Why Website Maintenance is Key to a Successful Website
Just like any software, websites require maintenance to keeping the site working properly. Avoiding website maintenance is like not having regular oil changes on your vehicle. You wouldn’t drive your car very long if you didn’t look after its maintenance, would you? Well, the same process is true for your website. Your website should always be live, ready for customers and presenting your business at its finest.
I will list some of the reasons and thinking behind why websites don’t have a strong Website Maintenance Plan, and some of the Myths that is associated with maintaining websites. Website Maintenance is not hard. It is just time consuming, and you have to have a plan and process to execute the plan. If you have a process it will greatly impact your maintenance process, and the time you spend on website maintenance.
Website Maintenance Myths
- Websites Are Not a “Set and Forget”
If you don’t have website maintenance carried out monthly, you may actually be throwing money out the window. When visitors go to a website and find things wrong with it, they often don’t stick around. Many website owners never check their website to see how it’s functioning. Missed website issues or downtime can lose you potential customers.
Once you develop your website or have it developed the developer needs to make sure that all of the plugins, and design styles are up-to-date. Also they need to make sure the updates don’t cause issues with the website, which means testing needs to be done before websites go live with new updates. Depending on what kind of website you have will determine what update strategy you adopt.
- Websites Are NOT Easy to Manage
With the prolifically of YouTube ads and TV commercials from sites like Weeble, SquareSpace and Wix you would think it is easy to own a website. Those are okay platforms for some types of website owners, but if your website begins to grow and become more popular they become then the owner will soon see the limitations that those sites have.
You will soon see that you do not control your content or what you can do to your site. Maintenance will become harder, and you will discover that you will be paying more than if you went the self-hosted route with a reliable developer. The developer can customize everything and make the website appear just the way you envision it. Plus you will have someone to talk over your ideas and someone to steer you in a good direction to make your site more visible. Your site is part of your marketing, and it is a powerful money maker if you manage the site right and keep it updated.
What do I Care about Website Maintenance “It is just a little Blog of my thoughts” No One Will Hack Me?
WordPress is powerful and very flexible, but that also means that it is a popular platform. WordPress is the Microsoft Windows of the Internet, which means vulnerabilities are always being discovered. WordPress is always being attacked, which is normal for something that is so popular.
The core code that WordPress is built upon is open-source, which means anyone can look at the code and submit changes to be included into WordPress. Which means more smart people look at WordPress and are able to review the code for vulnerabilities. So once WordPress discovers a weak point then it pushes out an update that will automatically push out to your site if you have that setting turned on.
- You still have to keep your site up to date, use a strong password, and host your website on a secure and trusted web host.
Owners of small websites usually leave the back door open, unaware of threats that may be on your website. So hackers find that the smaller blogs are easier to compromise without causing the site owners to be suspicious. The hackers are able to use the website to send spam e-mails to other people, uploading malicious software, and even converting it to a pornography site. Which once you get hacked it can cost a lot to get your site clean.
- It is worth the amount of money you spend to go for a high quality website, and spend the extra money to do the site development right.
The Benefits of Maintenance
- Many people don’t realize the benefits of site maintenance:
- The website performance, it’s load time, downtime and uptime, is all dependent on the WordPress software and plugin functioning as they should (and on the recent version).
- The website growth, it’s fresh content, analytics monitoring and design changes, is all dependent on you having someone making sure all updates to the website are done in a smooth and error-free fashion.
At Lance Howell Web Development we take great care to first backup the website, and check the website after our updates for any issues. Our software keeps a record of plugins we update so if there is ever an issue we see what plugin version was changed and revert back. Also included in our monthly maintenance report are the performance and security scans. If in the event we ever catch a plugin issue, it becomes a support ticket and we address it before you ever know there’s a problem.
Dangers of Do It Yourself Maintenance
Maintaining your site yourself could cost you more than you may think. If you just update from your WordPress admin, you wouldn’t have a record of what was done. If an update to a plugin created an issue a couple weeks later, it would be difficult to know what changed and how you should revert back without restoring a very old backup (and possibly losing content changes, sales orders, contact entries, you name it).
It Costs More to Fix Than to Maintain
Inexperience and neglect can damage the look and functionality of your website. When that happens, you have a choice to make. One, you try and fix it yourself, in which case you may do further damage. Or two, you can then pay the (sometimes hefty) price for someone experienced to fix it. Just like your car, it costs more to fix it than it does to maintain it properly. Regular oil changes help keep your car running properly, regular site maintenance helps keeps your web site running properly.
Steps to Take
Call in a Professional
Why not deal with what you know best and let us deal with what we know best? Would you try to fight that court battle without a lawyer? Then why try to maintain your own website if you’re not a web professional? By securing an experienced web professional to update and maintain your site properly you are actually saving potential lost sales and visitors.
If you’re interested in securing a maintenance contract for your website, contact us to learn how we can keep your site in proper working order. You can also learn more about our Managed Website Maintenance Plan, and we will be sure to come up with a plan that can fit any budget.