The majority of business owners understand the importance of having a website, but often they simply create a site, launch it, and never look at it again, ignoring website maintenance entirely. If your site isn’t properly maintained, chances are you’re losing valuable clients or customers – and that is going to impact your business’ bottom line.
Websites need routine maintenance to ensure that all of the components (links, inquiry or contact forms, images, payment mechanisms, shopping carts…) are working in a safe and efficient manner. Creating a visually appealing, user-friendly, platform-responsive website is a great first step for letting the world know your business exists, but regular upkeep is essential if you want your business’ visibility to grow and flourish.
Here are our top reasons why website maintenance is important for your business.
Website maintenance is important for: SECURITY!
We’ve written it in all caps for a reason! Security is the number one reason why website maintenance is important – and the primary problem that often makes news headlines. It doesn’t matter if your business’ website is on WordPress or some other platform, if it utilizes many plug-ins or not, or if you have an online store – hackers around the globe are always searching for a vulnerability and preventing security breaches before they happen is essential.
Security is the number one reason why website maintenance is important – and the primary problem that often makes news headlines.
When your business uses WordPress (which we, at Road Warrior Creative, recomend) or a similar content management system (CMS), it’s important to make sure that you are always running the most up-to-date version. This ensures that WordPress’ latest bug fixes and security patches are installed on your site. Sure, some hackers want to go for a “big hit” and steal tens of thousands of credit card numbers or passwords, but most don’t. In fact, lots of hacks occur where malware or a Trojan Horse is uploaded to your website. This causes problems not just for you, but potentially for every person who visits your business’ website, too. How do hackers get in? They exploit the weaknesses in the website’s outdated software and security patches. Just like a thief will look for an unlocked door or an ineffective security system, hackers actively seek out old websites because they are easier targets.
We can’t say it enough times, making sure your website is maintained with an eye for security has never been more important.
Website maintenance is important for: Providing the best possible customer experience.
If your website’s theme and template files are old and outdated, they may not display properly on new versions of web browsers and mobile devices. But, when you perform regularly scheduled maintenance, you can be sure that the most current version has been installed and is working properly.
In addition to making sure your website displays correctly, you also want to keeping your website maintained to make sure the user experience is fresh, exciting and relevant. The last thing a potential client, customer or business partner wants to see when they visit your website are photos, updates, and specials that are months (or even years!) old.
You’ll also want to make sure that all the links and contact forms are working correctly. Same goes for staff contact information, department phone numbers, social media icons, pricing lists or menus… When customers encounter outdated information this reflects poorly on your business and often results in a negative experience. Think about it this way, a customer discovers that you have a certain product, at a certain price, on your website and then visits your store to buy it in person. When they arrive, they discover that you don’t have that item, or that the price is very different – and all because you didn’t keep your website up-to-date. Maybe they’ll be nice and understand, but chances are they’ll be none too pleased!
Website maintenance is important for: Driving search engine traffic and boosting SEO rankings.
You will drive traffic to your website and improve your search rankings when you add new content. Part of routine website maintenance is making sure that content is correct and up-to-date. The more you update your website, the more search engines will raise your rankings. Conversely, search engines will reduce your rankings if your site is infrequently updated and they may even remove your website from its search results if they suspect it has been infected with malware. Additionally, some search engines like Google are starting to selectively show search results based on the type of device a person is searching from.Regular website updates are a cornerstone of any viable SEO strategy. Click To Tweet
What does this mean? If you have deferred maintenance on your business’ website for several years, chances are your website is not optimized for smartphone and tablets. Yes, your website will certainly appear if a person enters your URL, but the site will not be compatible with the device (think minescule text, pages that need both horizontal and vertical scrolling, navigation that is difficult to manipulate on a small device…). If your business’ website is not mobile ready, then your website may not be presented in search results when Google detects a person is searching from a mobile device. Ouch! Getting left out can hurt big time!