a website after a bad experience. This emphasises just how important a user-friendly website is for your business. Additionally, just how big of an impact it can have on customer loyalty, as losing a potential customer costs you not only the initial sale but also repeat visits.


However, proper WordPress management ensures a seamless user experience, enhances conversion rates and sets the foundation for customer loyalty. Investing in WordPress maintenance is therefore an investment in your customers’ satisfaction and your brand’s reputation.


The best offence is a good defence 


Investing in WordPress management, maintenance, and support isn’t merely a precaution; it’s business-critical. By proactively defending your digital estate, you can effectively mitigate security risks, creating a robust and reliable online presence.  


As reported by WPBeginner, WordPress websites that regularly update their software components are 42% less likely to be compromised compared to those running on outdated versions. This stark statistic emphasises the importance of timely updates in strengthening a website’s security framework, offering robust defence against vulnerabilities targeted by cybercriminals.


With the festive season and Black Friday on the horizon, fortifying your WordPress website is non-negotiable. Don’t let your website become a victim of cyber threats or suffer from avoidable downtime. Our dedicated WordPress maintenance plans cover all your maintenance and security needs.


Remember, a well-maintained WordPress site isn’t just a security measure; it’s the cornerstone of your online success. Stay secure, stay updated, and thrive in the digital age!


Are you ready to fortify your WordPress website before the holiday season?

Contact us today to safeguard your digital estate.