Maintaining your website is critical to keeping your online presence strong and ensuring that your visitors have a positive experience. By regularly updating your website’s content and keeping its design and functionality up-to-date, you’ll keep people coming back for more. Plus, you’ll minimize the chances of running into problems like broken links or outdated information. In this article, we will discuss what it means to keep a website maintained, as well as the costs involved. We will also touch on what happens if there is no maintenance at all.
What is website maintenance?
Before we delve into the details, let’s discuss what the term website maintenance means.
“Website maintenance” is an umbrella term for many different aspects of your site upkeep. These include updating your software, keeping your website free from malware and hackers, ensuring your database and site information remains intact, testing your website for loading speed, making sure there are regularly scheduled back-ups and just ensuring that visitors have a good experience overall.
Because each website is different, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. To optimize site maintenance, the type of website needs to be considered as well as the software that was used to build it. Although websites can vary considerably in their build, the need for security and software maintenance does not.
Why is website maintenance so important?
The key reasons why website maintenance is so important:
- Ensures regular back-ups and site checks to ensure everything is running smoothly
- Updates and patches are released for a reason – to fix bugs and security flaws
- If you don’t update your website, you’re leaving yourself open to attacks from hackers
- Additionally, outdated websites can look bad and may not be as effective in converting visitors into customers
- It keeps your website looking fresh and new – outdated websites can look stale and unprofessional
- Making sure the website software doesn’t become corrupted is also critical
Just like a car or a home, websites require regular maintenance.
What you can do to maintain your website
Although some websites maintenance tasks require the technical know-how of a professional, there are many ways you can keep your site running smoothly yourself.
Storage backup is crucial to the proper functioning of a website. You will need to make sure that all files are stored in an external remote storage like Dropbox or Google Drive. This way the data can be accessed when there’s a site issue that requires backup. Check with your website hosting provider to find out how often they back up your website, and how long they keep versions of your backup.
All websites, regardless of how much traffic they get, need to be protected from malicious threats. Hackers are extremely innovative and are constantly finding new ways to break into websites, especially free CMS platforms like WordPress.
Once the hackers are in, they can steal information or install viruses that will infect the computer that visits the site.
It is important that as a website owner, you make sure your site is always functioning on the newest version of security software. Schedule regular security updates.
This depends on the platform your website is built on, as well as how many additional features or plugins have been installed on your website, and which ones impact the usability of the site versus the support of running your site.
For plugins and features that do not impact how users view your site, you can update the software yourself, however, if you don’t feel confident with the software, then hiring someone who knows what to do if something breaks will give you greater peace of mind.
Annual SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity and enables an encrypted connection. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a security protocol that creates an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser.
Websites need SSL certificates to keep user data secure, verify ownership of the website, prevent attackers from creating a fake version of the site, and convey trust to users.
How Often Should You Update Your Website?
A website update schedule will vary depending on how dynamic your website is and how much traffic it receives.
WordPress websites are a popular choice for many business owners. It powers 37% of all websites and 62% of CMS sites alone, and since it is open-source software, it is also an attractive target for hackers. Every month, new potential security vulnerabilities are discovered in popular WordPress plugins, and often, these are plugins that are free to use. With over 54,000 plugins, it is important to know how regularly those that you use are updated.
To counter this, the WordPress development team regularly provides security and bug-fix updates. Sometimes these updates are rich with new features and new functionality. It is a general recommendation to update your site at least once a month to ensure that everything is running smoothly. If you have a WordPress site, there are over 54,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, and it is recommended that you use plugins that have been updated within at least 6 months, or alternatively use premium plugins that are purchased and regularly updated.
If you don’t know what a WordPress repository is or how to find a premium plugin, you can always contact a professional web designer for help.
Website Maintenance: Why Hire a Professional?
Website maintenance can get very technical. There is a lot of jargon used and it can get overwhelming.
Outsourcing the skills of a professional may end up saving you thousands of dollars in time, effort and risk.
A professional will be able to identify a potentially devastating threat that could put your site out of commission and catch it before it can do any damage. A professional will know exactly what red flags to look out for and exactly how to minimize the hazard to your website.
Many website companies offer packages that cover hosting and ongoing site care. Putting your website maintenance into the hands of a professional, allows you to delegate the more technical elements of website maintenance while providing you with the peace of mind in knowing it is being handled efficiently.
On top of the regular updates, a professional can also ensure that your annual SSL certificate is purchased, installed, and configured correctly. An expired SSL certificate can have an impact on your site traffic and visitors will receive a message to the effect of – “This site is not secure. Potential risk ahead”.
Why I Recommend Bauhinia Solutions
As with outsourcing to any technical professional, it is imperative that you find a reputable and trustworthy business to handle your website maintenance. You don’t want to be hoodwinked into paying for services that you don’t need or correcting ‘problems’ that don’t exist. Referrals are often the best way to go when it comes to website maintenance and that is how I came to know and trust Bauhinia Solutions.
The team at Bauhinia Solutions has been building WordPress websites since 2007. They have the technical skill, experience, and integrity to handle all your website needs – all at affordable rates.
The professionals at Bauhinia Solutions offer a monthly fee starting from HK$770. Packages vary depending on your website functionality, the amount of traffic, and the frequency of content updates but they are always reasonable and efficient. Their specialty is WordPress sites.
Signs That Your Website Needs Maintenance
Here are some clear signs that your website needs maintenance:
- Site looks dated
- Broken links
- Images loading incorrectly
- The display is different across devices
- Site loads slowly
- Notifications in the dashboard saying there are new updates
Any of these and others could be signs that your website needs an update or that more maintenance work needs to be done on it.
If you are seeing any of these problems, then it may be time for you to contact Bauhinia Solutions who can help get things back up to date.
In order for your website to run smoothly, to safeguard your data, and to ensure that your customers are having a good experience on your site, website maintenance is a must!
Smart people learn from the mistakes of others. Avoid the devastating consequences of a data breach, website virus, or broken site by keeping up to date with your maintenance schedule and staying on top of your website security. If you don’t have the time or skill set to look out for tell-tale signs that your website needs to be looked at, contact a professional to help get things back up to scratch!
By hiring a professional web team like Bauhinia Solutions to maintain your site, you can save yourself time, money, and frustration in the long run.
- 8 Services for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners in Hong Kong
- Custom Website Design – Why I use Mean Creative
Maintenance is so important, I can’t tell you how many times people come to me because they’re having major issues with a website that hasn’t been looked after. Thanks so much for highlighting this issue, some great tips here.
Thanks Mellissa for sharing!