Website maintenance can be defined as the process of ensuring that your website stays clean, secure, and working properly at all times. A website maintenance plan ensures that your site will not break down and that you always have support when you need it — without any hassle or added costs of long-term contracts or upgrades that may not benefit your needs right now.
Your website shapes visitors’ first impressions: As businesses continue to use their website as an essential marketing tool, it is crucial to have a clear plan for maintenance and upgrades. When changes or improvements are made, website visitors may encounter disruptions in service. While these issues can be unavoidable from time to time, having a dedicated website maintenance plan will reduce downtime and improve your users’ first impressions of your brand. A well-maintained and modern site conveys a commitment to users that demonstrates that you are serious about your business.
Your website ramps up your sales: Your website is an integral part of your business; it allows you to connect with existing and future customers, share information about your company, and, most importantly, help you make sales. 85% of customers perform online research before making an online purchase. So, without a website, you are losing out on potential clients who may be searching for a product or service like yours. Maintaining your website is the best way to keep all of these connections alive and growing. When done correctly, maintenance can add many new potential sales leads every month — which is why it is an indispensable part of your online presence.
Site visitors value user experience: How often do you visit a website, only to have it take forever to load? Site visitors value user experience so much that some will simply leave your site if they feel like it takes too long to load. This can happen even if they are interested in your services or products. It is a shame to think about how many potential sales were lost because of a slow-loading site! Invest in ongoing maintenance for your site to ensure that does not happen. This way, you know everything will run smoothly, and customers will not lose patience while waiting for pages to load.
A website maintenance plan improves security: A website maintenance plan enhances security by allowing you to identify potential security issues quickly. The earlier you know about a potential threat, the faster you can address it and keep hackers out of your site. Moreover, keeping up with patches lets your users trust that their information is secure when using your service or buying products from your store.
Website maintenance supports your SEO strategy: Having a website maintenance plan in place helps ensure search engines have fresh, relevant content to index, and your site will not become stale if you cannot maintain it yourself. It also supports your overall SEO strategy because many businesses that do not invest in maintenance lose rankings and traffic over time. (Related Blog: SEO Benefits of Blogging)
Reviewing key metrics: Many website owners think that because they do not have a ton of traffic, they do not need to pay attention to their website metrics. This could not be further from the truth. Paying attention to these metrics and reviewing them weekly is critical for small business websites. For example, if you start seeing an increase in bounce rate, it might mean there are changes you can make to your pages that will improve it — and ultimately help your business grow.
Software updates: A vital step to keeping your website safe and secure is ensuring that all of your software (including web applications, server software, and operating systems) has been updated with any security/performance fixes that may have come out since you first installed it.
Site backups: At its core, maintenance simply means keeping things working. To properly maintain your website, you will want to back up all of your files regularly. Backing up your site does not have to be complicated. While more comprehensive solutions are available, basic backups involve using file-syncing services like Dropbox or OneDrive and updating these synced folders each time you make changes on your website. Ideally, you should perform basic backups each time you publish new content or update your existing content.
Testing your forms and checkout process quarterly: Doing so will ensure your website is running smoothly and give you confidence that your e-commerce site will not go down when it is time to close a sale. Making sure your site can handle traffic spikes at peak shopping times will also ensure you have a smooth run during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other busy shopping periods.
Browser compatibility testing: Just because your site works on one browser does not mean it will work on others. Specifically, making sure your site works on older browsers that support outdated features can be challenging.
Annual testing: Some people think that site maintenance should be something that is done only once and forgotten about — that is not true at all. Instead, you should check your website regularly to ensure everything works properly, making any needed adjustments as soon as possible. By testing your whole website annually, you can fix potential problems before they grow into bigger issues that cost even more money to address.
Just like a doctor’s appointment, website maintenance requires planning and scheduling. Just because you do not see something wrong with your site now does not mean nothing needs to be fixed! To help avoid hiccups with your site, you should schedule routine maintenance on your calendar.
Print and Web Designer provides businesses in North Carolina with a comprehensive array of website/print design and marketing services, including content marketing, brand design, brochure design, magazine design, and web design. Contact us today at (336) 684-6505 or by filling out this online form.
We don't make what we do complicated, we just do it ...
and do it well.
Being in the design business for over 30 years, we've used many kinds of software and hardware, from Microsoft Publisher to Indesign. The freeware NVU to Joomla. From the old typesetting machines to a full-blown four-color press. This isn't complicated. Just as a mechanic uses the basic tools with a few exceptions, so do we.