Websites are like cars. I don’t build my own car- heck I don’t even change my own oil- but it doesn’t mean I don’t drive one. I just trust the professionals to keep it running. At a certain point, if your car isn’t making regular visits to a professional for upkeep and maintenance, you’ll find yourself on the side of the road, breaking down, maybe even emotionally.
A website can go a long way without regular updates… until it can’t. Proper security and website maintenance ensures your website has the best chance of always being live and ready to serve your audience.
The reality is that when something goes wrong on your website, it’s usually your customer who figures it out first. This is not ideal. Users do not stick around for sluggish or broken websites, and they often make assumptions about the website owner based on how professional and secure the website feels. Even worse, an outdated website is an unsafe website.
How Website Maintenance Works
Websites are often referred to as “set-it-and-forget-it,” but the truth is, there is no such thing. At the very least, your website needs to be constantly given proper security updates, scanned for security vulnerabilities, and monitored for search engine visibility. Your website probably has at least a few moving parts, like a contact form, that need to be up to date and kept functioning. Performance needs to be monitored to ensure all the pages are loading. Low-level maintenance has three key parts: frequent backups, constant updates, and ongoing security scans.
Frequent backups ensure that no matter what goes wrong, we can take it back to however it was the day before. Restoring a site to a backed up version immediately means peace of mind.
Constant updates mean that when a new security hole is discovered by the community, you get the fix immediately. Running a major core or plugin update can be scary- will it break my site? By having a WordPress expert handle the updates, you know there’s someone already there jumping into the problem.
Ongoing security scans can be routinely performed to search for things like vulnerabilities, malware, spam, and infiltration. Preparation for brute force attacks and IP address blocking are another level of security. When a scan reports something out of place, an expert can look into it.
Maintaining vs Fixing
The web grows and evolves. Yesterdays best practices become tomorrows SEO liabilities. Software that was reliable suddenly gets abandoned.
Fixing a broken website always ends up costing more than just maintaining it in the first place. If there’s no ongoing plan, no collection of backups, no safe version control, fixing a website can mean starting from scratch. On the other hand, when someone is continually monitoring your website, there’s a good chance you can get up an running pretty quickly.
Premium Website Maintenance
All of the tasks above are about keeping a site running. But what about making sure your site is thriving? For this, there’s premium ongoing support, with a focus on search engine optimization and ranking, social media outreach, and content strategy and generation. More than that, it’s about having someone to call when you need something changed on your website, but don’t have the time or knowledge or to make that change.
At the end of the day, things can break. When something does break, fixing it ourselves can cause even more problems, so it’s good to have a reliable relationship with your website expert. Click here to learn more about website maintenance plans.