The Importance of Website Maintenance

The importance of website maintenance

 

Keeping your website up to date takes a lot of time and effort

 

If you have a Windows or Apple computer, you’ll probably notice every so often that they need to do updates (Windows more often than Apple). These updates are usually patching the latest security vulnerabilities and sometimes they add functionality (updated Cortana or SIRI functionality, new camera filters, bug fixes etc…) The downside of these updates (in addition to down time for your device) is that they also sometimes break things. Everyone knows someone who has struggled with their computer after an update or maybe had to restore their phone from a backup because something broke in the middle of an upgrade. The same goes for your car, if you don’t change your oil, fix your brakes, and do your routine maintenance, you’ll end up on the side of the highway someday, waiting for the tow truck to arrive.

Websites are no different. WordPress powers many of the websites on the Internet (estimates range from 17% to 25%) it is also “open source” software meaning that the source code is available to anyone (unlike Apple or Microsoft which are closed). This means that whenever a vulnerability is discovered, it’s out there for the world to see and you can bet every hacker knows about it within minutes. Many of the most successful website breaches take place when a new vulnerability is discovered and people don’t update their websites in time to prevent it. (To get an idea of how often WordPress updates, you can take a look at the release schedule here). Website plugins and website themes are the same story. With each core WordPress update, the plugins and themes must play catch up. In addition, sometimes vulnerabilities are discovered in popular plugins and themes and separate patches are released for those. Do you have the time to keep up with all that while still trying to run your business effectively? This brings me to my next point…

Website Maintenance

Websites are not “set and forget”

 

Though there was a time when the security threats weren’t as advanced as they are now. There’s absolutely no denying that today’s security threats have reached an epic level. (There are even attacks targeted at new WordPress installs which can be detected as soon as 30 minutes after they are created). In addition to the security concerns, there are many other factors that must be considered. As we pointed out above, sometimes updates break things, so after each round of updates, the website must be tested for functionality to ensure it’s still working as it should. Is this a responsibility you want to assume? Have you ever had your website go down without you knowing? Downtime can cost you customers, sales, and precious search engine rankings. Monthly maintenance plans will ensure this doesn’t happen. Another thing to consider is that today’s users are savvy; When they go to a website and notice broken links, videos that don’t play, pictures that don’t load, maps that display errors, they don’t tend to stick around. Your website is your digital sign, it shouldn’t look like it’s falling apart.

 

The Benefits of Website Maintenance

 

As a business owner, you’re dealing with running your core business, if you’re a small business you’re likely also wearing the accountant’s hat, the marketing hat, the customer service hat, and many others. Do also want to have to worry about things like page load speeds, traffic analytics, and website functionality? If you’re answer is “no,” then you might want to consider the benefits of a maintenance plan.

Think of it like having a webmaster without the staff overhead. You get monthly reports showing your site traffic, which pages are performing well, and you can always make requests to upload new pictures, post a blog item, or add some new content. You also know you have a trusted partner that you can rely on to give you the best advice when it comes to your digital strategy. While you are running your business, we are keeping up with all the trends in the industry. From design UX/UI insights, to lead capture and marketing funnels, to search engine optimization. You have a partner you know is taking care of that piece so you just worry about running your business.

 

 

Website Maintenance Workflow

 

At Dragonfly Web Consulting, we take great care to make sure your website is running its best. We keep multiple sets of backups in different encrypted cloud storage vaults, if there is ever an issue such as a hacked website or an update that breaks the site, we can easily roll back to a previous restore point to get you up and running in no time. Also included in all our monthly plans are uptime monitoring (we will be notified if you site is down for any reason), daily security scans, client dashboards, database optimization, and monthly reports showing all the work that was done on the site as well as basic analytics for site performance. We also do all theme, core, and plugin updates and test the site after each one. If we catch an issue with an update, it becomes a support ticket and is addressed before you ever know there’s a problem.

 

The Dangers of Do It Yourself Site Maintenance

 

Maintaining your site yourself might cost you more than you think. If you’re simply updating everything from the admin console, you don’t have a record of what was done. If you’re not doing regular updates and skip a few software versions, you may end up with a problem that can be very hard to track down. Then you must make the decision to revert back to a previous backup when doing so may wipe content (or sales orders) that you created in the meantime. Believe me, we’ve seen this happen.

 

It costs more to fix than maintain

 

As many of us know all too well, when you don’t do your scheduled maintenance on the car, you usually end up broken down on the side of the road; headed for an unanticipated bill well into the thousands. Most of us don’t tinker around under the hood trying to diagnose and fix the problem fearing we’ll probably make it worse. There’s a comparison here with websites. Inexperience and neglect can damage websites. Once this happens, you have two choices, try to fix it yourself and risk making it worse or call a professional and pay a hefty bill to ensure it’s running properly again. Just like your car, it will cost you much more to fix it after it’s broken, then to just keep it maintained properly over time.

 

website analytics

 

Call in the professionals

 

Why not do what you do best and let us deal with what we do best? You don’t want to wait until you’re on the operating table to find a good heart surgeon and you don’t want to wait until you’re sitting in a court room to find a good lawyer. Why maintain your website when you’re not a web professional? Retaining an experienced web professional to update and maintain your site properly will actually save you potential lost sales and site visitors.

If you’re interested in securing a website maintenance contract for your website, contact us to learn how we can keep your site in working order.

 

Here is a comprehensive list of the WordPress Maintenance services we provide:

Email support
WordPress Core, Plugin, and Theme updates bi-weekly
Database optimization
30 days of off-site backups
Uptime monitoring
Daily security scans
Client Dashboards
Monthly time for routine tasks
Access to video training
Monthly website report containing page analytics, security checks, backup status, and uptime status

Learn more about our WordPress Website Maintenance Services here

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