Why Is Website Maintenance Important?
Keep your website up to date- don't lose customers for no reason!
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 They exploit the weaknesses in the website’s outdated software and security patches.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!
Website maintenance is important for: Keeping your current customers interested.
Keep your current customers happy and excited about your products and services by routinely updating your website to offer them relevant, interesting, shareable content and give them a good reason to take action. Actionable items you would like your customers to do include things such as coming to the store for a special product or sale, signing up for an event, making a donation or conducting an online purchase. An easy way to update your website and drive traffic to it is to regularly add content to your blog, publish an online version of an e-newsletter you send out, or become active on social media platforms. Let your customers know you care about them and value their engagement with your business or brand.
Website maintenance is important for: Backing up your essential files and materials.
One of the primary tasks of website maintenance is backing up all of your website’s files. This can either be done manually or through automated services offered by your web hosting provider. Backing up your files is important because the last thing you want to have happen is to lose all of your website’s information. If this were to happen (due to a natural disaster or malware attack, for example) you would need to re-build your entire website from square one – and that would cost significant time and money. If your business’ website is a simple, informational one, backing up monthly is probably sufficient. However, if your website has more dynamic components such as an online store, or content and images that are constantly changing, then backing up more frequently may be critical.
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Website Maintenance: Just do it!
Have we made a sufficient argument as to why we believe website maintenance is important for every business? Whether you are contracting with Road Warrior Creative or another website development agency, encouraging routine maintenance is not just some sales tactic. Investing in a website is like investing in a car - you’ll get more for your money in terms of reliability and lasting value when you follow a set maintenance plan. Maintenance will keep your website running at peak performance, minimize or remove any security vulnerabilities, and ensure that your visitors find all the information they need. When you invest funds for maintenance you greatly reduce the risk of having to pay out even larger sums to fix serious problems that could have been prevented.Investing in a website is like buying a car - you get more value by following a maintenance plan. Click To Tweet
Website maintenance is essential for all businesses, regardless of size or business sector. It doesn’t matter if your business is a nonprofit, if you sell handcrafted items through an online store, offer professional services in a “bricks and mortar” location, or provide a subscription or membership style service that allows user to create accounts. Because we live and work in a digital world, websites becomes the “face” of your brand or company. When you commit to routine website maintenance, you’re investing in the best possible customer experience, while providing a safe and secure environment for business transactions. Your website will attract less of what you don’t want (hackers, bots, malware…) and more of what you do want - quality customers, strong search rankings, and improved performance.
Let us help you!
At Road Warrior Creative, we offer a range of professionally managed WordPress hosting and support services. Whether you are setting up a personal blog or running a complex eCommerce store, our various hosting support plans will keep your website up and running 24/7, stress free. Just think of us as your in-house web site team! To learn more about our website maintenance plans, visit our Hosting & Ongoing Support page.