Website Maintenance: What Is It and What Are the Costs?
Creating a website that looks great and functions well is important for any business, but that’s only half the battle; the upkeep is just as critical and extremely time consuming.
Maintaining your website secures your business, blog or online presence, ensuring it continues to evolve and succeed over time. It also ensures that anyone who interacts with your site will always have the best user experience.
There are a number of tasks to consider when maintaining any website. Organizing each one by week, month, quarter and year can help you build a foolproof plan, leaving nothing unchecked and unnoticed (especially if you are new to this).
What is website maintenance?
Website maintenance is the regular practice of monitoring and managing your website’s overall health and performance. Read What is website maintenance and why it is important.
Why is website maintenance important?
Website maintenance can impact your business’s first impressions, SEO strategy, security and sales. Whether you’re a business owner or starting a blog, you want to make sure that when people and search engines land on your website, they immediately see the benefits and your site’s offerings.
This means that your website’s ability to rein in and retain online interest lies primarily in your website maintenance. Keeping a website up-to-date is crucial to ensuring it is working at full capacity, and where applicable, earning revenue.
Having said that, if you go too long without regular website maintenance, your site could suffer in the process. Your website will begin running slowly, stop converting leads, potentially house malware etc. It could even stop working altogether. Even worst… costs to manage an outdated website can pile up. In worst case scenarios it is like cleaning a swimming pool which has been out of order for way too long.
Check out our Website Audit. A website audit is performed on any website which has not been regularly maintained for at least 2 months or longer. An audit does not FIX any breaks, but does allow you to understand the cost to have any breaks addressed. After an audit, and remediation, you can opt into a cariCare plan.
Overdue website maintenance can make your website “murky” – sluggish and a hell to fix.
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of website maintenance:
01. First impressions
Just as the saying goes, “You only have one chance to make a first impression,” businesses online can make or break a deal depending on the initial look and feel of their website. If yours looks old or isn’t working as it should, you may potentially lose out on capturing new leads within the first few seconds that matter.
Research shows that first impressions are 94% design related. Using attractive and up-to-date web design can help you convey the right message to new site visitors. It reassures them that they’ve found what they’re looking for and reinforces your site’s relevancy, credibility, trustworthiness and uniqueness. As a result, searchers will find it in their interest to stay on your web page.
02. Business reputation
Along the same line as first impressions, your business reputation is extremely important in gaining customers’ trust. Some ways to uphold your online standing include having working links, adding a 404 page for broken ones, updating plugins, freshening up content etc. are just ways to uphold your reputation online. You’ve got to make sure your website delivers on your company promise of quality, reliability and professionalism.
03. SEO strategy
Paying attention to website maintenance is essential for your site’s SEO strategy. Consider this an opportunity to establish a routine process of monitoring and improving your website’s SEO, ranging from updating content to fixing broken site links.
These bits of information are what a Googlebot looks out for when it crawls your website. In this initial stage of analysis, Google is determining the value of your website, potentially affecting your ability to rank first page or not down the line. Ranking positively on search engines can help drive traffic to your website, bringing customers to your business. That said, ranking poorly will make it harder for people to find you online (through organic searches).
Sales are the lifeline of any online store. More people purchasing from your ecommerce site translates to a healthy and functioning business. To ensure keeping sales figures high, you’ll want to keep certain technical glitches at bay which could deter your customer’s shopping experience. Some common ecommerce site problems include bugs in product ordering, check out and payment processes, or failed discounts and free shipping due to an error.
Furthermore, people shopping online rely on quality images and the ability to zoom in on a product that they otherwise would have tested at a store. It’s especially important that you offer professional images, videos or other visual support to cover any gaps that come with not being able to physically try on clothes or shoes. Along with seeing images, customers also want to get as much information as possible about their potential purchase, so you’ll want to invest time in writing product descriptions that can attest to your business reputation.
A website maintenance plan helps protect your business from virtual threats. Regularly updating your security software and renewing your SSL certification provider help safeguard your site’s files. These make up sensitive information, such as passwords and customers’ private data — credit card numbers and banking details.
Developers who release these website updates are doing so to patch vulnerabilities they might have found. When you maintain your site’s security, it becomes harder for hackers to compromise your business and easier for customers to entrust their monetary assets to you.
Regular maintenance matters; keeps your website free from outdated items, security risks and revenue losses
Website maintenance tasks
Now you know what to look out for when completing website maintenance for your business, you’ll need a plan for each task by frequency. Review Maintaining your website to remain online & secure
How much does website maintenance cost?
Additional costs may include hiring an SEO expert, web designer and marketer, as well as a freelance copywriter to produce thoughtful and engaging content.
All these components can ultimately help your website rank higher on search engines and keep your site competitive. The bottom line is “Every piece of software in the world needs to be maintained. “
Consider: Companies with million-dollar budgets for their software departments crash, move slowly, advertise they are “undergoing maintenance” or go offline at some point.
Looking for a “once-working, always-working” experience with your website will disappoint you. Especially without regular maintenance.
View our website maintenance plans and secure your website.
Much of these details were sourced from an amalgamation of blogs, namely: WixBlog.