A website is the consumer’s first step toward your brand and the first impression your products will have on the viewer’s mind. Creating a website is not a difficult task; what takes hard work and determination is the website maintenance checklist and updating the website over time to stay ahead of the game.
It is essential to remember that websites serve a purpose, i.e., to sell a product, share information, email marketing, or provide a service. Keeping the website up to date ensures that it fulfils every objective.
It has been estimated that 81% of people prefer to research products or services online before deciding. However, it has also been calculated that 80% of consumers leave a brand’s website after three bad experiences.
It is essential to understand why it is necessary to update your website before diving into the perfect checklist for IT maintenance.
What is website maintenance?
Website maintenance is the act of maintaining a website’s smooth operation and improving its performance. This includes a range of tasks, such as fixing bugs and updating software and plug-ins, optimizing website speed, security, and ensuring that the website is compatible and compatible with the most recent browsers.
Website maintenance is essential because it ensures that your website is functional, secure, up-to date, and always works. Regular maintenance can help improve website performance, improve user experience, and decrease the likelihood of security breaches and downtime.
Why is it Crucial to Maintain and Update Your Website Regularly?
Your website is something that, once launched, can only be utilised by making changes or updates. Staying ahead of the curve and aligning with the ongoing changes and technological advancements is imperative. Maintaining your site involves ensuring all links function correctly, updating content frequently, and fixing broken links. Besides, regularly backing up your site consists of monitoring the performance and performing general housekeeping tasks.
Maintaining your website and keeping it updated results in smooth functioning and helps improve your search engine optimisation. After launching a website, it’s crucial to regularly perform web maintenance to prevent technical problems, improve user experience, and ensure that your site ranks high in search engine results pages (SERPs). Keeping your website up-to-date can be challenging, but maintaining a smooth-running site is imperative.
When and How Can You Make Amendments to Your Website?
Everything must be updated for your website’s smooth functioning and timely growth, from security updates to content management to uptime monitoring. A question that often comes to mind is how frequently one should do website maintenance.
Although it is advisable to do it once a month, it also depends on the website’s size. Some tasks, such as monitoring uptime and scanning for security threats, can be automated so they can be carried out regularly. In contrast, other tasks, such as website updates and performance monitoring, will need to be performed manually.
Although it is possible to maintain websites on your own, it is frequently advisable to employ a web developer to do it for you. This is because maintaining a website can be time-consuming and technically complex, and it is simple to make mistakes that could ultimately wind up costing you money.
When establishing their budget for website development, website owners should include web maintenance expenditures. You may avoid unforeseen charges by putting site maintenance in your budget upfront. Although the expense of website maintenance can build up over time, it is typically a minor price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing your website is constantly current and functioning properly.
9-step Website Maintenance Checklist
1. Check for broken links.
It has been estimated that since January 2013, 66.5% of the links pointing to the 2,062,173 websites have rotted, and found another 6.45% with temporary errors. This can cause a lot of inconvenience for the viewers. A broken link can take the customer anywhere on the Internet or, worse, nowhere. You must check the broken links on your website if there are any. To deliver the best user experience, ensure that all your external and internal links are working correctly.
2. Check website speed/site load time.
The attention span of today’s generation does not go beyond the 30-second timer. Therefore, you should be able to answer one question: How long does it take for your website to load? If it takes too long, your customers will probably get impatient and steer away from your website.
You must keep a check on your website speed as it has been calculated that even a delay of a second in the load time of the page results in fewer page views (11%), customer satisfaction decrease (16%), and loss in conversion (7%). In the case of an e-commerce site, the loading speed has to be at the top of its game because if the rate is low, the customer might not even get a chance to browse through the products.
3. Check for the site backup.
Your content and data are one of the most critical aspects of your website. Therefore, it is necessary to keep your data backed up. A regular backup is one of the most important tasks you can do. If you fall behind, you will probably lose all of your recent work – even your entire website – if you fail to keep up.
4. Check for software maintenance.
The digital world is constantly evolving, and to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to align with those changes. It would be best if you kept in check for any software updates on your website. Software essential to the operation of your website should be updated, such as your content management system, themes, and plugins.
5. Analyse your site and see if there is any room for improvement.
Reviewing and analysing your site is also crucial to the website maintenance checklist. You want to examine the pages on your site to see if you’re driving your desired results. You’ll want to look at your most important pages, like your product, service, and contact pages, to ensure you’re driving leads and sales for your company. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to gain insight into your website’s performance.
6. Check for browser compatibility.
It is a common notion that everybody uses different browsers to get access to the Internet. Therefore, it is necessary to check your website’s browser compatibility. Additionally, browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla Firefox & Internet Explorer keep updating.
