The internet has more than 1.5 billion websites today. However, over 75% of them are inactive and abandoned. That’s right, 75%! What is the big disconnect here?
They don’t attract any customers or convert traffic. Unfortunately, many website owners come to learn their website maintenance is something they weren’t ready for.
It is not enough to build a website and publish it online. Businesses must optimize and tweak their investments for optimum performance and returns.
This is where website maintenance services come in. It helps you keep your website running like a champ and meet your business objectives.
However, what is website maintenance? Why is it crucial for a business owner or an individual?
What is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance refers to keeping your site up and running perfectly. Regular maintenance tasks include updating, monitoring, and optimizing various website elements.
The process ensures your site is always functioning properly, up-to-date, secure, and relevant for your audience.
The goal of managing website is to improve user experience, boost performance, and resolve potential issues.
Website maintenance may also involve database maintenance. It refers to managing and optimizing the data storage and retrieval systems.
Website and data maintenance together bring due returns from your digital storefront.
Types of Regular Website Maintenance
Managing website encompasses several steps and tasks. It covers the technical aspects of a content management system to your site’s appeal.
Below are a few examples of common website maintenance tasks:
The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving. New threats emerge every year and cause businesses losses worth millions of dollars.
For example, organizations worldwide experienced 493 million ransomware attacks in 2022.
Therefore, it is necessary to protect your website and ensure all security protocols work optimally.
Security maintenance involves installing security patches and updating security plugins. You also address vulnerabilities detected by your monitoring systems to prevent security breaches.
Updating Themes and Plugins
A website maintenance plan involves updating the website theme and plugins. You should always keep both up-to-date for uncompromised performance and security.
Outdated plugins can lead to vulnerabilities that hackers compromise to gain access to your systems.
Updating Website Content
The content on your website should always be up-to-date and relevant. Therefore, your website maintenance services include updating outdated content.
Fresh content that speaks to your audience boosts your conversions and SEO strategy.
However, writing a blog post is not website maintenance. We are talking about the content of your web pages and landing pages.
Optimizing Site’s Performance
Your website needs to perform like a superstar to keep converting potential customers. It should load fast, process requests quickly, and accept payments without hassles.
Your site performance monitoring tools will provide insights into the areas to focus on. You may also need to work on areas like:
- Website speed
- Broken plugins
- Complex code
Routine maintenance also involves fixing bugs and broken links. It ensures your site is functional and provides excellent user experiences.
Your website design needs to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and practices. Therefore, a design that worked six months back may not work today.
Tweaking your website design is a part of site maintenance. You may add a new section, try a new form field, or change the colors of your buttons.
However, your decisions should be driven by data and analysis.
Search engine rankings are crucial for all businesses. You must try to rank your site on popular search engines like Google to generate organic traffic.
Google local searches alone drive more than 2 billion website visits. Therefore, you must keep your website’s SEO up-to-date to receive more clicks.
SEO maintenance tasks may include:
- Implementing new and relevant keywords
- Analyzing search engine listings
- Adding tags, alt texts, and categories
- Updating site schema and structure
- Submitting site to new business directories
Additionally, you should tweak your site to resonate with the latest SEO best practices.
Maintaining the database of your website keeps your website fast and responsive. Your database maintenance plan may include tasks like systematic management and optimization.
Moreover, identifying and rectifying data inconsistencies are part of regular maintenance services.
Additionally, database maintenance involves tweaking security measures to protect sensitive data and user information.
Maintenance packages may even include backups and creating recovery plans.
The business owner is not always the only person to access a website. Employees and stakeholders in a company regularly log in and perform different activities.
As a result, a business website may have several users.
It is imperative to manage the users of your site regularly. You may need to:
- Create new user accounts
- Delete inactive user accounts
- Change, create, or remove permissions
- Reset passwords
A maintenance team will also scan users to track spam or bot accounts and remove them.
Backup and Recovery
Backups are necessary to recover your site in the case of data loss or system failures. As a result, regular backup of website data and files is a part of every maintenance checklist.
Almost all hosting providers allow you to take automated backups. However, you can maintain your own backup to leave no stone unturned.
Additionally, you may refine your disaster recovery plan to get your site back online as quickly as possible.
Even a few minutes of downtime can translate to a loss of thousands of dollars.
A Look at Website Maintenance Cost
The website maintenance cost depends on several factors. A simple site takes less time and effort to maintain and costs less.
However, a complex website with several pages may cost more to maintain. Additionally, providers charge different rates for a website maintenance plan.
Below are a few factors that impact the cost of web maintenance:
A complex website is costly to maintain. What makes a website complex?
- Intricate designs
- Multiple functionalities
- Unique workflows
- Custom features
- Many dependencies
A maintenance company will charge more for such websites.
Size of the Website
The scale of your site determines the website maintenance cost. You will need to spend more if your site has:
- Many pages
- Many features
- Extensive content
Large websites with extensive content will need more frequent updates. You must also prioritize comprehensive security updates and optimization.
