WordPress Maintenance

Maintenance FAQs.

Helping answer some of the questions frequently asked about our maintenance service at Illustrate Digital.

Do you manage websites that you didn’t build?

Absolutely! We’ve had many clients come to us over the years, frustrated with the way their previous agency or developer has looked after their site. Whilst this is always a shame to see, it’s given us a wealth of experience in taking on existing sites for maintenance, and we treat them with the same care we would with any site we’ve built ourselves.

Do I need to host my site(s) with you?

Whilst it does make life a little easier to host with us, there’s nothing to say you have to. We have a small number of clients who still host through their own provider and we offer them the same level of support and care that we would to our hosted clients. If using your own hosting provider, there are a couple of services that help hugely though – see hosting requirements below.

Are there any specific hosting requirements?

Hosting companies that provide a staging environment are a big winner for us. ‘Staging’ is a separate environment for our team to run tests of all updates before they’re deployed to your live site. Doing updates in this staged approach gives a greater level of confidence that everything has been tested fully and therefore won’t break your live website. All of our sites hosted with WP Engine have staging environments as standard, but if hosting with someone else we’d strongly recommend choosing a provider that offers this.

As well as staging environments we’d always recommend using a hosting provider that offers 24/7 support. Our team are highly experienced with WordPress support but there will likely be times where the help of a server expert will come in handy if something goes awry outside of the site itself. Having easy access to server support is a massive benefit for this reason.

And finally, when it comes to hosting, it’s important to work with a provider that has considerable experience in hosting for WordPress. There are many providers that will advertise WordPress hosting, there are a lot less skilled at doing this in the most secure and optimised way.

What access will you need to my site(s)?

In order to properly provide our service to you, we need full admin logins for the backend of your site along with FTP logins. In certain situations we may also need to request logins for DNS management and access to cPanel.

How long does it take to get set up?

This is dependent on a few factors such as how big your site is, the hosting situation etc. However, generally speaking, we’re able to get a site fully set up on our maintenance system within an hour or two. Pretty quick, right?!

Where are your backups stored, UK, EU, USA?

Unless otherwise requested, our offsite backups are stored using the secure Amazon S3 infrastructure, in EU datacenters. Clients who host with WP Engine also benefit from an extra layer of backups through their own overnight automatic update service, also stored in EU datacenters.

If needed we can also provision custom backups tailored to store data in any region that your organisation may be required to do so.

What security do you have in place to keep my data safe?

We have automatic monitoring in place using services provided by Norton, ESET, Google Safe Browsing and a list of others. This security check scans the pages on your website, compares the code against the known malware knowledge base, and alerts us if anything is flagged as a potential issue or vulnerability. This allows us to be proactive rather than reactive, and ensure that your website doesn’t get breached.

In addition to this we install Sucuri (the industry leading security plugin for WordPress) on all sites. Using this plugin we apply levels of hardening to the site which offer amazing levels of protection against bruteforce attacks and other common types of web threats. Should the worst happen and somehow your site does get breached, Sucuri offers a fantastic post-hack clean up service.

We also recommend all sites we look after have an SSL certificate. When a web browser contacts your website, an SSL certificate enables an encrypted connection, meaning the data being transferred through your site (via contact forms or product purchases for example) is protected behind a layer of encryption.

In addition to the above, we have private security protocols (that we’ll not reveal here for obvious reasons) which are in place to ensure the safe and secure operation of your website and its data on a daily basis.

Finally, the passwords we use for your site are stored and access restricted securely in-house and changed routinely in order to add a further level of security.

How will you know if my site goes down?

We use industry-leading uptime monitoring software which scans your site regularly. If the monitor detects the site is unreachable for any reason, we are alerted immediately and can troubleshoot from there. If there is a problem we’ll always do our best to let you know promptly that we’re working on a fix – that way you’ll hear it from us first rather than from your customers!

 

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