Why Website Maintenance is Important [UPDATED 2020]

Why Website Maintenance is Important
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Your website is more than just the virtual face of your business. It does most of the heavy-lifting when it comes to online marketing. For that reason, website maintenance is one of the key success factors for your business.

Many business owners understand that it is important to have a website, in order to get a slice of all the business that is being generated online. So they take the first step, they build a website, they even set some expectations, they want to be on the first page of Google. 

Who doesn’t? Everyone builds a website because they want more business.

Everyone builds a website because they want more business

But then… they completely forget that the website exists. 6 months, a year later:

  • They realise they haven’t really got any results out of it - There is a saying: You get out what you put in.
  • Worse… they might actually discover that their contact form wasn’t working properly, or something else that was preventing their customers from contacting them or purchasing their products - So they could have lost potential customers because of that, right?
  • Or even worse than that, they might realise that their website was hacked - So all the effort they’ve put in building the website, the investment they made, it’s all gone.

Avoiding taking care of your website it’s like driving the car without doing regular oil changes & other safety regular checks. You wouldn’t drive your car for very long if you didn’t look after it’s maintenance, would you?

don't ignore website maintenance

Put yourself in the customer position:

  • You go to a physical shop, a store, and its products are all over the place. Website equivalent: messy website, perhaps not working properly on mobiles, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for.
  • Finally, you managed to find what you’re looking for but now you can’t find anyone to serve you, or perhaps there is a long queue.. - Websites loading slow - According to stats, at least 50% of website visitors leave if a website takes more than 3-4 seconds to load.
  • It’s your turn in the queue, but then there is an issue with the card machine, so you can’t pay. - Imagine how many customers could you be losing if your Contact Form or Shopping Cart doesn’t work properly. When was the last time you checked it?

In order for a website to bring you results, it needs to look and perform at it’s best, for your visitors, right? For that to happen, regular website maintenance is required, to make sure that every component that is part of your website, is working properly.

visitor accessing a website

And should any issues come up, you know you have a maintenance system in place, ready to handle any problems relatively quickly, so you can get back to business. 

So let’s dive in deeper and look at some key elements, as to why website maintenance is important, and what should you be doing.

1. REFLECTS THE QUALITY OF YOUR BUSINESS

The first and most important aspect of not carrying out regular website maintenance is the negative impact that could have on your business. 

As much as we try to preach the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, the reality is that websites are subject to a high level of snap judgements that would affect someone’s perception of credibility. 

So taking a step back, if your website doesn’t look modern, professional, some might question the quality of the service you’re offering.

Modern website web design

Leaving brand names aside, let’s say I have the best phone in the world, would you pre-order it, or buy it, if the website you would need to go to place the order doesn’t look professional? Of course not, because you wouldn’t trust me, so this, in fact, would damage my credibility and make me lose customers. 

Not checking your website on a regular basis, and performing regular maintenance tasks, might cause some issues that you wouldn’t even be aware of, but your customer would. And that could cost you business.

For that reason, you want to make sure you present your business at it’s finest through your website.

2. ENSURES GOOD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Above everything else, it’s important to understand that even though we think we’re building a website for our business, we are actually not. We are building a website for our customers, so they can find our business, find with ease all the information they need, and make it easier for them to get in touch with us, or buy our product/service. Isn’t that right?

happy website customer experience

It’s important to follow the latest web design trends, and double-check if your website is in line with them. The biggest one right now is having a Mobile Responsive website. 

Stats show that more than ¾ people use a mobile device when buying something OR researching for a product or service. If your website is not Mobile Responsive it will result in a negative experience, because people will have a difficult time navigating through to find all the information they need.

Mobile responsive website

If you’re not checking and maintaining your site on a regular basis, other issues might arise: broken links, contact forms not sending emails, or even worse website not working at all. 

Trust me. We’ve seen it all, a customer who came to us because they noticed their website is down, and after further checks, we’ve discovered that their website has stopped working more than 3 months ago and they weren’t even aware.

3. WEBSITE PERFORMANCE

Something else which falls under good customer experience, however, we felt like it deserves its own category, is website performance.

According to different studies, over 40% of visitors drop off (leave the website), if it takes more than 3-4 seconds to load. How much could this be costing your business?

Website loading performance

The performance of a website it’s influenced by many factors. Let’s have a look at some.

The quality of the website built itself

Reputable web design agencies will not use themes, as themes come with a lot of unnecessary built-in functionality, which will slow down your website.

Hosting Company

As the saying goes - cheap is not always good. And this is definitely NOT the place where you should think of saving some money. Having a good hosting company plays a major factor in the performance and loading speed of a website.
That’s why we always suggest choosing a reputable company like Siteground, or Kinsta. Not only that their hosting service is great, but also, they are there when you need them, as both have an amazing customer service department.

Regular Website Maintenance

Over time, as there is new information being added to the website, new content, new plugins, comments, etc… All these might slow down the overall website performance, which includes loading speed.

Therefore, it’s always good to optimise your website database, get rid of unwanted plugins, delete all the spam comments, etc.. various tasks which should be included as part of a website maintenance service.

