Website Maintenance is like Car Servicing
It’s common for businesses to think that once their site is up and running that they can step away and ignore any website maintenance. However, your website is something that evolves with your business but also your customers and the ever-changing demands of search engines.
We are a web development agency in Surrey with much experience in this area. If you choose to leave your website as it is then you are going to discover the common problems that arise as a result of not carrying out regular maintenance duties.
You must not forget about the site once it’s up and running. Think of it as a digital engine compared to a car, one which needs its battery, tyres & fuel checked and at times replaced.
There are many different elements that feed into the overall performance, appearance and security of your website and all of that works collectively to help it achieve its goal.
As a business owner, your website is your shop window and so, the benefits of website maintenance cannot be ignored but failing to carry out maintenance will only result in it working against you.
With this in mind, what are the dangers of not maintaining your website, and what is a website maintenance plan?
Why Should You Always Maintain an Existing Website?
There are many different reasons why this has to be done. It’s important to look at it from a security perspective because security is constantly changing with risks.
Furthermore, customer retention is vital. As a result, updated content, repaired links, better content and functionality as well as speed all contribute to the user experience and satisfaction.
What this means is that a modern website is never truly “finished” and should be seen as work in progress.
What Dangers Do Business Face If They Fail on Website Maintenace?
It’s quite clear over the years that a website services list is one that has to be followed. However, if businesses fail to maintain their website regularly they are going to experience a range of problems.
These oversights could be a thorn in their side and result in losing customers and profits. So, what are the dangers?
1. Missing out on Software Maintenance Updates
When you run a website, it’s likely to run on a specific platform. As an example, a large number of websites around the world are built on WordPress and so, that means that they are likely to need regular updates.
In WordPress, the core software that runs websites needs regular updating and these updates can be rolled out at any time. If these websites are not applied rapidly then websites functionalities might be lost as a result.
Furthermore, plugins require updating too as well as themes and on the whole, there is around one WordPress update each month.
The entire performance and functionality of your website will depend on running updates to the core software and any plugins that you might use.
This is a relatively simple process but is one that can be carried out quickly with the results being instantly noticed while helping your website to avoid future problems.
Check your CMS platform every day and watch out for any notifications for update notifications. Update and Activate the new file version.
However, make sure your site is backed up prior to updating the main WordPress software.
2. Failure to protect Customer Data without Website Maintenance
Website maintenance for security has to underpin everything you do as an online business. Believing that the security you have in place is enough is one of the biggest mistakes you could make.
Cyber threats are ongoing and as quickly as hackers are looking for new opportunities, security companies are finding solutions.
This means that a website that is considered secure today could be insecure tomorrow or even next week. It’s something that you have to take extremely seriously because these risks are a risk for your business but also your customers and users.
Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities within your site and they often do this by finding vulnerabilities in code. They will attempt to take advantage of this and will spend huge amounts of time exploring sites that might be exploited.
However, you can avoid or reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime by ensuring you carry out maintenance on your website in relation to security.
If you are using a platform such as WordPress then you might want to consider updating plugins. If you have your own server then you will need to make sure that all of the relevant patches are installed.
Website maintenance statistics prove that security maintenance is probably the most important element of all and you need to keep on top of it.
Should you get hacked then you will need to remove the virus, clean up your website and then carry out a restore, all of which takes time but will also put your business out of action.
Also, remember that it’s important to consider your users. Their personal details are at risk, so it’s really important to make sure you are protected.
3.Content Goes Stale Without Website Maintenance
It’s not just about updates and security when it comes to your website maintenance services list.
Your content is key to engagement and you have to make sure that you engage with users. If you keep your content the same then what incentive do they have to return?
Below is a snippet from our client’s Google Search Console graph, who signed up to a content plan and a monthly competitive keyword tracker. Their site from the beginning of October rebounded and started to deliver with e-commerce sales.
