The digital age has drastically shifted people’s attention to the online world. Businesses, in all industries, need to focus on digital marketing if they want to establish an online presence, reach more of their target market, and get more business. Developing a great website and putting out content is one of the most important steps for anyone looking to succeed in the modern marketplace. However, web development does not end once a site goes live. Websites that are left unattended will accumulate bugs, outdated info, irrelevant data, and potentially even crash. We need to look at websites as a constant work in progress that requires maintenance and regular upkeep to run effectively. If you have invested time, energy, and money into building a website, it is a good idea to consider a website maintenance plan to ensure you get the most out of your site.
Why Website Maintenance is Important
While it is possible to have a website without routine maintenance, it is not recommended. There are simply a lot of things that can negatively affect your business. These are some of the most important reasons why website maintenance is important for your business.
There is no lack of threats in the online world. Websites that lack security monitoring and the latest security updates/patches are vulnerable to online attacks. A website maintenance plan is the perfect cybersecurity solution. Security updates and security monitoring will ensure that your website and your visitors are secure. While this is something you can do on your own, the price of failure in these situations is great. In matters of security, prevention is always better than cure, so it is a good idea to leave the job to professionals.
Many people take security for granted on the basis that they have no enemies and that hackers would not waste time on their website. However, these attacks are rarely targeted at a specific individual or website. Hackers use automated tools that scan the web and look for unsecured websites that are susceptible to attacks. Regardless of what the online platform you use, or the industry you are in, hackers will happily exploit weaknesses. Once a website is breached, hackers can collect sensitive data or install malware.
The digital world is pretty fast-paced. Online platforms and software are always looking for ways to improve their services and offer more to users. This means that they are pushing out updates on a regular basis. If you do not update your website routinely, you are in danger of using outdated versions of software, which are more susceptible to poor performance and online threats.
When it comes to WordPress websites, one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) on the market, this includes core updates, theme updates, and plugin updates. A website maintenance plan will ensure that all the newest core, plugins and themes are updated and properly set up on the website.
One of the most important features that a good site maintenance plan offers is website backups. Simply put, a website backup is a copy of all your website’s data. It enables the owner to restore the website to a previous state, should the website encounter issues or lose data. Backups are extremely important for any business website building an online presence.The amount of data backed up will depend on your service provider. The more data is included in the backup; the better and more effective the backup will be. While backups can recover your site to a good state, it is essential to note that any changes made after a backup will not be saved. This is why automatic daily backups are the best course of action for your website. Backups have numerous benefits:
- Prevent data loss by ensuring that all your files, content, databases, and media are easily retrievable
- Serves as a safety net in case of human error
- Enables you to reverse problems caused by updates
- Help in handling compatibility issues with new installations.
- Resolve malware infections
- Make migrating web hosts easier
While all websites strive to achieve zero downtime, downtime is sometimes simply inevitable. Even huge names like Facebook and Google run into the occasional website downtime. Numerous things can result in site downtime. These include human error, equipment failure, cyberattacks e.t.c. Any downtime on your site, a few hours or a few days, is likely to cost you a potential customer or a sale. This is where you need to have a dedicated maintenance team that can monitor your website’s uptime and gets it back online as soon as possible should the worst happen.
Allows for Easier Changes
Any business growing at a steady pace is sure to come to a point where it wants to update its corporate image. Your website and social media will play a vital role for reinvention in the digital world. After all, these are the two things that draw the most visitors. While social media will require a revamp of images and tone, your website requires more work. This includes going through multiple web designs to find the website design the best represents your new philosophy and services. It also includes content updates like creating fresh content and changing any blog post that talks about your business. A well maintained website allows you to change the look and feel of your site without the additional website development an unkept website would have to go through. This means that you will drastically reduce the time a site is disabled, which can directly affect traffic and site performance.
Access to Professional Support
Anyone who has experience with a website knows the amount of work that goes into creating and maintaining a good site. While it is possible to carry out certain tasks on your own, some tasks require a higher level of technical support to be well executed. With a good website maintenance package, you will have access to professional support to assist you with complicated tasks. This alone can be worth the maintenance cost as it can business owners a lot of time, effort, and stress that would otherwise have gone into researching and tackling the problems on their own.
With so much activity on your website, it is important to have an overview of what is going on. Keeping up with the numerous metrics and data can be exhausting and difficult, especially if you have your hands full with other tasks. Website maintenance plans can provide you with easy to follow reports that will provide you with a great overview of your website. A website maintenance plan can provide you with a monthly report of all the work performed on your website to keep it in optimal condition. Apart from that, more advanced maintenance plans can offer monthly overviews of website performance, and recommendations on what to improve.
Getting the proper hosting is essential for not only your website but a great user experience. Hosting can provide you with a more secure site (SSL – Secure Socket Layers) and much faster loading times. Website loading speed has become one of the most crucial ranking factors. People have grown accustomed to getting information quickly. The longer it takes for your page to load, the more visitors you are losing.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Site maintenance is also very beneficial for SEO. We need to keep in mind that our websites are being optimized for more than people. They also need to meet the mark with search engines. Search engines analyze sites by crawling them and mapping out content. These bots look at key bits of info when trying to determine what a website is about. Factors such as keywords, topics, site architecture, and site errors are considered. If a bot crawls a website and runs into poorly done redirects, duplicate pages, and errors, it will negatively affect your search engine optimization. This can result in lower rankings and fewer visitors.
Your website is the online representation of your business and its values. People will create a mental image of what they should expect from a business by looking at the quality of their website and its content. A poorly maintained website that has numerous broken links, outdated content and even dead pages can end up repelling customers. It can create the impression that a business is old-fashioned, insecure, and irrelevant.
Businesses that want to be taken seriously by visitors need to invest in their websites. A well-optimized and maintained site shows people that a business is innovative and secure. Create a great first impression and encourage customers trust with an amazing and well-kept website.
It Can Save You Time and Money
Improper site maintenance is likely to result in the accumulation of a lot of problems and issues. Sites that lack maintenance are much more likely to experience downtime, and subsequently, a loss of revenue. If a lot of things go wrong on your website, it can end up costing you thousands of dollars to get the website running smoothly again. This is why it is a good idea to invest in a web maintenance plan and make sure your website deals with errors and problems while they are manageable. Focusing on website health early on is the best course of action for both your business and your budget.
Proper website optimization and routine website care are essential for a reliable, safe, and efficient website. The fact of the matter is that investing in a website is becoming a must. Search engines no longer tolerate mediocre websites. Only sites that meet the high standards of Google are likely to get the rankings they are looking for. If you are looking for a website maintenance plan that will go above and beyond ranking requirements and user experience, look no further than StrongWP.