You want your WordPress website to be engaging and attractive. You want everyone who visits it to grasp what you’re trying to get across, and to come back for more.

But life doesn’t always go to plan. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the worst.

Here are five things that can ruin your WordPress site:

  1. Bad Plugins

There are literally thousands of plugins out there, and they’re great: they enable your website to do almost anything, and make life a whole lot easier.

But when you’re installing one, make sure it isn’t out to ruin your day. Some plugins are badly-tested, with incompatible extensions or rogue updates. Others are downright malicious, deliberately intended to mess you about.

A few questions to ask yourself when choosing a plugin: is it legitimate? When was the last time the plugin was updated, and is it compatible with your version of WordPress? Has it got good reviews from lots of active users?

  1. User Error

When you’re creating a WordPress, things can sometimes go wrong. It happens to the best of us, and it can be something so simple, you won’t want to tell anyone. For example, did you know that a single character in the wrong place somewhere in your wp-config.php file can crash your website?

The WordPress support forums are full of posts by panicked users who fear they might have broken their sites. Luckily, there is a supportive community out there, and people ready to help out even with the smallest of mistakes.

If something does go wrong with your site, take a look at all the advice out there. A good place to start is the more common WordPress errors.

  1. Server Crashes,

Your last post was especially awesome and is drawing a lot more traffic than usual. You sit back triumphantly, only to find that the increased traffic has just caused a server crash. Your site is down, and with every second that passes, you’re losing potential customers.

In one terrifying example, a WordPress developer told the story of a server crash they had right before a pitch to a potential client. The website that was all set up to demonstrate their skills (and which was the main part of their presentation) was suddenly unavailable.

In this situation, the best reaction is not to panic (however tempting that might seem). Get in contact with your web hosting company to find out what is going on. Server crashes happen for a variety of reasons, from hardware malfunction and exceeding the data limit to technicians accidentally formatting the wrong server.

Most importantly, make sure you back up your website regularly. An up-to-date WordPress backup plugin will help ensure you can get your website running again as soon as possible!

  1. Hacking

Let’s be honest: there are some bad people out there who like to ruin other people’s websites either for money or for fun.

Because you can’t know when or if this will happen, you need to stay protected at all times.

UpdraftPlus released a step-by-step guide to making sure your site’s security is at its peak, and keeping those pesky hackers at bay. Check it out and make sure your site is as secure as possible.

Finally: keep everything up-to-date. If you haven’t updated to the latest version of WordPress, do it now. And check those plugins while you’re at it. Being slow to update can seriously compromise security. This is probably the easiest thing to fix, yet laziness often gets in the way.

  1. Update Compatibility

You’ve been following our advice and keeping everything up-to-date. But what’s this- your site’s broken? What’s gone wrong now?

Though it’s always good to update to the latest version of WordPress, you should also check (preferably before you update) that all of your plugins are compatible with it. Weird and wonderful errors can happen when they’re not. So update your plugins, delete the ones that have been abandoned by their creators, and your transition to the most recent WordPress should go without a hitch.

It’s sensible to take all the precautions you can to reduce these five risks. However, you can never completely eliminate all of them, which is it’s vital that you backup your website with a plugin like UpdraftPlus. That way, you can rest assured that even if everything goes wrong, your website will stay safe.