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    You’ve gone through the rewarding and laborious task of creating a new website. It is the face of your organization and a way for both new and existing clients to connect with your brand. What comes next can be a mystery to many clients, and while we recommend letting the Gravitate Core Services team handle your backups, we wanted to share the three most important website maintenance items:

    1 – Backup Your Website and Database

    It might sound obvious, but having a backup of your site can be a huge lifesaver if you ever experience issues with your website, or accidentally delete content, pages, or sections. How to make a backup of your site varies depending on how your site was built and the hosting system on which it is stored. If you are using WordPress, our preferred Content Management System, then there are a number of easy ways to create and store regular backups.

    Backups also serve an important role in items two and three on our list.

    2 – CMS Update

    Your Content Management System is designed to make updating your website easy and efficient. Throughout the year, updates are released for most Content Management Systems to improve security and performance. These updates aren’t mandatory, but ignoring them can leave your site susceptible to malicious attacks.

    So what does that mean? It can be anything from hackers posting content and links on your site to stealing sensitive information such as your gateway API key or sensitive information that you’ve collected from your customers. Not only is there the risk of material loss, but also the risk of damage to your organization’s reputation.

    Want to stay on top of CMS updates? Make sure to create a backup of your site before executing a CMS update – occasionally plugins may conflict with a CMS update and a backup will allow you to revert and troubleshoot the issue.

    3 – Plugin Update

    Plugins can add a great deal of functionality to your site without the need for developing custom solutions. Just like your CMS, updates for plugins are released from time-to-time to improve functionality and security. Ignoring updates can leave your site vulnerable to security threats.

    Since plugins are maintained by individual developers/companies, they are not compatibility tested for all situations and certain updates may be incompatible with other plugins on your site. We recommend creating a backup before making any updates and then update plugins one at a time. After each update, test your site to make sure everything is still performing properly, and then move on to the next plugin. Following this process will ensure that that your plugins are functioning properly and securely. If a problem does arise, you should know which one caused the conflict.

    The Takeaway

    Your website security is an important part of your business and your relationship with customers and clients. If you are able to maintain your backups and updates, then you should sleep a little easier at night. If you have trouble finding time to keep your site secure and up-to-date, Gravitate is here to help – just send us an email and we’ll help you find the level of service that works best for you.

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