A website is a foundation for any business and its online presence. Having a healthy, fully functional website is crucial – but it is only half the battle – the updates and maintenance of it are just as essential.
Websites are built for a purpose! Regardless of the goal, whether it is sales, service provider, social media, or information sharing website, regular maintenance of the website is equally crucial for business health.
With millennial consumers savvier more than ever and the competition getting tough each day, if your website is not working properly or is not found for common keyword searches, you are losing potential customers and profits. Also, if a visitor visits your website and you cannot drive them to purchase or are unable to keep them engaged with meaningful content – that will harm your brand image.
Whether you are a small business owner or have an enterprise, hiring a web design company is essential for website support, website maintenance services, troubleshooting, and bug fixing. They will efficiently and cost-effectively help you keep a close eye on the website issues and fix them as they are discovered.
If you still have doubts as to why this process should be a part of your routine, this article will define website maintenance and why it is essential to keep your site running smoothly to achieve goals.
What is website maintenance?
Website maintenance is keeping the site up-to-date, bug-free, and running smoothly. Just like machines need regular servicing, websites also need maintenance for flawless performance, improved SEO, Google rankings, and productivity.
Optimal performance will promise continued traffic growth and give your users a positive experience and engage and retain customers. Similar to your doctor visits for a routine check-up, your website also needs a monthly, quarterly, or yearly check-up.
Website maintenance is not a single task but a list of activities, including updating the content, ensuring all links are working, to flag anything of concern or broken links, and editing blogs and CTAs or site architecture.
Regularly checking also ensures your site security from external malware attacks like ransomware, spyware, adware, and Trojans, among others. It also involves general housekeeping tasks like taking regular backups of the data, keeping an eye on the keywords for organic search on search engines, monitoring site performance, analytics, web traffic, etc.
It is necessary to set clear goals in line with the business goals to understand whether your marketing or sales activities are failing or have room for further optimization. Checking up on site
speed, redirects, page not found errors, unused CSS or scripts, and site sanitation is also a part of ongoing maintenance.
Top 5 reasons why website maintenance is important
- Security updates
Businesses should pay attention to website security. It has been found 87% of websites fall under high or medium cyber risk. Websites store various types of user data like login information or bank details that hackers want to steal. Besides stealing, hackers upload different forms of malware on your website that not only disrupts your business but affect every website visitor or user, thereby affecting user experience and confidence.
Without appropriate website security and maintenance strategy, your business risk getting site hacked or broken, resulting in additional expense.
Thus security updates and patches are vital components in web maintenance. It identifies and fixes security vulnerabilities to prevent business and user information damage. Using SSL certificates is a good technique for securing personal and business data.
Regular scans and updates build users’ confidence and improve the user experience as they are convinced that their personal data is secure. If users are confident, your website will eventually experience growth in traffic and conversion.
- SEO Monitoring
Regularly monitoring your website’s SEO is vital for your website’s visibility on search engines. Activities include tracking your site’s ranking, checking keywords, backlinks, and monitoring website traffic to identify possible problems and proactively take action to fix them. Periodic monitoring also helps you to keep track of your progress over the period and take measures to meet your goals.
Content is another way of influencing SEO. You need to create fresh content, like new blogs, while updating existing content. Dynamic content enormously contributes towards a positive user experience and search engine rankings. Improved rankings will help get more traffic to your site, bringing new customers to the business.
- Improved Customer Experience
In today’s world, where users have short attention spans, customers will jump to your competitors if your website doesn’t open quickly and smoothly within a few seconds. Customer experience is critical for growth in the digital realm.
Under a regular maintenance plan, you can use the latest technology and ensure your website has installed the newest version of the theme and template files for seamless website performance across all devices.
Another important piece is ensuring that all contact information, addresses, phone numbers, and pricing are up to date. Having outdated information will indeed create a negative customer experience.
More importantly, keep all your information consistent across every digital platform and physical store. Make sure everything aligns with the details mentioned on your website. This practice will assure consistency leading to a great user experience.
- Regular Data Backups
Your website will keep evolving and updating over a period of time. It will not only have your content, but it can have useful information and user-created content too. Imagine losing all the data due to a malware attack or hardware failure. You would then have to rebuild your website, losing out on customer information and creating a negative user experience.
Taking regular backups is the only way to overcome such catastrophic situations. Around 68% of websites don’t have a data recovery or disaster management plan. Your website maintenance team will do a regular backup of all the files. Backups can be done either manually or scheduled as an automatic activity.
For most websites that are simple and informational in nature, a monthly backup is fine. However, if you have a complex website with dynamic content and images, you should plan to back it up more frequently.
- Improved Brand Image
Your website is the foundation of your digital business and the first point of contact with your potential customer. Without any hesitation, a well-designed and high-performing website will score on first impressions and create positive branding.
Branding doesn’t stop at first impressions. Your websites should have the correct keywords to quickly feature in search results to your intended audience. Your site should load instantly, be sleek and elegant looking with a professional feel and be informative for today’s savvy customer.
Branding is a culmination of a complete journey of the customer. From finding your website to making the transaction and tracking the purchase, users are looking for a flawless experience.
How often website maintenance is required?
How often your site needs a check-up depends on the website’s size and complexity, how often you add blogs, update content or add offers, and more.
In general, monitoring at least once a month is a good idea to ensure a smooth-running website. It can also be done weekly to ensure daily functionality is at peak performance. This can include adding blogs, checking all the forms running smoothly, removing spam comments, and checking site speed.
Other plans include quarterly website maintenance, which looks into general troubleshooting, structure assessments, testing or changing any popups, forms, and call-to-action, taking backups and restoring previous versions, and more.
Another is routine yearly maintenance to ensure design, content, and function align with your business’s annual goals. It also includes updating any awards or certifications received, renewing domain registrations, checking up on active email addresses and phone numbers, reviewing data analytics and top-performing blog analysis, design update, and more.
Some tasks like security scans, updates of plug-ins or themes, and uptime monitoring can be automated using available tools and content management systems.
Testing website accessibility is also necessary to ensure everyone can use your website on any device, including the disabled. The market is flooded with several free and paid tools to help you with that. Also, keep track of the site’s SEO to ensure it is visible on search engines using common keyword searches. Keep track of the website’s ranking, backlinks, and traffic.
Website maintenance can be time-consuming and technical. It is always best to hire an external agency to do it for you, or you can hire an in-house professional to avoid any mistakes that could be expensive in the long run.
Monitoring website performance and maintaining its health seems like another tedious task that will consume money. However, a smooth-running website can help provide an exceptional user experience that can drive quality leads, increased sales, and profits.
Regular website maintenance will save you on unexpected complications and costs, as nothing is more catastrophic to the business than a broken website. As a well-oiled machine doesn’t stop, a well-maintained website can drive happy customers.
And if you are keeping up with the trend, you can also use all the latest technologies, design trends, and features to make your website stand out from competitors. Customers are always on the look for something new and trendy!
In today’s world, your website is the face of your business and brand. Website maintenance is the foundation for online success that complements your goals, rightly justifying a positive ROI.
Brijesh Jakharia co-founded SPINX Digital in 2005 and takes great pride in crafting web and mobile marketing solutions for mid-market businesses to enterprises. Marketing is his passion, and the thrill to build a brand from the ground up has helped him craft successful brand stories for world-class clients. While not at work, he loves to spend his time on research and reading digital content stories.