What Is Website Maintenance and Why Is It So Important?
Your website is one of your most valuable marketing assets, and getting it set up is a vital part of creating your brand’s online presence. However, when your website is up and running, that’s not the end of it. It’s also important to consider website maintenance, which helps to keep your site up and running. Without website maintenance, your site could become slow and out of date, have bugs or errors, and experience security issues too. Choosing website maintenance services from a reliable provider will ensure your site runs smoothly and always offers a good user experience to your visitors and customers.
What Is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance involves a number of tasks that are required to keep your website up to date. It includes maintenance of your website’s security, checking and correcting any technical issues, and updating the tools and elements that make up your website.
Website maintenance services might include some of the following options:
- Updating your CMS (content management system) – security updates, updating plugins, fixing any errors
- Testing your site in new and updated browsers
- Making sure your site is compatible with different devices
- Regular backups to protect your site
Some website maintenance tasks may need to be carried out once a week, some monthly or quarterly, and others once a year. An annual check of your whole website will usually be carried out, to ensure your site is still functioning properly and that it’s usable. Around once a quarter, it’s a good idea to check that any forms are working as they should and if your checkout process is working, if you have one. Checking for software updates and backups should be a once-a-month task. Some website maintenance services will also include checking key metrics for performance to help check that your site is meeting your goals. This can help to highlight any issues that need to be corrected to improve performance.
Website maintenance prevents you and your site’s visitors from having to deal with common issues, from your site lagging to pages not loading. Websites need to be kept up to date to ensure they keep functioning, especially because everything around them is moving and changing. As new updates are released, new browsers and devices are used, and new threats emerge, it’s essential for your site to be up to date so that it doesn’t get left behind.
Why Is Website Maintenance Important?
Website maintenance is important for multiple reasons. Your website is the online face of your business, so it needs to present a good image. If you’re unsure about whether you need to use website maintenance services for your site, keep reading to find out some of the key reasons to keep your site maintained.
Your website is a vital marketing tool
The majority of people – 87% according to one study – conduct research online before making a purchase. Even when people go into a store to buy something offline, they will do plenty of research online first so that they’re informed when they make their purchase. Your website therefore serves as one of the essential first points of contact with customers and as an educational resource to help your customers inform themselves before buying. So it’s crucial that your website is running smoothly when people come to look for you. If your website is in poor form, they’ll choose to look elsewhere.
Your site is a reflection of your brand
The state of your website tells people something about your business. At least, that’s what many people think. If they go to your site and it’s slow, you don’t have an up to date security certificate, or it’s buggy, that can cause people to think certain things about your company. If you don’t keep your site maintained and ensure it’s working for your customers, people might make assumptions about you. They could think that you’re out of touch, disorganized, or just not on the ball. If you’re not keeping your website maintained, it could look like you don’t really care.
You need to provide a good user experience
Users are looking for a good experience when they visit your site. 52% of online shoppers say that page loading speed influences their loyalty to the site, and that’s just one element of user experience. How easy and pleasant your site is to use will affect whether people choose to purchase your products or services, as well as whether they come back to spend money with you again. Website maintenance services stay on top of some of the most important factors that affect user experience, such as speed and security.
Website maintenance keeps your site secure
Website security is one of the most important parts of regular website maintenance. A secure website protects both you and your site’s visitors. It also reassures your visitors and shows that your site is trustworthy. Some of the tasks involved in keeping your site secure include ensuring your security certificate is up to date (and that you have one in the first place), updating website plugins and themes, updating security tools, and changing anything that is no longer receiving security updates.
WordPress is a popular platform for building websites, but its popularity can also mean that people using it are more vulnerable to hacking and other security issues. Building your website and then failing to keep it updated is one of the major reasons you could be making your site unsecured. Some studies have shown that 95% or more of WordPress vulnerabilities are due to third-party plugins. So it’s vital to check up on plugins and other website elements, update them when necessary, and even remove them if they are no longer secure. Website maintenance services can help you to do this by taking care of it all for you.
Securing your site with ongoing WordPress maintenance services will not only protect sensitive data from you and your customers, but it will also help you to save money. A cyberattack can be very costly, so it pays to stay on top of security issues.
Boost your SEO performance with website maintenance
Maintaining your website is also key to performing well in search results. Google and other search engines take into account a range of factors when assessing your site, including several performance indicators. If your website is slow or you have a high bounce rate (visitors often leave as soon as they land on your site), this could affect how well your site performs in results. Website maintenance deals with issues that could put off both people and search engines. It ensures your pages load quickly, your site is secure and your visitors aren’t having to deal with technical issues that make it hard for them to use your site.
Website maintenance alone isn’t going to make your site high-ranking in search results. Many different factors matter when Google is deciding how to rank your site. However, website maintenance issues and how well your site runs are important factors that are taken into account. They make a difference, so SEO performance is a reason to consider regular website maintenance.
Backup your site
One of the most important website maintenance tasks is backing up your site. Performing regular backups ensures your site is saved, in case you ever need to restore it. You might need to use a backup of your site if something goes wrong, particularly if an update happens to cause problems. It also protects you if anything goes wrong with your hosting server. Many websites have an automatic backup feature, but it’s still important to check that this feature is working. And if your site doesn’t have backups created automatically, you need someone to perform a manual backup for you.
Ensure your site looks and feels modern
Have you ever seen a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated in 20 years? These sites don’t often instill confidence in you, and you’re more likely to turn away and look for something else than to keep using it. Regular maintenance and updating of your site help your site to stay looking and feeling up to date. While it might not involve updating your site’s graphics and design or making major content changes, it does include making updates to plugins and other elements of your site that could affect its appearance and its functioning.
Professional Website Maintenance Services
You can take care of website maintenance yourself if you want to. However, it can be time-consuming and involve a few technical things that you might not want to spend your time on. If you would rather avoid the commitment of maintaining your website but you don’t want to leave it to languish, you should consider using a professional website maintenance service. Let the experts take over the maintenance of your site for you so that you don’t have to do it. You can sit back with the reassurance that your site will be kept up to date, while you focus on more important things that are required to run your business.