4. IMPROVES YOUR WEBSITE SECURITY

This is a big one. If you’ve made it so far, well done. Keep reading because this point it’s very important. 

It’s no doubt that WordPress is the most popular CMS / Website Platform out there and there are lots of benefits that come with it. However, being popular also attracts a lot of attention.

The same reason why Windows has a lot more viruses compared to MacOs or Linux. 

It goes without saying that you should always, ALWAYS use a complex password. Please don’t use 123456. 

IMPROVES YOUR WEBSITE SECURITY weak password

Now that we’ve got that out of the way….

Majority of WordPress websites get hacked due to outdated software. Basically, exactly what we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, people who build a website, and never touch it again. 

Also, according to WebARX, 98% of WordPress websites are vulnerable due to 3rd party plugins. So it’s not the WordPress itself that is at fault, it’s the nature of how WordPress was built to work, where you have the platform itself, plus different plugins giving you different features and functionality. And those different plugins are built by different companies.

WordPress websites get hacked due to outdated software

So what does that mean? 

  1. Don’t install every single plugin out there. Keep it to the bare minimum, just what you need. The less, the better.
  2. Make sure the plugins that you’re using come from reputable plugin developers, those who are active in updating their plugins, and of course, have good reviews.

So the main takeaway is – try to keep up with the website updates. As part of the website maintenance routine, you should check your website regularly, and if there are any updates, those orange warnings, don’t ignore them, do the updates, because the security of your website depends on it.

update wordpress website plugins

A quick tip here: Always create a backup of a website, before doing any updates.

5. Protect Your Assets & Save Money

Yes, you’ve heard that right. Performing website maintenance tasks can save you money in the long run. More specifically I’m talking about taking backups of your website as often as you can.

take regular website backup

You can get hacked, or you can accidentally delete some of the essential files. So, it’s extremely important to back up your site regularly

We recommend having daily backups because a problem can strike at any time, that’s what we also do through our website maintenance packages.

Backing up your website typically helps you to stay ahead of:

  • Website hackers
  • Breakdowns by website updates
  • Errors by your employees

Website maintenance involves making regular backups, which can help to minimise damage when a problem occurs. With a simple click, you can restore all your files and get your site running smoothly again.

A lot of great hosting companies out there, like the ones we mentioned above, can take regular backups of your website, however, you can never go wrong by having your own set of backups in a different place, just in case.

Still, a question remains unanswered! How will this save you money?

website maintenance can help you save money

Let’s put it this way: Worst comes to worst, something happens to your website, it gets hacked or human error (you delete something accidentally) and you don’t have a backup to restore it.

What then? Well. The way I see it:

  1. You just lost the money you invested initially in the website
  2. If you are an online store and your business heavily relies on online sales, imagine how much money you would be losing while the website it’s down?
  3. Now you probably have to hire another web design agency to build you a new website. 

I hope you see where I’m going with this.

6. STAYING IN GOOGLE’S GOOD GRACES

Let’s remind ourselves why we have built a website in the first place. To grow your business, right? And Google being the biggest, most popular search engine out there, we have a great opportunity in ranking our websites as high as possible, so we can get people to visit our website. 

Google rank top 1 pay monthly website peterborough

However, in order for that to happen, we need to play by the rules. There are so many Google ranking factors out there, and we need to tick as many checkboxes as possible, right? Some of which are highly related to the things we’ve mentioned in this article.

Quick Disclaimer before we move on.

I am NOT saying that doing just these on its own will rank you higher in Google. This is not an SEO tutorial. However, doing these will definitely set you on the right track for success.

So, what exactly are we talking about? Well, let’s have a look at a couple of points we’ve talked about in this article.

  • Good customer experience - Google wants its users to have a good user experience when they click on a website from search results. Therefore, the more time people spend on your website, the better.
  • Overall Website Maintenance: This goes hand in hand with user experience. If you have issues with your website, broken links, outdated plugins causing some sort of problems on your website - all these will provide a bad user experience for the user, and Google will notice that too.
  • Website Performance. - Website Loading Speed it’s a HUUUGE ranking factor in Google
  • Security - Making sure that your website does NOT get hacked, it protects your reputation in Google. If you do get hacked, Google will quickly notice that and will remove you from the search engine.

You Might Need a Professional

As a business owner, you have a lot of tasks to complete. Handling customers, managing employees, meeting deadlines, and keeping appointments can be quite hectic at times. Inexperience and neglect can damage the look and functionality of your website.

You Might Need to hire a website Professional

When that happens, you have a choice to make.

  • One, you try and fix it yourself, in which case you may do further damage.
  • Or two, you can then pay the (sometimes hefty) price for someone experienced to fix it.

Just like your car, it costs more to fix it than it does to maintain it properly. Regular oil changes help keep your car running properly, regular site maintenance helps keep your web site running properly.

For that reason, you should delegate your website maintenance services to a professional. We help businesses, by offering them the peace of mind that everything is maintained by a professional. Starting from regular updates, daily backups, plus an extra monthly allowance for other changes to the website, these are just a few of the things included in our Website Maintenance Packages.

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