Web Care Plans.
Websites are constantly evolving.
In a similar way to how a car requires ongoing servicing and parts replacement to keep it moving and reliable, websites require ongoing maintenance and software updates in order to keep running efficiently and securely.
At a minimum, the software that drives the site needs to be kept up-to-date, daily back-ups need to occur, to make sure that your site is running 24/7. Gasoline Media offer a Basic Care Plan to cover these needs.
If you are serious about your online presence, your company’s reputation, website performance, and ROI – we highly recommend looking at Gasoline Media’s Premium Care and Elite Care plans as well.
About updates and the benefits of web care.
CORE SOFTWARE UPDATES
Currently the basic website building framework of Gasoline Media is based on WordPress software platform, one of the world’s leading and most versatile Website platforms.
Typically WordPress releases around four ‘core’ software updates in a given year. These updates are usually centered around updating and reinforcing potential security issues. Thus it is critical to continue to update this core software to achieve optimum security and performance in your website, in much the same way as you might do on your smart phone.
An average WordPress website will include anywhere from five to twenty plugins. Plugins are third-party developed software additions that are “plugged in” to the Wordpress framework to deliver a particular feature or solution. Similar to the apps on a smart phone, the benefits of plugins is they save thousands of dollars in software development time and therefor reduce cost to the customer’s website build.
However plug-ins also need to be updated for security and performance purposes just like the WordPress framework. Often when the WordPress framework is updated, this requires all plugins to be updated at the same moment, to ensure they work cohesively within the ‘new’ WordPress version. Part of the updating process is ensuring the recently updated plugins don’t conflict with those plugins that have not yet been updated and avoid functional failures on the website. For example, when running an out-of-date plug-in, a website might not be compatible with the latest version of WordPress. This can leave a site broken or blank.
Like anything online, WordPress can be a target for hackers if left unmaintained. This is the primary reason to ensure all WordPress updates and plug-ins are always kept up-to-date. Outdated plugins are far more vulnerable to security, data breaches and ransom attacks. Keeping your website software up to date is like ensuring the doors are locked to your business’ building and maximising business data security.
How to update your website, the right way.
We download a clone of the entire website from our live hosting servers and back it up on our local hosting server. A back up is required just in case any updates cause unexpected errors or outcomes. We can then revert back to the latest functional version of your website if required.
A copy of your website is now uploaded to our local staging server. We then apply all the relevant updates. All this occurs as an exact online copy of your current website but in a controlled staging environment not accessible to the public.
After successfully uploading all up-to-date software and plugin updates, we test the website functionality and performance in this staging area to ensure site updates have been successful.
On completion of testing, we upload your website back to the live hosting server, replacing the now existing website with the new up to date version.
Can I update my website myself?
Updating website software yourself is an option. Administration (top level) access is required to your website to allow for self managed updates, means access to the entire website’s controls, knowledge of the correct updating processes and full responsibility for the ongoing security of these logins.
Therefore updating your website without the required knowledge can be potentially disastrous and lead to loss of data.
Gasoline Media’s web support is available to correct any update issues a self-managed website might incur, however a minimum web support charge (currently $180 + GST per hour) to fix, reinstate, or assist you to correct any website issues regardless of fault. Priority is also given to clients on above care plans if there is a conflict in web support scheduling.
Please also note any content management training does not include a “how to” on updating your site, as this requires a higher level of web knowledge and broader skill set. Therefore we naturally encourage and strongly recommend a suitable Web Care package outlined in this document.