WEBSITE MAINTENANCE: FACTS AND MYTHS
Why your Website Health is important
Launching a website is not just the beginning of website success. It is the starting point, and from that point forward, you have to put constant effort into it.
Once you have launched your website, the next ongoing activity you need to do is to keep your website healthy with continuous maintenance.
What is important to realise is that just because you have launched your website, doesn’t guarantee that you will be “found” or “seen” online.
Website maintenance is required to have a clean, healthy, secured and cross-browser compatible website.
Website Maintenance is essential. Just like your house, car or your garden needs support, in the same way, you need to maintain your site to keep it running smoothly and securely.
Maintaining a website means implementing the following:
- Software core and plugin updates.
- Ensure backup and restore point
- Keep the software core and plugin updated
- Optimizing your website’s database to keep it clean and reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage of your server
- Monitor your website’s uptime/downtime
- Ensure the security and monitor unusual activities on your site. It includes taking action as well if something strange is happening behind the website.
For every plugin updates, asset optimization is needed to check and ensure scripts are not slowing down your website. Some plugin updates can slow down your site, thus optimizing these assets is required. However, optimizing plugin scripts can also break some of your website features, so a developer or web administrator should perform this activity.
Our maintenance services also offer implementation of basic SEO practices. Implementing basic SEO practices on your website will benefit your website’s online visibility in the long run.
However, basic SEO is useless if you are not maintaining a regularly updated content on your website.
Having a hundred filled pages with old outdated content won’t be favored by search engines. Therefore, keep your website’s content updated by blogging or updating your static pages (if necessary).
Anything from a technical problem to inefficient codes or any security concerns can annoy your readers and propel them away from your site.
Some plugins may not work well on your website or may become redundant. Maintenance of plugins are essential.
TOP TIP: To keep your website healthy, look at the speed, the higher it is, the better it gives the result.
A slow loading website can make or break your business. If your site is loading slowly, web users or visitors can get frustrated waiting and ended up leaving your website.
As browser and computing technologies continue to upgrade, your website must keep up with the changes as well, however optimizing the speed of your site doesn’t end with constant software and plugin updates.
Website optimization is an on-going activity of your website that is usually performed by a developer or website administrator. It involves several site checks and troubleshooting, including image and database optimization, scripts and CSS minification and regular plugin audits.
Finally, your website’s performance can be measured based on your site traffic and reports. Thus, having traffic measurement or analytics is crucial for your website health. Your website analytics will determine the activities of your website visitors.
Having a traffic and maintenance report gives you peace of mind about how your website is performing. You can understand your user behavior such as what device was used frequently to enter your site, demographics of your users and how they arrive at your website. Your website analytic reports, you can strategize your online marketing efforts and plan accordingly without wasting so many resources.
A company’s website needs to be functioning smoothly at all times, or visitors may become frustrated, with potentially negative consequences.
Effective website maintenance is a vital part of the business, but unfortunately, it is misunderstood in many ways.
13 Misconceptions about website maintenance
1. Website maintenance is quick
In some instances, such as when working on very small, simple sites, it may be. However, because it is often an involved, complex process, maintenance can take a lot of time.
2. Website maintenance is optional
Some people are under the impression that once they have paid for web design and had a site, that is all they need. They do not see the benefit in additional financial outlays. But if you have a website, maintenance is a necessity – without it, the site will slowly break down and disappear from search results.
3. A website can be complete
This is a myth. A website is a continual work in progress. It is always in need of monitoring, updates, tweaks and fixes.
4. Creating new content is not part of maintenance
If you want to be found in the upper ranks of search engine results, then adding new content to your website is crucial. It is also necessary to keep visitors interested. In this way, updating your content can be seen as part of what keeps the site going.
5. Analytics is not part of maintenance
Looking at your website statistics to determine traffic numbers, visitor patterns and trends falls under the monitoring aspect of website maintenance and is important to determine strategies for the success and growth of your site.
6. It doesn’t need fixing until it is broken
Some feel that maintenance work can wait until there is a big issue. However, websites constantly need attention to prevent issues arising.
7. Maintenance schedules are not necessary
The idea that maintenance can occasionally be performed, without a regular schedule, is problematic. Setting up and sticking to a set schedule is a reliable and effective way to ensure necessary maintenance happens and your website always functions smoothly.
8. Malware is something that happens to other people
The reality is that malware can stealthily infect any website, so regular checks need to be performed. The presence of malware can have very damaging effects on your clients and your reputation.
9. Hacking is something that happens to other people
Again, any website can be hacked. Hackers take whatever opportunities they can get. You might not even know that you have been a victim if you are not performing regular maintenance.
10. You need to perform maintenance yourself
It is not necessary to undertake this on your own. Maintenance work can be outsourced to dedicated website design departments.
11. Backups are only necessary occasionally
Making a backup of your website should be done according to a fixed schedule, to minimise the risk of loss and damage should a server crash – which is unpredictable.
12. Website speed is constant
Speed can fluctuate, so it needs to be monitored. If your site becomes sluggish, visitors may become frustrated, and traffic could decrease. Speed tests and fixes need to be done as part of routine maintenance.
13. You can leave old entries up forever
It is important to take down or archive outdated information, such as on events that have already happened. Keeping content fresh and relevant means more satisfied visitors and better search rankings.