Why Website Maintenance Will Make You More Successful
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As technology evolves, website software is constantly being updated to make it more secure, faster, and more visible to search engines. Just like the software on your computer and your smartphone, your website software needs updating too.
Avoiding website maintenance is like deciding not to have regular oil changes done on your car. Your vehicle wouldn’t last very long if you didn’t look after it, and the same is true for your website. You need your website to always be live and representing your business effectively.
“Set it and forget it” is not a sound strategy
When’s the last time you checked to make sure your website is functioning properly?
Website care is not something you can afford to postpone! If someone visits your site and find something wrong with it, they probably won’t stick around, and unless they already know you, they’re not likely to bring it to your attention.
Missed issues or downtime can cost you potential business. To protect the time and money you’ve invested in your website, maintenance needs to be carried out on a regular basis.
Understand the benefits of website maintenance
If your website doesn’t display properly, is slow to load, or is down altogether, it won’t be able to do its job of bringing you leads and customers. Its performance, load time, downtime and uptime depend on your WordPress software and plugins functioning the way they’re supposed to.
Your website’s growth, fresh content, analytics monitoring and design changes require all updates to be completed in a smooth and error-free fashion.
My website care workflow
My team and I take great care to back up every site and check for issues after updates have been completed. My system keeps track of the plugins we update, so if there’s ever a problem, we can see what changes were made and reverse them.
We also conduct regular performance and security scans, so we can address any issues before you even know about them.
The risks of “Do It Yourself” website maintenance
You might think you’ll save money by doing your own updates, but do you ever wonder what could happen if something goes wrong?
If you simply click to apply all the available updates listed in your WordPress dashboard, you won’t have a record of what you did, and if an issue arises some time later, you won’t know what caused it.
Your only option might be to restore an old backup, and then you’ll lose any content changes, sales orders, contact form entries, or other updates that have been added since that backup was created.
Fixing costs more than maintaining
If neglect or lack of experience damage the look or functionality of your website, or if your website is hacked, you’ll have a big decision to make.
- Try to fix it yourself, and hope you don’t do further damage.
- Pay the (sometimes hefty) price for someone experienced to fix it.
Just like your car, it costs more to fix when things go wrong than it does to maintain it properly in the first place. You don’t wait for your car to break down to take it in for service, so why would you treat your website with any less care?
Call in a professional
Would you try to fight a court battle without a lawyer? Then why would you try to maintain your own website?
By having an experienced web professional update and maintain your site properly, you won’t be spending money; you’ll actually be saving potential lost sales and visitors.
Instead of putting your valuable investment at risk, check out my new Website Care Plans, then choose the one that’s right for you.
You’ve got me thinking on this one, Janet. I’ve had issues as you know, so I may need to consider a service like this. I haven’t budgeted for it this year, though. Do you offer anything less than the monthly option? Maybe a quarterly option?
Let me think about that and get back to you, Seana.
As always, you provide such wise advice. I’m really good about regularly maintaining my car, but I have to admit that with my websites, I have a less proactive approach and instead tend to fix things as they surface. In general, I’ve been very happy with the Squarespace platform and haven’t had many issues to resolve. But I definitely see your point about being more in discovering issues before a viewer finds them. I know how frustrated I get when I visit a website that isn’t working properly. It doesn’t take me long before I give up. You’ve given me good food for thought. Thank you.
You might want to schedule a regular time to review your site for issues such as broken links, load time, how it looks on mobile or other browsers, etc. As you say, better you discover a problem before one of your visitors does!
Very important reminder for every blog owner. This post was very timely for me. I worked on one of my websites this past weekend. Tracking the changes are so important. It’s so easy to forget what has been done on the website. Thank you for the reminder.
My pleasure, Sabrina! You share some great business tips, so I’m happy to return the favor!
Well, this one’s a no-brainer for me. I love being able to edit my own website whenever I want to. But I also love having you maintain it for me, Janet!
Thank you, Hazel!
Absolutely call a professional. My strength is not website development or care. Having a professional on your team to take care of your websites gives you more eyes to see when problems arise and get them fixed more quickly. Staying current about a website is a full-time job, give it to Janet Barclay. You won’t be sorry.
Thanks, Julie! I like your phrase “more eyes to see when problems arise and get them fixed.” Because you’ve got better things to do!
I have to say, I have gotten the hang of doing a regular maintenance check-up but if you don’t have the time or want that long learning curve, hire a professional. Thanks for the reminder that you provide these services Janet. I’ll be sharing this post!
Thanks, Margarita – I appreciate it!
I learned the hard way. That’s when I hired a website developer to maintain my websites. My main website and my blog. It’s so well worth the cost. He’s done damage control, updates and has saved me from so many headaches, just as you said.
I couldn’t agree with you more, ”website care is not something you can afford to postpone.”
I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way, but I bet that’s exactly why many of us ultimately hire a pro to handle one thing or another. I decided to outsource my bookkeeping and taxes after I made an error on my tax return which triggered an audit.
They often say that you should do what you are uniquely qualified to do and leave the rest to those who can do something better, faster with less frustration. Trying to DIY one’s website when one hasn’t a freaking clue what one is doing? Crazycakes. It’s so much better to bring in someone who is, in their own way, uniquely qualified to do what you can’t. Or what you, Janet, absolutely CAN!
Julie, you’re a hoot. I should get you to write my ads!
Food for thought, Janet. I have WordPress’s business plan and it does come with support but it’s always reactive rather than proactive. They’re great at fixing things when I ask but I’m the one who has to notice something’s wrong…
That’s interesting and unfortunate to hear. I don’t know much about WordPress.com Business, I nearly always work with self-hosted WordPress.