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Website Maintenance is Critical to Website Success

From your house to your car to any kind of software, maintenance is required to keep things working the way they should.  Your website is no exception.  Regular website maintenance is the key to having a website that is ready and able to serve your customers, clients, or audience.

Websites Are Not Perpetual Motion Machines

Your time and investment in your website can be wasted if you don’t maintain your website on a regular basis.  That doesn’t mean a once-a-year visit to say “looks good to me!” either!  If your visitors see a page that loads slowly, products that are not up-to-date or a store that doesn’t function properly, they will likely run, not walk away.  If your website is not current, functioning properly, or maybe even live, you may lose customers.

Website Maintenance Can Help Your Business

Picture your customer arriving at your website, which has current content and messages from your business, looks beautiful with the latest photos of your products.  It loads quickly, and all the buttons, checkout, and other moving parts are working just fine.  This picture happens when your website is maintained.  Updated software, current content and photos, and analytics monitoring give you the tools to help your customers the best, and all these things are the result of monthly updates to your website.

Maintenance Zen

Website maintenance can be done well, or it can be done like some of those horror DIY home repairs you’ve seen.  You know the ones where you replace the light switch only to find it hot…  like smoldering, fire-starting hot?  Websites depend on software, and software gets messy in a hurry if not treated right.  That’s why I back up your site before I touch anything, then test it again once the updates are completed.  I keep records of what plugins and software were updated and when so that it can be changed back if any problems come up.  I scan for security and performance as a part of the monthly maintenance, and you get a report of everything I’ve done.

Can’t I Just Update My Website Myself?

Yes, you can.  You can click “update” every time you see a new version of software or plugins.  However, if there are no records of what was updated, and there is a problem the following week, how do you know which new version caused the problem?  You can start going back to previous versions of plugins and software, but you may lose data in the process.

Quick story — I was maintaining a client site and  updated a major plugin.  The entire shop disappeared.  No products, descriptions, buy buttons, nothing.  Oh, dear.  Fortunately, I was testing the update and had not updated the live website. Any update on a live site can cause problems, even if not that severe!  However, the potential loss of customer records, sales, and even customers until the problem is fixed can hurt your business.

Maintenance costs start looking reasonable

Once you have begun the spaghetti-like process of untangling new versions and problems from older versions, the website, its content, loading time, and even security can begin circling the drain in a hurry.  At that point, the solution may be a website fix proposal and estimate from a developer.  Monthly maintenance is much cheaper than fixing a broken site, just like it is much cheaper to paint your house than replace your siding.

Professional website care

In this age of DIY glory, it is tempting to take over your website maintenance and save a few bucks.  However, a website professional has tools and resources that make the maintenance easier than having to figure it out all over again every month.  Also, that time you spend on maintenance is time you could be spending serving your customers – you know, that thing that you are an expert at? – while leaving the website maintenance to someone who is crazy enough to enjoy poking around in software and plugins.

If you’d like to know more about our maintenance plans for your website, please get in touch and I’ll help you figure out how to keep your website in top shape.

 

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