Website Maintenance – an Introduction
Much like any other complex machine, a good website needs ongoing maintenance in order to ensure it provides peak performance for your business.
Whilst most people will assume this means adding new pages and pictures to your site, similar to how you’d add fuel, water and oil to a car, in fact, that’s something called content maintenance, which is a completely separate thing and should be much lower down the list of priorities.
Website Maintenance Priorities
To continue the car analogy, yes fuel is important, but ensuring your car is safe and secure to drive before setting off on a journey is even more important!
These are the top three priorities we recommend to ensure the best website maintenance:
1) Website Security
As your website is constantly connected to the Internet, it’s vulnerable to attack, so top of the list of priorities should be to secure your site. Keeping your site secure will prevent unauthorised access or edits to your site – these hacks can be a world of pain for any business.
One of the services we offer is hack recovery – but it’s far better and more time and cost-effective to prevent the hack from happening in the first place by having good website security.
- Start with software to minimise risks of logins through password guessing software.
- If you can filter out spam comments and spam form submissions.
- Add premium security software to lock down your site and minimise risks.
2) Website Backups
Backing up your website regularly ensures no matter what else happens, your business online is always safe and can be recovered.
A good backup strategy uses the 3-2-1 method which is:
- At least Three copies of your backup
- Two of which are on separate machines
- One of which is offsite
This means that even in a worst-case scenario of your host’s company no longer being accessible (eg locked out of account or the company goes bust), even then, you have a copy of your website that can be restored elsewhere.
3) Website Updates
Websites run on software, and much like the software on your mobile phone, that gets regularly updated either to add new features or to increase security. These updates need to be done as quickly and regularly as possible and you want to take one of two approaches depending on your budget and resources:
- Log into your website’s admin area and regularly update software (at least weekly!)
- Get some good software to automate backups, and if budget allows, integrate with backups and uptime monitors to ensure automatic updates don’t break things whilst you’re not watching!
4) Further Website Maintenance Tasks
Further down the list, but still important to invest time into is to ensure the following website maintenance tasks are also completed regularly:
- Checking your site for broken links
- Checking performance via analytics
- Checking the site remains up and available for your audience
Reasons for doing Website Maintenance
There are good reasons for doing all of these things, some seem obvious, others are more subtle, but all bring benefit to any business:-
- Improved website security: Websites are constantly at risk of cyber attacks and threats that can compromise the website’s data and functionality. Regular website maintenance helps to identify and fix security vulnerabilities, protect against malware, and ensure that website security protocols are up-to-date. By doing website maintenance, you can reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and protect your website’s reputation.
- Improved website performance: Website performance plays a crucial role in determining user experience and engagement. Slow loading times, broken links, and errors can drive visitors away from the website and negatively impact search engine rankings. Regular website maintenance helps to optimize website performance by identifying and fixing issues that affect site speed, accessibility, and usability. This results in a better user experience, increased engagement, and improved search engine rankings.
- Increased website traffic: A well-maintained website is more likely to attract and retain visitors. Website maintenance helps to keep the site up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, making it more relevant and engaging for visitors. Regularly updated content, a responsive design, and a smooth user experience can lead to increased website traffic, higher engagement, and more conversions.
- Improved search engine rankings: Search engines such as Google and Bing use complex algorithms to determine website rankings. These algorithms take into account various factors such as website content, performance, and security. Regular website maintenance helps to optimize these factors, making the website more attractive to search engines. This can result in improved search engine rankings, increased visibility, and more traffic to the website.
- Cost savings: Regular website maintenance can help to identify and fix issues before they become significant problems that require expensive repairs or website redesigns. It also helps to ensure that website software and plugins are up-to-date, reducing the risk of compatibility issues that can cause website crashes or errors. This can save website owners money in the long run by reducing the need for costly repairs or redesigns.
How easy is it to do website maintenance?
Many of these tasks can be done manually, and it becomes a question of scheduling in time to perform them on a regular basis and then following procedures to complete the maintenance tasks.
However, in business time is valuable! So it makes sense to weigh up options of software that can automate these website maintenance tasks for you.
At Urban Haze we offer a range of Website Maintenance Care Plans to help automate critical maintenance tasks, ensuring they’re done regularly and to high standards in order to protect your business’s website and help you find more traffic, leads and sales.
These website maintenance care plans are available to both any existing client and any new client who wishes to migrate their website to be maintained by us for them.