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Just like your car, a website needs constant maintenance checks to keep things running smoothly. Just like changing out the oil or getting the engine checked, maintaining a website is all about staying on top of updates and monitoring your site’s performance.
Think of us at TechArk as your web mechanics. We can manage your WordPress website hosting and maintenance for you so that your site stays tuned up and ready to help your business grow, instead of slowing things down.
Keep reading for a full guide on the importance of website maintenance and how it provides a great experience for your customers while preventing any costly downtime.
Why Website Maintenance is an Ongoing Process
Once your business website is up and running, it’s easy to assume that it won’t need any more attention; the reality is that the internet is in a constant state of flux. Not only are you likely to be receiving all kinds of visitors to your site who might flag certain operational issues over time, but new updates are regularly being made available too.
As a result, website maintenance is an ongoing process. Even brick-and-mortar stores have to update things to keep up with trends, shifting customer behaviour and security issues. The same is true for business websites. Online browsing habits evolve over time based on everything from social trends to device upgrades. Unfortunately, as the internet evolves, things like security risks do as well and if your website isn’t properly maintained, it could be left vulnerable to malware and other threats.
The size of your website and how many features it supports will generally determine how extensive your monthly maintenance routine needs to be. Some aspects can be automated but many require ongoing manual attention too. That’s why a website maintenance plan from the pros at TechArk, is so useful. As we’re about to dig into, website maintenance covers several ongoing tasks that can be difficult to stay on top of if you try to do everything on your own.
What Does Website Maintenance Include?
To keep your site secure and easy to use for customers, these are the main aspects that your website maintenance plan needs to include:
Security Updates and Scanning
Just like servicing a vehicle to check for any safety issues, your website needs to be scanned regularly for security threats. That way any vulnerabilities can be found before they cause potentially serious site issues. Security monitoring also gives you peace of mind because you can rest assured that your site and data is secure.
WordPress releases new security patches regularly but they’re only effective if they’re updated and installed on your site promptly. That’s why it’s so crucial to have a website maintenance plan in place that will keep your site updated with the latest protections.
Plugin and Theme Updates
For WordPress website hosting and maintenance, or that of any other web host, plugin and theme updates have to be a priority so that the latest security patches are in place. Think of it like having a light that’s on the blink in your rented store space – the landlord has to come around and sort it out. Site updates are a digital version of that.
Some can be performed automatically, but many need manual intervention and may even require that you do a site backup before installation. That can be a lot to manage which is why we offer services at TechArk that specifically cater to businesses with WordPress sites. We can help with everything from updates to web speed and security so that you’re able to rest easy, knowing your site is always up to date.
Site Load Speed and Uptime
“Uptime” refers to the percentage of time that your site is up and operational. Unlike most physical storefronts, the expectation is that a website be available to users 24/7 which is why you ideally want an uptime as close to 100% as possible. If your site goes down often, you’re likely losing customers and with them, business. Alerts can be set up so that you’re notified when this occurs and automated checks can be done to monitor your uptime constantly.
Other performance factors that require attention include your site’s loading speed, how it displays across devices from desktop to mobile, and whether the images being used are optimised for fast loading. Each of these aspects helps shape the quality of your web experience for customers. In a world where high-speed data is the norm, people have little patience for slower technology. Your website needs to be a seamless experience in order to keep their attention. Loading delays or the site being down will only put them off.
Ongoing Content Updates
The importance of website maintenance isn’t only about functionality, it’s also about keeping customers interested. Just like changing up a storefront to attract people’s attention, businesses also need to invest time in updating how their website appears to people with content updates.
This includes everything from keeping graphics and photos fresh to updating blog content and basic information on the site so that it remains relevant and accurate.
The Risks of Neglecting Website Maintenance
We’ve covered the nitty-gritty tasks of website maintenance, now let’s talk about the possible risks of forgetting to do them. If you stop servicing your car, your chances of breaking down are bound to go up. The potential for your website to break down also goes up when your business overlooks the importance of website maintenance.
Here are some of the major risks of neglecting your website:
- Getting Hacked: If security updates aren’t regularly installed, websites open themselves up to the threat of cyber-attacks. You wouldn’t leave your physical store or office with a faulty lock on the door, so why do the same for your business’s website?
- Outdated Plugins and Themes: For anyone dealing with WordPress website hosting and maintenance, not updating your plugins and themes can negatively impact the functionality of your site. Developers are constantly improving these offerings and by not making use of them, your site could end up riddled with bugs and glitches.
- Irrelevant Content: Content that is no longer valid or up to date not only makes your site look like it's behind the times, it can bring you down in the Google rankings and make it harder for people to find your site in the first place.
- Broken Links: Clicking on a site link only to find that it’s broken can make your overall digital experience seem clunky and irritating to users.
- Reduced Web Speed: The same issue extends to web speed. If you neglect the importance of website maintenance, your site is likely to end up slowed by bugs and other issues.
- Your Site Stops Functioning: The longer you leave your website without regular maintenance, the more the site will degrade. The biggest risk this poses is that your site may crash altogether. Without ongoing backups, you could lose all the work you’ve invested and have to rebuild your site.
- Lost Customers: Ultimately, the biggest loss may be the potential customers you’re missing out on. Bounce rate, or the rate at which customers click on your site only to leave it shortly after, is likely to go up. Pages that take too long to load, links that don’t work, and outdated content all create an image of your business that simply won’t be attractive to customers.
The Benefits of Maintaining Your Business Website
When you make website maintenance a priority, you avoid many potential problems while also creating a more seamless digital experience for your customers. In addition to mitigating all the risks we’ve outlined, here are the benefits that investing in website management and maintenance can bring your business:
- Boosted Customer Base: The two big metrics to judge how well you’re doing with your online customers are the number of new people you’re attracting and even more importantly, the number of returning customers. Both areas are improved by investing time into your website and can result in major business growth.
- Avoiding Expensive Disasters: While website maintenance may seem like yet another cost to add, it saves you money and hassle in the long run. Security breakdowns, undealt with bugs, and all the other areas that degrade without regular checks can be avoided before they cause any major, expensive problems like your site crashing during a sale.
- Be Better Than Your Competition: Standing out in the digital space is all about investing in your digital presence. That doesn’t end with launching a website, that’s just where it starts. To be better than your competitors, you need to prioritize the long-term maintenance of your site so that you’re always fresh and ready for your customers.
So much of a business’s success these days is dependent on the quality of its digital presence. A secure, well-tended website can provide a better experience for your customers overall and in doing so, put you ahead of the competition and boost business growth.
How We Can Handle Your Website’s Maintenance
Whether WordPress website hosting and maintenance is a concern, or you’re simply dealing with general web maintenance issues, our top-rated team is here to help.
At TechArk, we can assist with day-to-day tasks as well as develop a larger website maintenance plan so that your site is always fast, secure, and ready for customers. Invest in your digital offerings and the growth potential of your business today by signing up for our services. We have multiple plans available and a full team of experts ready to assist as you drive your business toward success.