The benefits of having a Website Maintenance and Care Plan

A website needs regular check-ups and maintenance, just like a car

Do you know the benefits of having a website maintenance and care plan in place? Many people think that this is a luxury they can live without, or they don’t see the value in this type of service. Every website developer knows that website development does not finish with website creation. Website creation is just the start, a website needs regular check-ups and maintenance, just like a car needs to be checked at regular intervals. A website is no different…

Let’s start at the beginning…

What are website maintenance and care plans?

Website maintenance and care plans are a way of consistently inspecting your website to check for errors and issues. It’s a way to keep your website updated, without the need for action on your part. If you want to grow your website traffic and boost your website SEO & Google rankings, let‘s explore some benefits of having a website maintenance and a care plan in place for your website.

What are the benefits?

Great user experience

There’s nothing worse than when all your hard work, creating sales leads, tweaking your website, spending hours on lead conversions, is ruined by an unexpected 403 error. Or worse a hacked website. All that attention to detail, making sure your user experience is perfect, only to be taken out of the game by a nefarious software update or plugin vulnerability.

Security

Your website should be completely up-to-date, and you should have all the latest patches and updates installed, otherwise, your website is open to attack. However, there are caveats to this: sometimes its worse to blindly update some software or plugins without first testing that they’re going to be compatible with all your other software/plugins. You can’t always rely on the authors statement that their plugins are compatible with the core software you are running. This must be tested first.

Hackers also target small business websites, just like yours. There are many automated tools available that hackers utilise to scan for unsecure websites, and once found, infect those websites with malicious code. It doesn’t matter if your website is a small personal blog, or a huge corporate website, if hackers find any weak point, they will merrily make use of that. Outdated software installed on your site is a great opportunity for the hacker. In fact most website hacks are due to plugin/software vulnerabilities.

Website maintenance and care plans are the ultimate security solution. They allow you to keep doing what you’re good at, running your business. While letting another company do all of the heavy lifting with regard to the following.

Growth Analytics

Uptime Monitoring

It is difficult for you as a business owner to guarantee that your website stays online 24/7. You’re off doing other things and errors can appear on both the user and the server-side.

With a website maintenance care plan your website is monitored for you, continuously, so you’re the first to know your website is down, not your customer. Timely monitoring of your websites uptime, your servers, and software gives you piece of mind, knowing your website is running healthily.

Suitable Hosting

Hosting is an essential factor related to a website’s loading speed. How long would you wait for a website to load? Research shows that an average user waits around 5 seconds before hitting that little X in the top right corner or the back button. If your website hasn’t loaded in that time, you better believe those potential customers are walking right out the door.

Most small business websites run on shared hosting. Shared hosting gets a bad rap due to the very nature of its environment. It’s shared after all…

But there are ways to ensure you still have a lightening fast website on shared hosting. Keeping databases clean and uncluttered and using premium software are just two.

Cost Saving

You can save money if you maintain your website yourself. This is definitely a thought that’s been running around your head, right? You’re right, yes of course you can. But there are some things to consider before jumping in.

In addition to paying for backup software and premium protection to ensure your site security, do you have a thorough understanding of all plugins you use, and their updates?

For example, when the dashboard says to update a plugin, it is not a matter of just clicking a button. What do you do when you know that the update you installed is not compatible with other plugins on your website? Do you know how to roll back the updated plugin to its previous version without going through an entire website backup?

These are the problems that keep the most well meaning business owner ‘come part time web developer’ up at night. And that brings us nicely on to…

Software Updates

Today, websites are getting easier to edit, and the complex applications on your website need to be updated. You must regularly update the applications, themes, and plugins. Updates come regularly and at any time. Before the update, always make sure that you have created a backup. Moreover, if you find any problem after the update, you can roll back to a previous version.

Daily Offsite Backups

Always make a back-up in case your website gets disrupted after an update or any other thing happens and your website needs to be reinstated or rebuilt. Most commonly, two elements of the website need backup:

Content: It includes text, audio, video, and images, etc.

Code: It includes PHP, JavaScript, plugins, themes, HTML, CSS, and other important files

It’s very important to keep these daily backups offsite, which means they are not stored as part of your hosting. If your website gets hacked, its also possible any stored files on your hosting would also be compromised. Keeping daily offsite back ups gives you peace of mind, and all good website services who offer website maintenance or website care plans should offer this as part of their plans.

Continuous Security Monitoring

Security is one of the most important aspects of any website. You need to make sure you’re covered with a robust security stack which is monitored constantly. This reduces the risk of hacking or viruses.

Daily Malware Scans

A malware attack can be heart breaking. Your website not only gets harmed but also the content gets destroyed. You not only lose visitors but also the revenue you earned on your website.
Malware can steal data, crash your website, and steal your personnel information like credit card information, etc.

On average 30,000 new websites are hacked every day. So, a daily malware scan is very important to protect your site and users from cyber threats. A malware scanner can not only scan your website, but it can also alert you whenever there is malware. Daily malware scans are essential in keeping your website safe and are usually part of any website maintenance plan. They are here at Web Design Depot.

User Expectations

When a person clicks on your website, there are certain things they automatically expect. First impressions are powerful and if your website doesn’t give them what they ‘expect’ they’ll be off like a shot, never to return.

A few things they expect are

  • To click on a link and it send them to where they expect to be sent. (Broken Links)
  • To get the information they want when they click on one of your pages. (404 errors)
  • Spelling and grammar to be on point.
  • The website to load fast
  • Their visit to your website to be secure (especially if they’re spending money on your site)

These things need checking regularly so your users experience is in line with what you want them to experience.

Search Engine Optimisation

One of the most important topics related to website maintenance is search engine optimisation. Search engines always choose those websites that are error-free, fast, use fresh content, and keep well maintained.

SEO is not a one time event, it’s an ongoing process that needs attention and skill to get right. There are many elements involved, and techniques deployed, to get the correct targeted traffic to your website. There is no ‘set it and forget it’ when SEO is concerned. This is an element that can be monitored by a maintenance and care plan.

Website Maintenance Plan – Bottom Line

So in conclusion, having a website maintenance plan or website care plan is purely optional. If we use the car analogy, some people have the skills necessary to keep their car in tip top condition.

The same is true for website maintenance. But if you’re like most small business website owners, you don’t want the hassle of keeping everything ticking along sweetly. The benefits of having website maintenance and care plans in place, can be more cost effective than the imminent revenue loss from a hacked website or rampant malware, which impacts both your profit margin and reputation.

If you’re thinking about getting a website maintenance or care plan for your website you can speak to us here at Web Design Depot. Just contact us using the button below, or give us a call using the Call Us button in the menu.