Two keys to a successful WordPress site are: how it is built, and how it is managed. Poorly trained website developers and administrators often get these two pieces wrong, opening the door to risks such as hacking, search engine penalties, loss, breakage, public exposure, and confusion.
Successful WordPress sites need to be actively managed. All King Grizzly WordPress sites come with an Active Management plan built upon five proven pillars:
Let King Grizzly keep your site in great condition, so you can concentrate on what you do best: your business.
Five Pillars of Active Management
The way many WordPress sites are hosted is fraught. Typically this looks like:
- Bargain hosting
- Weak or no backups
- A single, public environment
- Lack of SSL (the green lock icon in the url bar)
- Lack of CDN (Content delivery network)
Not all hosting is created equal. In the hosting world, you definitely get what you pay for. King Grizzly does not work with bargain hosting. We’ve scoured the Internet for partners and only host sites on the best solutions.
For WordPress sites, this means we’ve teamed up with enterprise host Pantheon — the same hosting provider used by Yale, Quicken Loans, IBM, Patagonia, the United Nations, and many more.
Every King Grizzly WordPress site comes with enterprise Pantheon hosting, with:
- Automated backups
- SSL certificates with every site. All client sites provide HTTPS encryption, a crucial feature for visitor privacy and search rank optimization.
- Identical pre-configured Dev, Test, and Live environments connected by version control. This means site changes and updates can be tested privately before touching the live site.
- Global CDN and caching services guarantee lightning-fast response times around the world
- Scalability. With most hosting providers, you run the risk of downtime when traffic spikes or other sites hog shared resources. On Pantheon, you can scale to millions of pageviews without affecting performance.
- Managed infrastructure. Pantheon takes care of architecture, hardware, and system admin so you don’t spend a dime on IT.
- 24/7/365 Live chat support by real WordPress developers (not call center script readers)
- 99.9% Uptime
A challenging reality of owning a website is the prevalence of malicious characters and bots online. Besides bad actors, there’s also the possibility for mistakes: an unsuccessful plugin update or accidental action by a staff member could create undesirable results. While we can’t guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to your website, we can guarantee proactive security practices will be in place to help prevent or mitigate such an occurrence:
- Automated rolling site backups. If you, a corrupt plugin, or a bad actor ever messes up the site, we can roll it back to a recent healthy state.
- Strong WordPress security measures. We keep your site safe from hackers with regular security scans, vulnerability reports, audit logs, safety recommendations, 2-factor authentication, blacklist monitoring, IP lockout, simple security tweaks and core, plugin and theme code checks.
- SSL certificates on all sites. This keeps sessions between your website and browsers secure and private via HTTPS encryption.
Keeping a site healthy and secure means keeping it up to date. WordPress releases frequent security and platform updates. When this happens, the plugins and themes a site uses often need to be updated. Failing to keep a site, theme, and plugins updated can lead to security exploits, performance issues, or site errors. We update all client sites on a recurring basis and with every major platform, theme, and plugin release. These updates are installed on a private development environment which is an exact mirror of the live site. Once we are sure the updates were successful, they are deployed to the live environment with no disruption to the public site experience.
We build sites clients can update themselves, but sometimes small changes outside the scope of client access may arise. Here are a few examples of such small changes we, or a client, might want to address:
- An individual page element looks off on a mobile device size
- A heading looks too big
- A link color needs to be updated to match new brand standards
Active management covers this type of small maintenance, for up to two hours each month. In fact, King Grizzly will proactively make these type of changes anytime we notice them so clients can be confident their site is working well.
5) Data Reporting
Finally, we provide clients with access to an analytics dashboard tool which can be viewed in a browser or via a free phone app. If your metrics tools can capture key data and goal conversions, we’ll feed that data into powerful, live dashboards which put your KPIs (key performance indicators) in your pocket for easy access, anytime.
In Summary: The Case For Active Management
We’ve been working on websites since 2004 and have seen the damage a lack of active management can cause. We’ve seen small businesses get hacked, or crash their own sites by accident. We’ve seen a multi-million dollar company have dozens of sites exploited at once due to poor hosting decisions. Undoing the damage took weeks, at great cost to the company. Modern websites and their management is a sophisticated undertaking. Let King Grizzly keep your site in great condition, so you can concentrate on what you do best: your business.