Your website is often an expensive but invaluable part of your business’ marketing success. Just like our car which is so crucial in getting you from point A to point B, maintenance must be completed to keep it as efficient and reliable as possible, your website is no different. Whilst there are thousands of reasons to create a maintenance budget for your website we will just run through the main considerations. If you need a little more of a nudge we are more than happy to have a chat with you.
A Quick Note
Just like anything else with your website, care must be taken to avoid any issues with your website when conducting maintenance work. Just like your car, some of you may be equipped to do the work but others may rather have a professional do it. Either way, it is always best to err on the side of caution and ensure you have a recent website backup (daily backups have become an industry standard). If you have an e-commerce website they require some technical skills to perform these updates especially if you have an older website.
Most modern websites contain thousands of lines of code and depend on specific software that runs on your web hosting server. Hackers often discover vulnerabilities in code and will attempt to take advantage of this, trolling the Internet for sites that might be suitable candidates to be exploited. You can help prevent this by keeping your web hosting server’s software, and your website’s software updated with the latest patches and security releases. In the event that your website does get hacked (even with all the security measures in place, this is never an impossibility), you also need to remove the virus, clean up the website and restore the data. This includes contacting search engines and browsers that have blacklisted your website because of the virus. You can’t be 100% protected against viruses and ‘evil doers’, but you can be in a better position to speedily clean it up if it hacked if you have kept up with regular maintenance.
Fresh Content & SEO Considerations
The content on your website should keep your readers coming back. No one wants to read the same content week after week or be looking at outdated information about an event that happened 3 months ago. If you’re not updating your website, you are essentially telling your potential customers that you are not paying attention to your business or you may even be giving them an impression that you may be going out of business.
The search engines prefer sites that are fast, error free, well maintained and most of all; they love to index fresh content. So, every time you update the website, you are giving the search engines new material with which to rank your site. You must ensure your website is regularly updated with material related to the subjects with which you want people to find your business.
Take Advantage of New Features & Technologies
Website technology is evolving fast. In recent years, it has become increasingly important to have features on your site that integrate with social media because of how much traffic it can send your way. Online security is another area that’s fast-moving. You will need to invest in securing your site with an SSL certificate that will encrypt communications to assure customers their personal details are safe with you.
There’s a reason for new releases. Each release comes with various performance improvements that make your website more efficient. When you visit a site, and it takes too long to load – do you get impatient and navigate off? Website performance goes hand-in-hand with conversions and site results. Speed also has an impact on SEO. For this reason, utilise tools like YSlow, or Google Page Speed Insights to review your site speed and determine what is causing the slower load.
Like most other things that can feel like a chore WordPress have tried to make it a little easier for you. Auto Update does exactly what the title suggests and will keep your plugins, themes and the WordPress CMS up to date for you. While this may seem great, which it is most of the time, you should discuss this with your developer to ensure you will not run into any compatibility issues (especially our e-commerce friends).