Oh, those ever-so-innocent-seeming options to auto-upgrade your website or blog.
Seems simple enough, right?
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, as a company that specializes in preventing the “what could possibly go wrong” possibilities, unfortunately, the answer is, a lot.
When auto-upgrades of a site’s CMS, theme or plug-ins are made, there are often “surprises” that show up. Particularly for sites with some level of customization.
For example, we’ve seen homepages go kersplat when auto-updates were implemented because some custom bit of code on the site was not compatible. I don’t even know if we could count the number of times a plug-in no longer worked and wasn’t compatible with an update. And I’m sure you’ve seen others’ sites where suddenly text and images are not aligned properly.
As you can probably imagine, we do upgrades on a test site and then do plenty of testing afterward to make sure that pages and images are rendering properly, that contact forms still work, that the site is still functioning properly …
Then there’s the other aspect of auto-updates: ignoring the updates.
If the upgrades aren’t done, a site is more prone to security and functionality problems, to which you could say NBD.
But Google doesn’t say NBD. Their stance is quite the opposite, and Google’s SEO algorithm now includes scanning for sites that are not actively and properly updated, particularly with CMS upgrades. Why? They know these sites are more likely to produce problems or poor experiences for visitors.
And it’s not too hard to conclude how this story ends. Any issue that reduces the performance of a site creates due cause for Google to dock that site SEO points and ranking.
So, what to do?
We can make this fix really simple for your clients.
We offer maintenance agreements for sites of all sizes, and we regularly scan for CMS, plug-in and theme-update issues. While we’ll make small tweaks as needed, we also include a certain amount of time per year built into every maintenance agreement to address and fix upgrade issues.
In case you’re wondering, maintenance, malware and secure hosting agreements start at $70/month.
Give us a call (or text, or Zoom) to see how we can help you–or your clients–have a more stable, functioning and optimal site.
Atigro Partner Program Manager
202-794-7276 – text/call
Check out our Atigro Partners site!