Many business owners grasp the importance of creating a website. However, many of them simply build it and forget maintaining it altogether. Website maintenance services are very important as non-maintained websites lose you valuable customers and open yourself up to hackers and many other technical issues that can critically hurt your business.
Before we get any further in this article, we must however understand what it actually means.
What is website maintenance?
It is a series of measures taken to ensure the upkeep of a website so that it is updated regularly, stays current and safe. Website maintenance is an on-going process that covers a gamut of activities needed to keep it robust and healthy.
A well-structured design is only the start to a great website. In order to keep things running smoothly, regular website maintenance and updates are vital to ensure that your website continues to run at full capacity.
Just like owning a car, your website needs routine maintenance to operate accordingly. If you’re thinking of putting upkeep off, keep in mind that your site is a window for the world to see into your business, which is vital to how people perceive your product and/or service.
Regular maintenance safeguards your website’s security, which can help attract and retain visitors, control search engine rankings, and provide overall value to your website over time. Here are a few fundamental reasons we would like to share why it’s important to maintain your website.
Helps boost security
The main reason to opt for website maintenance services is to conduct routine site maintenance in order to create rock solid security, especially if you’re using a CMS (content management system) like WordPress. You want to make sure that you website keeps up with software updates and security patches so you don’t give hackers easy access to steal your data.
Many people who own small websites never think that hackers will intrude on their hard work. However, it’s the oldest websites that have more of a chance to become hacked, since they are made up of less secure coding and out-of-date modules. This is why maintenance is critical for every single site on the internet, no matter how big or small.
Boosts site speed
Every update release comes with a variety of improvements, all of which make your website more efficient than the last. Did you know that the attention span of the average person is becoming less and less as technology advances and becomes faster? Well, this can hurt your business if you have a website that takes forever to load. Visitors will get impatient quickly and navigate to your competitor.
Site conversions, site results, and SEO are greatly impacted by the speed of your website. This is why we recommend using tools such as Google Page Speed Insights to determine what is causing slower loading speeds.
Increases website traffic
Search engines give higher rankings to websites that take updates seriously, since maintained websites are better at giving searchers better quality content. The higher the ranking, the more visibility your website will receive and the likelihood your content will appear to target audiences.
Keeping your website updated ensures that duplicate pages and broken links won’t affect the value your content offers while allowing your audience locate your site with ease, helping you drive loads of new and returning visitors to your website.
Enhances visitor experience
When you take the time to update your site with good, shareable content, like blog posts, image galleries, and upcoming events; it provides your target audience a good idea of who you are and what you do. You should always sprinkle actionable items to engage your visitors, such as social media icons and newsletter signups.
Websites that are well maintained help to better promote your brand and mission. It’s important to conduct regular site audits by removing out-of-date information, so you can always provide the best user experience to visitors.
Website maintenance is important for all organizations, both big and small. Regularly maintaining your site will improve performance and provide a safe and secure environment for your visitors.
Create website maintenance plan
Have we made a good argument as to why site maintenance is necessary for all businesses? Investing in building a website should be seen as an investment, just as if you’re purchasing a car. When you regularly maintenance your vehicle, you’ll receive lasting value.
A proper maintenance plan ensures that your site runs at peak performance, removes vulnerabilities in its security, and helps your visitors find the information they are looking for. Putting funds towards site upkeep reduces the risk of having to pay a whole lot more to fix serious issues that you could have otherwise prevented.
In a digital world, your website is the face of your company, which should give you more motivation to maintain it properly.
Committing to routine website maintenance services means that you are providing your loyal customers with the best experience and encouraging them to make safe transactions with your company. View maintenance as a way to attract what you do want, which is stronger search rankings, better performance, and quality consumers. You certainly don’t want malware, bots, and hackers, right?
How to maintain your website
Whether you hire someone to maintain your website or you decide to perform maintenance yourself, we will cover each aspect of maintaining your online piece of real estate to ensure it’s running properly and fending off hackers. We’ll use WordPress as an example as it is the most popular CMS platform available today.
Keeping your WordPress theme updated is not only necessary to prevent unwanted eyes from the back-end of your site, but also important so you can experience the newly released features and updates. Upgrades allow for beneficial functionalities that can make using WordPress a more joyful and safe experience.
Below are a few other reasons that updating your theme is vital to website maintenance:
● Fixes bugs
● Updates security issues
● Ensures you are compatible with the latest version of content management system
● Enjoy enhancements and features
● Better compatibility with third-party plugins
WordPress plugins are individual pieces of software that further enhance the overall functionality of your site. There’s a plugin for just about everything that caters to whatever you want to achieve. Since plugins are considered software, they need to be updated as well for the below reasons:
● To introduce site owners to the newest features
● To enhance overall performance
● To improve security and correct bugs
● To help maintain backward security
Check for broken links
One of the most overlooked maintenance tasks is checking for broken links among your website. Removing and replacing broken links is a cinch and ensures that your website remains reliable and relevant.
We’ve all clicked on a link that leads us to that wretched 404 page. These are broken links; which can be frustrating to your website visitors and make them feel as if you’re not a trustworthy source.
Keeping up with this simple task is quite simple - you can search for these pesky links manually or speed up the process with the ‘Broken Link Checker’ plugin.
Optimize your database
The database of your WordPress website is what stores all of your content, from posts and links to site theme, and plugin settings. When you regularly update your website, your database will grow over time, which can affect the way your website performs because it takes time for the server to get information from database tables. This is why it’s crucial to optimize your database.
When you get rid of data that is no longer necessary, you help your website to become more efficient, which makes your pages load faster. And of course, this keeps your visitors happy.
Perform a website backup
If you have a website, there may have been times you recall when things went completely downhill. There are instances of people updating something as simple plugins and the website crashed leaving the owner is a state of utter panic. Well, this is actually quite common and if you do not have the necessary backups ready, then it is time for you to pull your hair out. This doesn’t look like an inviting picture, does it?
Backing up your website data regularly ensures that it stays secure and can easily be recovered. If you find this takes too much of your time, many web hosting companies offer automated backups.
Perform an SEO audit
There’s over 200 ranking signals that search engines like Google use to determine where your website ranks in a search query. If your SEO (search engine optimization) is not updated, this can greatly hurt your website’s overall performance on the web.
SEO audits are a crucial part of any website maintenance strategy and involves reviewing those ranking signals to decipher what is still working well and what elements need improved, as well as different areas of your site that need attention.
There are two ways to conduct an SEO audit:
1. You can do it manually using a specialized checklist
2. Or you can use website review tool that is advanced to make the auditing process simple. Literally all you have to do is type in your site URL and await results!
The biggest reasons an SEO audit is important to your site’s success are:
● Find weaknesses in your SEO
● To measure your site’s effectiveness
● Help prioritize marketing
● Track keyword rank progress
● Assess your competitors
Besides what we mentioned above, website maintenance services also mean checking:
a) All the pages to ensure they are loading without any errors
b) The https protocol and making sure there are no mixed content type errors
c) The current year is reflected wherever appropriate (especially in the footer as that’s a common place to find it)
d) The domain name is renewed on time
e) All the forms are being submitted correctly
f) Clean-up of unnecessary email accounts
g) Clearing out the accumulated spam comments
h) The design of the website is current and stays user friendly – which also includes subscription pop-ups etc.
We can help!
Here at WP Adventure, we can assist you in making sure that your website is up-to-date and running smoothly. Whether you’re running an eCommerce store or a personal blog, we offer the best advice and services that will support your website for years to come.
Get in touch with us today.
Speak your heart out.