Why website maintenance is important
Website maintenance is the behind the scenes process that keeps your website healthy and performing properly. It involves updates to apps and security, adding new content, encouraging web traffic and keeping your visitors happy.
Many of my clients often ask: Do I need it? Is it worth paying for? The answer is a resounding yes! You do need it and it is worth investing in, trust me. I’ve seen how neglecting website maintenance can cause all sorts of problems – from slowness to downtime and even security breaches.
Maintenance is an important part of life
Let’s compare a website to a car. When you buy a car, do you expect it to keep running smoothly for its entire life without being serviced? Definitely not. Regularly servicing your car ensures it runs well, remains safe and at the very least, puts an end to that sound you were secretly hoping would just go away. The same is also true of your iPhone. That little red number over the App Store icon will keep increasing until you hit ‘update’. Without doing so, all your apps will lag until eventually even quitting in and out of Instagram 50 times won’t bring it back to life. This frustration can be easily solved: Simply update your apps in the App Store, and voila – watch as everything miraculously works smoothly again!
Your website is exactly the same. It needs TLC in order to function correctly.
Technology is constantly changing
We live in a world where technology is constantly changing. Nothing digital stands still. This is great, as each update offers better functionality and helps keep up with ever-changing algorithms (*cough* Google *cough* Facebook). The updates also keep out the bad guys that sit at home all day trying to hack into anything with a digital pulse!
How WordPress updates works
WordPress.org Content Management System (CMS) is an open-sourced platform, which means you can use it for free, but it also needs to be maintained if you want to keep it running smoothly. I work with WordPress 99% of the time – much like 455 million other websites worldwide (according to Tech Jury). WordPress, like most other kinds of CMS, is built up of a number of elements that require ongoing maintenance, including core files, a database, theme and a series of plugins.
Updates for all of the above elements are released randomly by various developers to keep up to date with coding changes, fix bugs, introduce new features and maintain site security. When these updates come out, the WordPress dashboard provides us with a notification to highlight what needs to be updated (think back to the red bubble in your iPhones App Store). Keeping all these files up to date helps to contribute to things such as:
- Preventing website hacks
- Maintaining site security for your clients
- Faster load times
- Maintaining functionality
- Achieving optimum SEO results.
Professional maintenance is a good investment
If you aren’t familiar with the world of web development, site maintenance can quickly become overwhelming, daunting and downright scary. Also, if something goes wrong, it can potentially cost you more money having a developer trying to figure out why it went wrong than what regular website maintenance would have cost you in the first place. Fixing updates gone wrong is like trying to find a needle in a haystack: time consuming and frustrating.
With any form of website maintenance, even with professional services, there’s a chance of something going wrong. Plugins do clash and when this happens, the entire website can go down. When there’s a solid plan put into place for these situations, and you’re working with a skilled and experienced developer, you’re far more likely to have the site back up and running in no time – as opposed to waiting around for hours or days to find the root cause of the problem.
Peace of mind is everything
Every Friday morning, I update all my client’s sites, first thing. First, I conduct a thorough security scan. Second, I check the site speed. Next, I do a bunch of other important health and safety checks to ensure nothing wrong has come about since the last update. Each month, I also create a report for you, outlining all that has been completed as part of my maintenance. Plus, I’ll send an overview of your Google Analytics and valuable stats on keywords that we can monitor for you.
All this provides valuable peace of mind. The outcome is that you’ll never need to think twice about whether your site is functioning to its potential. Without having to worry, you’re free to set and forget, sit back and relax. Cue the margarita.