Such browser updates can affect the appearance and feel of your website. When viewed in IE or Firefox, your website might appear messy, despite looking fantastic in Chrome. A wrong first impression can cost you a sale. Therefore, make sure to check your website’s browser compatibility.
7. Check user testing.
An essential factor for a website is how users interact with it, whether it is user-friendly or not. As it is known, the world is constantly evolving and changing, and the way people interact with your website also changes. New technical innovations, devices, or browser updates can dramatically change how your typical internet user interacts with your website. Make sure to check how intuitive your website is. To ensure that you continue to provide a good experience, it is recommended to schedule annual usability testing.
8. Check for any security breaches.
You should keep your website in check for any malware, virus, trojan, or spyware. Keeping your site secure from viruses and malware is vital for the safety of your visitors, search engines, and customers. The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving. Every month, new malware makes its way over the Internet. Your website must have the latest security certificates installed, and all loopholes must be patched thoroughly.
It would be a good idea to review recent cyber attacks on other firms and measure your website’s resilience against them. Security scans must be performed at least once a month to identify vulnerabilities in the website architecture.
9. Keep monitoring the uptime.
Monitoring uptime ensures that your website is accessible when people try to access it. Your website should have an uptime of as close to 100%. You’ll want to know whenever your site goes down so you can take steps to get it back up and running.
Factors impacting website maintenance costs in 2023
1. Complexity of website:
The number of pages, functionalities and features of a website can have an impact on maintenance costs. Complex websites will require more maintenance, which can lead to higher costs.
2. Type of website:
Maintenance costs can also be affected by the type of website. E-commerce websites, for example, may need more frequent updates or security checks than a blog. This can lead to higher maintenance costs.
3. Maintenance frequency:
Website maintenance frequency can have an impact on costs. Regular maintenance such as monthly or weekly updates will be less expensive than ad-hoc or infrequent updates.
4. Expertise of maintenance team:
Costs can be affected by the expertise and experience of the maintenance team. While a highly skilled team might be more expensive, they can also be more efficient and cost-effective in maintaining your website. This could result in lower long-term costs.
5. Additional services:
Maintenance costs can be increased by adding additional services such as security checks and content updates or plugin and software upgrades.
Points to consider for hiring a good website maintenance company
Services offered: Find out what services are included in the agency’s maintenance plan. Website maintenance plans should include backups, updates, and security checks.
Service Level Agreement:
Make sure the agency has a Service Level Agreement that clearly describes the maintenance services they will provide, and the delivery times.
Make sure to check the agency’s response times for maintenance requests. If your website is vital to your business, you want the agency to respond in a few hours.
Check their experience in website maintenance. An agency should have a track record in maintaining websites and its team should be proficient in different web technologies.
Make sure the pricing is clear and within your budget. To ensure you get a fair deal, compare the pricing with other agencies.
Find out how the agency communicates with its clients. Good agencies should have an account manager who can be contacted for maintenance issues.
Seek out reviews and client feedback about the agency’s website maintenance services. This will allow you to gauge how satisfied clients are with the agency’s services.
Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the maintenance contract. Before signing up for the maintenance program, make sure you fully understand the contract terms.
7 Steps to finding a good website maintenance agency
1. Define your needs:
Define your needs before you start looking for web maintenance services. This includes identifying your needs, such as security checks, updates, backups, or other tasks.
2. Start researching service providers:
After identifying your needs, you can begin to search for service providers. You should look for companies that are experienced in website maintenance. You can ask for referrals from other businesses or search online directories.
3. Assess their experience:
Review their case studies and portfolio to see if they have any. Seek out examples of websites they have managed and check if they have experience working with similar businesses.
4. Assess the reputation:
To assess their reputation, read testimonials and reviews from other businesses. To see what others have to say about the company, you can also look on social media and online forums.
5. Examine their pricing:
Compare the pricing of various service providers to ensure that you find a price that suits your needs. You should understand the services included in their packages and whether they charge additional for them.
6. Communication and support:
Check that the service provider provides good communication and support. You want a provider who is clear and consistent in communicating with you, and also provides responsive support for any questions or issues.
7. Ask for a trial:
Ask for a trial before you commit to a long-term agreement. This will allow you to test the services and see how they communicate with you. Taking this step clears your mind and allows you to make a final decision.
The only constant thing about the digital world is change. Therefore, it makes it crucial for businesses to stay on top of these changes. Regular maintenance of your website increases traffic and retains customers. Even a slight crack in your website can result in a downfall.
Your monthly or weekly website maintenance need not be time-consuming; you have to teach it in your calendar as a time when you sit back and review the hard work of your company.
When it comes to website maintenance, there are many things to think about, but categorising each work by week, month, quarter, and year will help you create a perfect plan that ensures nothing goes unchecked or ignored. The competition is vicious; therefore, you need to stay on top of the game with your error-free website.