You just created your new website, now what? Creating a website is just the beginning. Regular maintenance is required to ensure your website’s optimal performance and to avoid issues. Website maintenance is an ongoing process that involves updating, monitoring, and optimizing your website to keep it running smoothly. In this article, we will dive deep into what website maintenance entails and why it’s essential.
What is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance is the process of regularly checking your website for issues, errors, and other problems that may affect its performance. It involves tasks like updating software, checking for broken links, optimizing website speed, backing up data, and more. Website maintenance is necessary to keep your website running smoothly and to avoid any potential downtime or security breaches.
Why is Website Maintenance Important?
A website is a crucial part of any business or organization. It’s often the first point of contact with customers, and it’s where potential customers can learn about your products and services. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your website up-to-date and running smoothly. Here are some of the reasons why website maintenance is important:
One of the most critical reasons to maintain your website is security. Hackers and cybercriminals are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, and outdated software, weak passwords, and unsecured servers are all potential entry points. Regular website maintenance can help identify and fix security issues before they cause significant problems.
Small businesses are most vulnerable to website security threats simply because they don’t usually have enough security acumen nor do they have enough budget or time to devote to website security compared to many large corporations.Osman, Maddy, “Top website security threats and how to protect your site from attack”, GoDaddy, https://www.godaddy.com/garage/website-security-threats/
Website maintenance is crucial to ensuring optimal website performance. Regular updates and monitoring can help identify and fix issues that may be slowing down your website. Slow website speed can lead to a poor user experience and lower search engine rankings, so it’s crucial to keep your website running smoothly. Additionally, simply having performance monitoring in place for your website and regularly reviewing those metrics will help notify you that your site is having performance problems. Without the monitoring and regular review, you may not know the issue even exists and it could be causing people to leave your website earlier than they otherwise would.
How fast a website loads is instrumental to anyone visiting the site. According to research, 47% of people don’t wait for more than two seconds for a web page to load.Unadkat, Jash, “3 Reasons Why Website Speed Matters”, BrowserStack, https://www.browserstack.com/guide/why-website-speed-is-important
User experience is a crucial factor in determining the success of a website. Website maintenance can help ensure that your website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provides a seamless experience for your visitors. It involves checking for broken links, optimizing images, and ensuring that all pages are loading correctly. If your website is frustrating to use, potential customers are likely to leave your website and look for other options.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Website maintenance is an essential part of SEO, as it involves optimizing your website’s speed, content, and structure. By keeping your website up-to-date and running smoothly, you can improve your search engine rankings and attract more traffic to your website.
SEO is crucial because it makes your website more visible, and that means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers.“What is SEO & Why Is It Important?”, Digital Marketing Institute, https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/what-is-seo-and-why-is-it-important
What Does Website Maintenance Include?
Website maintenance includes a range of tasks that are designed to keep your website running smoothly. Here are some of the tasks that website maintenance may include:
Regular Software Updates
Software updates are essential for maintaining website security and performance. They often include bug fixes, security patches, and new features that can improve your website’s functionality. Regularly updating your website’s software can help prevent security breaches and ensure optimal website performance.
Regular website backups are essential for ensuring that you can quickly restore your website in the event of a security breach or other issue. Backups should be stored off-site and should be performed regularly to ensure that you always have a recent copy of your website’s data.
Website security involves a range of tasks designed to protect your website from potential threats. This may include installing security plugins, securing your server, and regularly monitoring your website for potential vulnerabilities.
Website Speed Optimization
Website speed is a crucial factor in determining user experience and search engine rankings. Website maintenance may include tasks like optimizing images, caching, and minimizing code to improve website speed.
Regularly updating your website’s content is essential for keeping it fresh and engaging for your visitors. This may include adding new blog posts, updating product descriptions, and ensuring that all content is up-to-date and relevant.
Broken Link Checks
Broken links are links on your website that no longer work. These can negatively impact user experience and SEO, as search engines may view broken links as a sign of a poorly maintained website. Regularly checking for broken links and fixing them is an essential part of website maintenance.
Website analytics tools can provide valuable insights into how your website is performing. Regularly monitoring your website analytics can help identify potential issues and opportunities for improvement.
User Experience Testing
Regular user experience testing is essential for ensuring that your website is easy to use and navigate. This may include testing different website features, layouts, and designs to identify potential issues and improve user experience.
When Should You Perform Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance should be an ongoing process, with tasks performed regularly to ensure optimal website performance. How often you perform website maintenance tasks will depend on the specific needs of your website.
Software security updates should be applied as soon as they are available. Delaying security updates could leave your website vulnerable to security breaches. It is also important to stay on the latest version of software. Companies often only release security updates for one or two major versions of their software. If you do not keep up with their updates, you run the risk of using a version of software that does not receive security updates and is more vulnerable to security issues.
Backups should occur on a regular basis in accordance with how often you update your website, Daily or weekly backups are most common. You should consider how much information you are willing to lose. Would you be willing to go back to what your website looked like a week ago, without any updates you have made in the last week? If you don’t update your website frequently, that may be alright. However, if you update your website daily, that may not be a good option.
Most other maintenance activities should occur regularly, but the frequency can vary. Generally speaking, at least monthly is a good cadence. Monitoring performance, broken links, SEO, and analytics on a monthly basis will allow you to see larger trends on your website and then you can plan updates and content around those trends.
In conclusion, website maintenance is an essential part of keeping your website running smoothly. It involves regular updates, monitoring, and optimization to ensure optimal performance, security, and user experience. By performing regular website maintenance tasks, you can avoid potential issues and ensure that your website is always up-to-date and engaging for your visitors.
Matter of Fact Technology provides website maintenance services to our clients. If you are a small business owner, you likely have better things to do than updating your website software and monitoring performance metrics. You may not even know how to do that. That is why we offer reasonably priced website maintenance plans to handle those items for you. Let us make sure your site has security updates applied, gets backed up regularly, and provide monthly reporting on performance and usability. Check out our Services page for more information or Contact Us to get more details.