Features and Functionality
The nature of the features of your website influences the cost of maintenance. Your website maintenance partner will charge more for maintaining advanced features.
- Ecommerce platforms
- Interactive forms
- Customer loyalty systems
- Third-party integrations
Advanced functionalities tend to need more maintenance. Additionally, it costs more to ensure these functionalities remain operational and secure.
Many websites need to add or change content on a regular basis. For example, an ecommerce business may add new products every month, including product descriptions, images, and videos.
Additionally, you may need to change or add to your existing website content. You may even need to build landing pages or add a new section.
The scale of content updates, additions, and changes affects your monthly maintenance costs. In comparison, a simple website that does not change content will spend less on maintenance.
However, every business should strive to maintain relevant content on their website to appeal to customers.
Site security is a top priority for many businesses. It is a must for websites dealing with sensitive user information or accepting online payments.
Additionally, some sectors like banking and finance must keep their site secure. They cannot afford to miss out on any security vulnerabilities.
It will cost more money to attend to complex security maintenance tasks. Regular processes like implementing security updates, monitoring vulnerabilities, and addressing breaches make maintenance expensive.
Platform and Software Updates
An online business can rely on many technologies and platforms to build its website. Additionally, your site may use plugins, content management systems (CMS), and more.
Your maintenance plan will include updating all the technologies, platforms, software, and plugins. The cost will increase along with the number and complexity of the technology.
In comparison, a website using a single platform and fewer plugins will be affordable to maintain.
An ongoing maintenance schedule is important for e-commerce websites to ensure seamless shopping experiences. You must ensure different e-commerce elements, like your payment gateways and order processing, are working perfectly.
The extra attention for e-commerce sites adds to the costs.
However, your costs will be minimal if you build your site on e-commerce platforms like Shopify.
Several websites rely on databases for dynamic content storage and retrieval. Such sites will need ongoing database maintenance.
It ensures everything works smoothly without any disruptions. Additionally, frequent maintenance prevents data corruption.
In-House vs. Outsourced Maintenance
Businesses have the choice of outsourcing web maintenance. A maintenance service can handle the responsibilities for a fixed monthly fee.
Outsourcing website maintenance may be a practical choice for many businesses. In such cases, your requirements and the nature of services will determine the cost.
You can expect to pay more for perks like priority support, technical guidance, and emergency threat responses.
How Often Should You Perform Website Maintenance?
Your focus should always be a well-maintained website. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to website maintenance.
Several factors determine the frequency of your tasks. Below is a general guideline on how often you should maintain your site:
- Content updates: Keep your website’s content fresh and relevant with regular updates. Update your content every week or month.
- Security: Download and install patches as soon as they are available. Additionally, take action instantly based on alerts from security monitoring.
- Performance optimization: Your site should keep up with the latest technological trends and services. Perform performance optimization once every quarter or six months.
- Bug fixes: Fix bugs as soon as you identify them to avoid frustrating your site visitors.
- Backup and recovery: Backup your site regularly based on how frequently you update your content, design, or products.
- Design tweaks: Optimize website design periodically, such as annually, to keep appealing to your audience.
Why Website Maintenance is Important
A well-maintained site is a pleasure to use. It helps you gain a competitive advantage and create a solid brand.
You also enjoy benefits like:
- Excellent user experiences: Regular upkeep ensures your website is fast and glitch-free. It generates optimum user satisfaction and engagement.
- Uncompromised security: Regular website and database maintenance fortifies your web security. They reduce the risk of cyber threats, build trust, and manage risks.
- SEO edge: Websites that update content and tweak SEO frequently rank high on search engine results pages. It helps businesses attract more organic traffic and clicks.
- Trust: Updated and relevant websites reflect professionalism and reliability. It enables you to build a trustworthy brand image.
- Reduced costs: Ongoing maintenance reduces the likelihood of major technical issues and breakdowns. You don’t have to pay for costly emergency repairs.
- Competitiveness: You can always stay competitive and ahead of your rivals with a properly maintained website.
Develop Your Website Maintenance Routine Today
Congratulations, you’re now an expert on the intricacies of website maintenance. We touched on tasks like updating content, security patches, and software. Furthermore, don’t forget to tweak your design, SEO strategies, and add reviews to keep track of their effectiveness. The nature of your industry, site and domain will determine the exact requirements.
You should strive to perform maintenance frequently, at least once a month. Some tasks, like design improvements, may be done once or twice a year.
Website maintenance is crucial for several reasons, like staying relevant and maintaining or improving brand image. You can also avoid costly repairs and protect yourself from cyber threats.
Here is a blog you can read to discover web design rules that boost your SEO. You can follow these rules next time you maintain your web design.
In the end, the choice is yours. Businesses can outsource website maintenance to us for zero worries. We handle all the responsibilities while you stay free to grow your revenues.
Schedule a call today to learn how we can help.