The global population is now online. In this respect, it has become more necessary today than any time before to bring your business online. A website maintenance is one of the most rudimentary requirements for catching your audience online and exposing them to the range of service offerings that your business has to offer.
Building a website is like buying a new guest house. Shiny as it may appear, you soon start to notice things that are not as good-looking or functional as you like. These are some of the first things you’ll ever need to fix in your still new guest house.
With continuous use of the website, some parts will get outdated. You have to refresh them to maintain the high standards that your guests expect by now.
From time to time, things will break and cause obvious usability problems. These are easy to get a handle on. Sometimes breakages can be subtler and easy to miss. But trust me, these kinds of breakages can cause a cascade failure if you don’t seek them out.
Why Is Website Maintenance Important?
Maintenance will keep your website performing well. These are the benefits you get from maintaining a website:
- · The website is safer from security threats.
- · Maintaining a site encourages the growth of traffic and reduces the bounce rate.
- · The site will be more visible to search engines.
- · By constantly updating your content, you will keep people coming back.
- · You will reduce downtime by fixing problems before they occur.
- · Your website will be faster and easier to navigate.
- · Maintenance prevents the build-up of broken links.
Which Elements Of A Website Need To Be Maintained?
Website maintenance consists of two main categories: front-end and back-end maintenance. The front end has all the design elements and interactive objects. The back-end enables the front-end to function and is responsible for your website’s speed, security, and reliability.
To maintain the front end, you make design changes, add new content, and test if menus are working. You keep the back end working by fixing code, upgrading the software, and installing security patches, among other things. Backing up your website is another crucial component of maintenance.
How Frequently Should I Maintain My Website?
Each maintenance activity has its ideal timeline. A well-maintained website has weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks. Let’s look at some actions required to keep your site running like a Swiss watch.
Weekly maintenance checklist
1. Browse all your pages to see if they load without errors. Also, check for error alerts from your website controllers.
2. Perform a full website backup so that you can always have a fallback plan in case of a catastrophic failure.
3. Stay up to date by updating plugins and software. Do not skip any stability-related improvements.
4. Often overlooked are comments on posts. You might want to remove spam comments weekly to improve the experience of other users.
5. Find and fix all broken links every week.
6. Eliminate 404 errors within the same week that they crop up.
7. Add at least one blog post per week to bolster organic traffic.
Things to Do Every Month
1. Check the report of your security software for anything suspicious. If you are unsure about any alert, contact a security expert for advice.
2. Compare how your site performed in contrast to the previous month(s). You do this to identify opportunities for improvement.
3. Check how fast your entire website loads. Consider hiring an expert to diagnose the source of poor load times.
4. Update articles. If you have written articles prone to change, revise them to include new information.
Things to look for Quarterly Website Check-up
1. Look at the design and structure of your website and figure out if you can improve it.
2. Can you improve the images and graphics on the site?
3. Dig into your site’s SEO. Make your meta descriptions and titles as effective as possible.
4. Tune your website’s forms, pop ups, and calls to action.
5. Analyse if your workload is efficient and look for automation opportunities.
6. Visit your website from different devices to see if it works the same way.
7. As the quarter ends, review your marketing campaigns to decide whether to update any of them.
8. For posterity, restore your previous website backup to see if it is in good health.
Annual Website Maintenance Points
1. Update any references to the previous year to reflect the current year.
2. Look at the email addresses on the website to see if there are redundant ones for removal.
3. Renew your site’s domain name with your hosting company.
4. Decide whether you need to revamp your website’s appearance or functionality.
5. Find your best-performing content and refresh it for a boost in traffic.
I know that some of you are reading all this and wondering, what’s the urgency? Consider Google, which might be the most successful internet company we will ever see. The Verge noted that Google has only updated the Chrome icon three times since they launched it in 2008! So, why should I update my site every two seconds?
The answer is simple—Google is in a class of its own. The chrome browser grew like crazy right out the gate. The reason was that the competing browsers could not go head-to-head with it. They did not adapt fast enough, and now Chrome is the undisputed king.
In stark contrast, any website you launch today needs to compete with many others for the same limited resource—peoples’ eyeballs.
Your only fighting chance is to make a website that rewards visitors for their time. The website also needs to pop up like fireworks on the fourth of July whenever potential clients use search engines.
Can I Maintain My Own Website?
We have already established that a website needs constant maintenance. I hope you are not one of those people who expect their websites to continue bringing in customers to perpetuity without being looked after. It is not uncommon for a person to neglect a site for long, only to open it one day and find it has turned into a male enhancement product website.
If you are a website owner and know that it needs upkeep, there is a chance that you have pondered maintaining it yourself. It is a valid argument if your technical skills can support it. However, it’s not only your skills that you should consider. Here are some things you must factor in:
It takes time: Do you have enough spare time to dedicate to website maintenance. Even if you manage the day-to-day running of the website, you need extra time for maintenance. If you can’t spend time doing maintenance, hire a professional.
Uses specialised skills: You might think that you are the person to maintain your website, but it is often ill-advised. Unless you are in the business of website development, you might be overestimating your abilities.
Are you available round-the-clock? A website might stop working at random times when you are indisposed. To reduce downtime occasioned by such failures, you should consider hiring a maintainer and keep them on retainer.
Cost-saving tips for maintaining my website
The amount of money you spend to maintain your website primarily depends on its size. So, what exactly do I mean by size? Every website contains several parts that need to be maintained. The number, size, and complexity of your site’s building blocks determine its maintenance cost. Let’s get into details about where your money goes.
Renewing Your Domain Name
A domain name is your site’s address. You need to pay a small fee to keep the website’s address. It is usually a small fee, but you need to pay it monthly or annually.
Unless your website is on a server somewhere, people cannot access it. Web hosting is where the hosting company comes in. The cost of web hosting could be low or high depending upon the requirement of your business.
These updates include fixing broken links, updating content, fixing errors, and replacing broken images. If you hire a professional maintainer, it could set you back somewhere in the region of $15 to $100 per month.
If you have a commercial website, you cannot afford to let it go down. You might want to consider setting money aside for technical support.
Where Can You Save Money On Website Maintenance?
If you are operating on a shoestring budget, the following areas can help you stay within your limits.
Create a Priority List
Approach managing your website as you do for household expenses. Make a list of maintenance areas and decide which ones to postpone. You can always revisit the skipped actions when you get additional funds.
Upgrade Web Hosting Companies
If you are paying for capacity that you are not utilising, consider downgrading your hosting package or switching hosts. Changing the hosting companies is easy if you bought your domain name from a third party. This process is tedious but might save you a pretty penny. Upgrading the hosting company is necessary to ensure the wins on several factors like website speed, user experience and others.
Use Tools for Site Maintenance
At times, the website that you want to maintain might work fine without hiring a dedicated developer. You can get affordable tools to maintain your website. With these tools, you will not only be able to keep your site working, but you will also get to understand the inner workings of your site better.
There can be no exhaustive guide on website maintenance, but hopefully, I have covered all key aspects. Each website is a different animal with unique needs. No matter the kind of site you run, ask yourself what you want from the site and its maintenance needs will become evident.
In conclusion, it can thus be summed up that maintaining a website is no less important task than making use of best practices for getting it developed. However, maintaining a website can be a more tedious and hectic process compared to building one.
It is hence imperative for the users to go for the adoption of the professional services of the web development companies and agencies, which not only caters to the requirements of website development but are also available to the requirement of maintaining the website necessarily.
This is where the role of Expand My Business comes into play in providing the best website maintenance services for the digital needs of your business.