Your website is like a shopfront for your business. And like a shopfront, it needs regular maintenance and checkups to ensure it’s not “gathering dust”. Too many website owners think that the work is done once their website is live, but that is not the case. Just like a shop window, your website needs regular maintenance to keep it looking professional, running smoothly, and attractive to customers.
In this article, we’ll talk about what website maintenance is and why it’s important for your website and business’s health.
What is website maintenance?
Website maintenance is the routine checkup of your website to ensure that it’s healthy, secure, and performing well. It is a general term that refers to several tasks that are performed weekly, monthly, and quarterly to keep your website free of errors, safe from cyberattacks, and updated and relevant.
Part of website maintenance is checking for any security updates, refreshing content, looking out for any issues/errors, and correcting them. These tasks can include:
- Checking for 404 errors, redirecting or fixing them,
- Updating core plugins and website software,
- Posting blog content,
- Checking and fixing broken links,
- Testing website loading speed,
- Analysing security scans & resolving issues,
- Uptime monitoring,
- Performing website backups.
Think of it as a checkup on the ‘health’ of your website, keeping it running smoothly so that it functions correctly and is resistant to attack.
Why is website maintenance important?
There are so many reasons why website maintenance is important, both for your business’s integrity and to retain and attract customers. As the virtual shopfront of your business, customers land on your site to learn more about your product or service. They want to see something professional that offers value – and that means a smooth, well-maintained website. Here are some vital ways that website maintenance is important for your business.
Performance & conversion
When a visitor lands on your website, 94% of their first impression on your offering will be related to web core vitals – including loading speed, user experience, content, and functionality. If your website isn’t up-to-date or working correctly, potential customers will likely have a poor impression and take their business elsewhere.
Even worse, if you are an eCommerce business and have issues or errors that prevent people from easily making a purchase, then you will be directly losing business as a result. Your website needs to properly guide consumers towards making a purchase and be quick to load, with links that work correctly; otherwise, you will miss out on potential sales.
It’s not just about impressing customers, either. Today, customer user experience accounts for 89% of business purchases online – and that means there need to be no broken links, spam messages, pop-ups, or slow-to-load pages. Leaving a positive and professional impression on your customers makes them more motivated to buy your product or service – they’ll then be more likely to spread the word about your business to others.
Regular maintenance of your website also helps to prevent issues arising from cyber threats and attacks. You won’t always know that your website has been hacked. It could be infected for months without you realising, and in the meantime sending spam emails and posting links in all corners of the internet.
Maintaining your website keeps security systems up-to-date and adds an extra level of strength that places you less at risk of cyber threats. This doesn’t just mean hackers but could also be malware or viruses. It is way too easy for your website to suffer if it hasn’t been updated or left alone to gather dust. With regular maintenance, you can be assured that someone is always checking on your site and quickly correcting any issues if it has been infected.
Customer data protection
Keeping your website security systems and measures up-to-date reduces the risk of hacking and malware. In turn, this makes your site much safer for the storage and collection of client’s personal information. Customers will feel more comfortable giving you their information and making purchases on your website if it is safe and secure from cyber threats.
Regular website maintenance also increases your rankings on search engines, therefore increasing traffic in the long run. Search engines, like Google, have bots that crawl your website consistently. These crawlers look for information that helps discern whether your website is valuable enough to show up on Google rankings. They might be checking things like structure, organisation, and keyword optimisation.
If these bots spot anything like errors, slow loading websites or pages, insecure content, broken or duplicated pages, broken or expired links, and so on, then they will report that your website is invaluable. In turn, your ranking on the search engine will decrease, making you less visible to potential consumers.
On the other hand, if users are clicking away from your website because it loads slowly, has outdated information, or doesn’t function properly, then search engines will see your website as being irrelevant. This will increase your bounce rate and, in turn, also reduce your ranking on Google. This is why regular website maintenance is an important part of any SEO strategy and increases traffic to your site.
Should I manage my own website?
If you have the time, know what to look out for, and are confident in fixing errors yourself, then you can maintain your website yourself. However, for most businesses, regular website maintenance takes too much time and energy for someone who is already focused on running their business. Some tasks need to be performed weekly, and incorrectly attempting to fix issues can lead to disastrous outcomes.
Most businesses prefer to outsource their website maintenance to professionals as this helps to save time, energy, and stress. They can put their website care to rest and be assured that their website is always healthy, running smoothly, and free of defects.
The smartest way to go about it is to hire a web maintenance company focused on performing the required tasks. They will already have all of the resources and know-how and be expert in dealing with and responding to issues appropriately and quickly.
How much does website maintenance cost?
Regular website maintenance with 360WebCare plans starts from $79 AUD per month .
Do not be tempted to put off your website maintenance – it can cost you a lot more in the long run. When issues accumulate, they can be harder to fix, and having a weak website can lead to more downtimes, costing you customers and conversions in the long run. It’s a much smarter business move and more cost-effective to have your website regularly checked on by an expert.