Why website maintenance is important

Website maintenance is the practice of monitoring a website’s overall health and performance, regularly checking for issues that negatively impact its performance and providing a poor user experience

What happens if you don’t maintain your website

If you don’t maintain your website, you may experience a high risk of hacking and data theft, slow performance, decreasing site positions in search engines, crashing of the website, sensitive customer information being seized, outdated content, images disappearing, content formatting issues such as colour and fonts changing and the need to rebuild the website from scratch. Backing up your site to a third party daily is recommended to ensure that you can always revert to a previous version of the site if needed

What maintenance does a website need

Website maintenance consists of several tasks to keep a website functioning properly and up to date. These tasks include regularly checking the website for issues, correcting any issues, security updates to your plugins, adding fresh, relevant content, hosting the website, creating a website maintenance plan, and working with a professional website maintenance company. Website maintenance also helps improve security by patching vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit, as well as improving the business’s reputation and corporate image and helping to gain more leads and sales.

Do websites need monthly maintenance?

Websites need monthly maintenance to keep them up and running. The cost of website maintenance services can range from £79-£750 per month, depending on the size and complexity of the website. Common costs include domain renewal fees (£10-£20/year), web hosting costs (£9.99-£30month), framework update fees, content support costs and search engine optimisation. Tech support could also be a factor, depending on what services are required.

What are the benefits of website maintenance?

Here are the benefits of carrying out routine maintenance.

  1. It’s a great way to keep your site up-to-date and relevant, which is important for SEO purposes. If you don’t update it regularly, search engines might penalise you in search. You can use this time to add new content or improve existing pages on your site. This helps with user experience as well as rankings.
  2. Your visitors are more likely to return if they find that their favourite page has been updated recently. They may even share information about your business via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter!
  3. Gives you peace of mind. The last thing you want is to spend hours trying to fix something only to discover that it was never broken. Regular maintenance lets you know exactly where things stand before any major changes occur.
  4. Saves money. There are many reasons why maintaining an online presence costs less than building one from scratch.
  5. Backups should be carried out at multiple locations in case of a data centre server sets on fire. This happened, on 10th March 2021, the building of OVH Cloud, which offers web hosting and domain names, their building set on fire.
OVH Cloud announced on Twitter a major incident. Due to the fire, they asked customers to activate their disaster recovery plan.

How often should a website be maintained?

Website maintenance should be done consistently in order to keep the website healthy and attractive. This includes performing regular site maintenance, updating plugins and Content Management System (CMS) plugins, renewing domain name and CMS subscription, updating the copyright date on the website footer, doing a full site run-through for responsiveness and link checks, and backing up the site regularly. Depending on the size and complexity of the website as well as how often it is updated, weekly or monthly maintenance may be necessary. Additionally, when security vulnerabilities are reported, WordPress addresses them in the next update, so it is important to stay up-to-date with these updates. Companies should also consider preventative measures such as daily security scans to avoid problems before they happen.

What does it mean when a website is under maintenance?

Website maintenance is the process of regularly checking a website for issues and mistakes, keeping it updated and relevant, and performing optimally. It includes tasks such as updating security software and plugins, adding fresh content, increasing new and returning traffic, and optimizing the website for search engines. Website maintenance can impact a business’s first impressions, SEO strategy, security, and sales. Regular website maintenance is important to engage and retain customers, protect a business from virtual threats, patch vulnerabilities found by developers, and ensure that a website runs smoothly and performs optimally.

Website maintenance and the importance of it

  • Slow page loading speed
  • Lack of optimisation for mobile devices
  • Poor UI/UX design
  • Poor SEO and content
  • Broken pages and links (and other technical issues)
  • Too much clutter on the page
  • Messy code
  • Lack of HTTPS security
  • Outdated website design
  • Little or no social sharing options
  • A lack of on-page optimization and calls to action.
  • Websites should be periodically backed up to prevent data loss in case of a hack or other malicious attack.

What are the common problems brought by websites that are not properly maintained?

Common problems brought by websites that are not properly maintained include:

  1. It helps keep your business visible on the internet. Allowing potential customers to find out more about your products & services.
  2. It shows people who visit your website that you care enough to regularly update it.
  3. It gives your eCommerce clients confidence that their data is secure.
  4. It makes your business site feel modern and professional.
  5. It can help increase sales because prospective buyers can see exactly what you offer. More time spent on the website means you can add your current products/ services and offer seasonal discounts.
  6. It improves SEO rankings – keeping broken links to a minimum, adding to the content and working on your internal linking structure. It demonstrates a commitment to quality service
  7. It builds trust in your brand and establishes authority
  8. Improves customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate knowing that their needs are being met by professionals who care enough to make sure every aspect of their visit goes smoothly.
  9. It increases sales. People trust businesses that maintain high standards. So if you want customers to come back again and again, invest some time now to create a positive impression.
  10. Builds credibility. Credibility comes from consistency. Consistent quality means consistent results.
  11. Attracts potential clients. Potential clients see how much effort you put into making your site work properly.
  12. Shows appreciation. Showing gratitude towards your audience is always appreciated.
  13. Prevents downtime. Downtime isn’t just annoying; it hurts business too.
  14. Reduces stress. Stress leads to mistakes which leads to more stress. Peace of mind. Knowing that the system behind your website is working correctly lets you sleep better at night.
  15. Creativity thrives when we’re not worried about keeping things running smoothly.
  16. It keeps visitors coming back. Visitors like to return when they feel valued.
  17. Allows you to focus on other projects. Having a well-maintained website frees up valuable resources to be used elsewhere.
  18. Website maintenance promotes growth. Growth happens when new opportunities arise.
  19. Boosts sales. Sales come from offering great deals. Use pop-ups at certain events to provide discounts and increase the conversion rate. 

Security Benefits

Added security measures play a large benefit in having a well-maintained website. Regular updates help prevent security issues from cropping up.

  1. Hackers love websites that have outdated software because there are more ways to exploit them. Check each plugin to see if it has not been exploited or corrupted.
  2. Security is essential because hackers will try to steal personal data such as credit card numbers, passwords etc.
  3. Keeps your site secure. Everything works as expected, there’s no need to worry about anything.
  4. When hackers get into your system, they often try to delete files so they won’t be found. But when those deleted files aren’t removed, they could cause problems down the road. That’s why regular backups are essential. Backups ensure that all data remains safe no matter what happens.

Below is a screenshot from an email sent from WooCommerce on 15th July 2021. I have highlighted the section which reads ‘the importance of updating immediately‘. The email is asking store owners to update due to a critical vulnerability being identified.

An email announcing critical vulnerability in WooCommerce security. A benefit to website maintenance.
Action required: Critical vulnerability in WooCommerce

Summary

Website maintenance is important to ensure the health, security, and performance of your website. From updating security software and plugins to adding fresh content and optimising the website for search engines, website maintenance is key to engaging and retaining customers, protecting your business from virtual threats and ensuring your website runs smoothly and performs optimally. Regular website maintenance can also help with SEO rankings, trust in your brand, customer satisfaction, and even sales. Don’t let your website suffer from a lack of maintenance – take the steps to ensure your website is up-to-date and secure!

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