Users are now looking for a fresh experience whereby they can access the latest products, news, or information. Outdated information is not going to prove helpful and you will also be giving the impression that you are a business that simply doesn’t care or isn’t around anymore.
Whether it’s a new look or regular blog posts, keeping content new and intriguing is all part of keeping your website relevant.
4. SEO Eventually Dilutes Without Website Maintenance
Search Engine Optimisation is ongoing and it is something that needs to be actively managed in order to experience the benefits of website maintenance.
SEO is all about ensuring your website is set up and ready for search engines to recognise it.
Site optimisation is wide and varied and can include many elements such as keywords, exploring competitors, streamlining design, and ensuring visitors stay on your site.
Search engines are extremely intelligent and they have the ability to rank your website based on all of these factors. Keeping keywords fresh and ensuring they target your customers based on what they are searching for will ensure your website ranks well.
Without up-to-date SEO, your website will simply slip down the rankings and that means that people won’t find you. That will result in reduced traffic and fewer profits.
Maintenance plans can include regular reporting from your Google Search Console and Analytics, to help pick up on Mobile errors, downgrades in Impressions.
Plans also maintain broken external page links, which can harm page SEO score.
5. Fail to Back Up, Prepare to Fail
One of the most crucial elements of website maintenance is to make sure you are prepared should anything fail.
Over time, your website will evolve. But if you are making backups months apart then you are going to lose vast amounts of data should you be relying on a past backup to get your site back up and running.
Regular backups can be undertaken by website maintenance software but it is something that you should place a focus on.
Is your Web Hosting provider backing up every 2 hrs? Is your host provider giving value? These are features you can talk to them about to make sure these plans are scheduled.
Is your database also being backed-up every 24 hrs? Question the impact of such failure in accessing key data and what that does to your operational efficiency.
6. Miss Out on New Features That Maintenance Delivers
The technology that drives websites is evolving at an impressive rate and these features can help you to align your website with the needs of your users.
You might miss out on enriched social media integration features that can help your business reach new users and engage with current users.
SEO plug in’s rival each other and evolve to improve their interface, you may lose out on how to improve your DIY SEO for posts and new page updates.
Read what the updates are for every plug in or other software. Make sure you understand how they can help elevate your impact on the website.
Furthermore, you might also miss out on free security features such as an SSL certificate that helps to encrypt communications keeping user information safe.
7. User Experience Will Suffer Without Website Maintenance
The image of your brand will be reflected in your website and it is your website that will generate that first impression. It will be influential when helping people to determine whether you are a business worth trusting.
With a website that doesn’t function correctly, is slow and laborious it’s common to see people leave and go elsewhere. You will need to take a look at page speed and broken links but also ‘page not found’ errors and poor grammar or spelling errors.
Making sure maintenance is in place will ensure the user has an experience that leaves them engaged and keen to find out more.
8. Websites Not Maintained Won’t Reach Every Client
Think that a desktop website is enough? Think again because mobile devices are taking over and now search engines are considering this to be a crucial factor when ranking websites.
You might need to run regular updates to ensure that your mobile users have a seamless experience. With new devices and 5G technology comes a need to consider your website with active maintenance that keeps your website visible online.
Google runs new updates several times a year, if you don’t stay on top of these to maximise efficiencies you will slide in the rankings for your keywords.
Are Website Maintenace Packages Worth it?
If you were unsure how to do website maintenance or wanted to know what does maintenance packages include then now you have an idea.
Website maintenance is absolutely crucial to the success of your website and you have to keep on top of it. You can learn to use your chosen platform that allows you to run basic updates yourself but a plan of action can help you work through the list and avoid the problems listed above.
If you get it right, you can have confidence in your website and make sure that it is working hard for your business and delivering satisfaction.
Cream Soda media starts website maintenance packages off at £60 to £100 per month for the majority of small to medium-sized businesses and does scale up for more critical cloud-based hosted sites.
For any advice for your website, contact Cream Soda Multimedia at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel +44 (0)1276 490448.