When customers invest in a new website, there is a common misconception in the industry about website maintenance fees that it “should work flawlessly forever” unfortunately, it will not work flawlessly forever. Owning a website or blog has its responsibilities. You can’t just upload it and forget it. Regular website maintenance is a must if you want your site to be successful.
Think about it, if you visit a website that is not updated regularly will you continue to visit it? Why should your own website or blog be like that then?
You must understand that your website require regular maintenance, just like your computer does. If your home office computer starts to get issues, then usually you apply updates to the operating system and reboot it; update your antivirus and software, and if its still not working correctly you might consider taking it to an IT specialist for help.
Keep this in mind you must look at your computer and your website very much like cars; they both need maintenance to keep running smoothly. And you will pay for the servicing of each to keep them running smoothly, it is as simple as that.
The principles of a mechanic apply to your website at a code level, it will require a skilled professional to perform certain tasks to keep your website functioning correctly in a changing environment. Unless you are currently in a web maintenance agreement, a web professional will usually charge an hourly rate to provide professional support services.
Therefore regular website maintenance will keep your website running smoothly with no disgruntled visitors because something on the site didn’t work or a link you provided is broken.
Here’s Why It’s Important For Website Maintenance
- Regular visitors are looking for what is new, so provide them with new and exciting information, products or features.
- Website are subject to being hacked. Using a proper website maintenance program you can try and avoid being hacked by keeping everything up to date. Hackers, and other people with malicious intentions often discover vulnerabilities in code and will attempt to take advantage of this, trolling the Internet for sites that might be suitable candidates for an exploit.
- The environment your website resides within does not stay the same, its evolving every day!
- Most modern websites, (especially those using databases and built on web Content Management Systems) contain thousands of lines of code and depend on specific software that runs on your web host. Depending on a system you use to power your website, the code contained within it may have been written by numerous developers at different times and with various skillsets. Regular maintenance prevents this by keeping your web hosting server’s software and your website’s software updated with the latest patches and security releases.
Website Updates Included with Maintenance
Website content is written text, images, free downloads, anything that is going to draw new visitors in and keep your existing visitors coming back. Here are some ideas:
- Product Updates
- New products added announced.
- Discontinuation of a product. Like the announcement of new products, if you are discontinuing a product, including an announcement in the side navigation will make the information available on all your pages.
- Upcoming price changes would be another thing to announce. It might even spur some rush purchases too.
- Company News
Where you mentioned in the news? Someone did a review of your site or product? This is all what is called social proof and you need to show visitors what others are saying about you.Announcing and introduce your new staff members.
Having a giveaway or a contest periodically is a good way to create some buzz about your website.
Updating old content should be on your website maintenance list also. Information becomes outdated so keep your content up to date to show your visitors you are on top of the subject.
Prevention is better than the cure
A website is a tool for you to inform and promote. It is an investment. With regular promotion and maintenance, your website shelf-life can be greatly increased over that of an unkempt website… therefore increasing the return on your investment!
Broken links, slow page loading times and other issues that occur from lack of web maintenance will all affect your visitors experience and their impression of your company.
On a security point, the fallout from a website getting hacked is huge. It’s often not just a case of reinstating your site from a Backup, as hackers may have left depository code in place to continue to manipulate your system for their benefits. Once a website Exploit has has taken place you will need to address how it happened (and fix any damage it has caused), and then often upgrade the website code (and any Themes, Extensions used in your site) to run the latest software versions so it is up to date and secure.
The costs of a hacked or broken website can heavily outweigh paying regular attention to your investment, extending its shelf-life and staying secure within the environment its operating.
A good question, “if my website breaks, who’s fault is it?”
The answer is simple no one in particular. No one can predict how soon or late your site might become compromised. The companies that maintain the software can only keep it secure after a few websites become compromised, yours can be one of the first or one of the last.
- It’s your web designer’s duty to provide you with a working, bug free and professional website product (including secure codework) upon delivery.
- It’s your web hosting companies duty to ensure the hosting environment is running updated software, applying security patches and taking regular backups of your website.
- And it’s your responsibility as a website owner to ensure your website is receiving regular attention and maintenance.
There you have it, a website is not a final product to be put somewhere and forgotten about. It should be treated as an evolving entity residing within a fast paced evolving environment. For a successful investment your website must get attention on a content and a technical level.
Our Website Maintenance Service Task
Here are some regular monthly website maintenance task that are performed on a scheduled basis.
Backing Up Your Website
Backing up your website is something that should be done all the time. Things happen. Even though the web hosting company says they backup the sites on their servers, their last backup could have been before your last edit. If the server crashes for some reason or your site gets hacked, your edits will be gone if the web hosting company restores what they had backed up. Image loosing a whole day’s work, just because you didn’t take a few minutes to backup the site.
Monitor Website Outages
If your website goes down, we want to be the first to know and not for you to receive an email from someone else that they can not access your website.
Jetset a small WordPress plugin that we run in the background checking your website on a regular basis will notify support to get your website back online.
Now, if at the time you created the website there was something that got left out because of budget constraints, maybe the budget can afford it now and you can add our maintenance service and take another look at your website/blog and see if there is some kind of improvement that can be made. Something that you didn’t think of previously or maybe you have gotten some feedback from visitors that needs to be implemented?
- Fix a usability issue that has been mentioned.
- Time to add a blog if you have a regular website and do not have one already?
- Did you join a social networking site or two? Add the appropriate button(s) and links to your social profiles.
- Add a frequently asked question section to cut down on emails and phone calls ask these regular questions.