We live in a digital age today, where a business needs to build a noticeable online presence to find success. A website is a gateway for a business in the digital world. It lays the foundation of the online activities of a business and helps connect it to potential leads and customers.
A website is the digital representation of a business, company, or organization. Your website creates the first impression about your business for potential leads and decides the fate of their further engagement. An appealing and easily navigable website scores brownie points in this case.
Given the importance it holds, you must always ensure that your business website is working smoothly and stays up to date. In addition to the design elements, several things need to work together to make a website shine as it should.
You may even think of a website as a digital machine with various parts, all of which need to work together for optimum results. For that to happen, your business website requires diligent care, right from designing its layout and domain registration to its daily functions once it goes live.
This is where website maintenance comes into the picture.
Want to learn more about website maintenance? Keep on reading.
In this article, we will begin our discussion by understanding the meaning of website maintenance. Further, we will look at the importance of site maintenance and its various elements. Moreover, we will learn about a website maintenance plan and what it includes within its ambit. Lastly, we will discuss the advantages of website maintenance and look at an overview of popular plans for website maintenance costs. So without any delay, let’s jump into it.
Website Maintenance: What is it?
Before we can discuss anything else, we need to know the answer to “what is website maintenance?”. Website maintenance is the act of keeping a regular eye on the performance of your website to ensure it works fine, as you intend it to work. In other words, site maintenance involves regularly checking your website to identify any irregularities, issues, and mistakes that need your attention.
It is a practice that requires you to closely monitor your website’s health and ensure its optimum performance. It is a total of processes and tasks you need to perform to keep your website functioning properly. Website maintenance is crucial to ensure that your website works to its full potential, attracts & engages visitors, and retains them.
Maintaining a website requires you to perform vital website maintenance tasks such as:
- Adding regular fresh content to the site.
- Regularly check the navigation aspect of your business website to ensure that the users don’t have to face difficulties.
- Updating the security software and various plugins. Outdated versions may impact the functionality and security.
- Taking measures to encourage traffic growth.
Why is Website Maintenance so Vital?
A business website is an investment that can offer excellent returns if it functions properly with consistency. Therefore, you need to keep its content fresh, other elements updated & SEO optimized. In addition to that, you also need to identify problems that might hamper its performance so that you can mitigate them immediately before they deal a big blow.
You need to ensure that your website leaves a positive impression on the visitors to make them stay and explore your business and its offerings. If your website is plagued with problems, it will leave an unsavory first impression. This is where regular website maintenance comes into the picture.
Website maintenance is a vital aspect of running a website because, in the absence of regular maintenance, your website will:
- Become slower and cumbersome to navigate
(website speed play a crucial role in determining user engagement and search engine results)
- Run a risk of housing harmful malware or getting hacked
(website security keep your information secure and helps stop unwanted cyber attacks)
- Stop converting leads or stop working altogether if the problems are left unchecked
(lead conversion is the most vital function of getting your business online)
Website maintenance is important because it checks all of the above problems and much more. Website maintenance services offer a slew of benefits that act as a doctor but for your website. But before we dive into the benefits of web maintenance, we must look at all its elements. Following are the elements on your website that need scrutiny and maintenance regularly:
Content is one of the most vital parts of a website and decides if the visitors stay to explore more or bounce off. Therefore, any gap in the content of your website hampers your business growth and plays a significant role in making you lose prospective customers.
Thus, website maintenance must include timely content reviews on every web page. A maintenance plan must do the following in respect to website content:
- – Identify the missing content and post it proactively.
- – Update the information regularly to keep it in sync with the current realities.
- – Identify the outdated and invalid content and take it down for good.
- – Check if the Content Management System is functioning properly.
The security of your website is aimed at ensuring that your website stays accessible for all. It also encompasses the pursuit of ensuring a secure browsing experience for users. Moreover, when you make your site secure, the visitors can breathe easily and worry less about providing their contact details and payment data.
Thus, website maintenance must focus on the security of your website. You must make it a priority to maintain the security of your website frequently. A maintenance plan must do the following in respect to website security:
- – Keep your hosting account safe, clean, and secure by following the best practices advised by your hosting provider; the idea is to extract the best out of the hosting service.
- – Protect domain registrations.
- – Identify and clean malicious code and unwanted/unneeded files.
- – Install all security updates and website updates. The plan should make it a point to keep website software up to date.
- – Screen users and deny website access to unwanted users.
In addition to identifying and fixing issues/problems in your website, it should be your duty to make overall improvements to it. Regular improvements are vital for improving your site’s performance.
Thus, website maintenance should focus on making improvements and enhancing website performance. A maintenance plan can do the following with respect to website performance:
- – Pay close attention to website speed. Regularly check page loading speed and take measures to improve it. Higher page loading speeds support SEO efforts too.
- – Examine content performance and take appropriate steps to improve the quality and engagement of website content.
- – Check your website and its pages for mobile compatibility from time to time.
- – Try to improve user experience to improve SERP rankings.
- – Identify accessibility issues and fix them.
- – Identify the loopholes that hamper lead generation and lead conversion.
Note that these activities should preferably be carried out on a weekly or monthly basis.
4. Technical SEO
Google’s search spiders may access your website and the content on each of its pages thanks to technical SEO. You can start with technical SEO by looking at Google Search Console reports seeing what’s causing your SEO issues.
Thus, your website maintenance plan should focus on strengthening technical SEO. A maintenance plan can do the following in respect to technical SEO:
- – Use tools such as Google Search Console to identify the problems plaguing the technical SEO of your website.
- – Use the suggestions of the platform to make all the required changes.
The design of your website adds to how the users receive its content. The design element of your website creates a visual stimulus for your target audience and has the potential to grab the attention of users. That said, you don’t need to change the design very often.
But, at the same time, the website maintenance plan should focus on finding major flaws in the website design. It should aim at making the design better. A maintenance plan can do the following concerning website design:
- – Identify the compatibility of website design for all devices and platforms.
- – Take measures to upgrade various design elements to keep them in sync with mobile devices.
- – Suggest web design changes that could make the user experience better.
What are the advantages of Website Maintenance?
Now, you must have gotten a better picture of the focus areas in website maintenance. The natural progression from hereon is to discuss various pivotal benefits of regular website maintenance. The benefits are as follows:
1. Enhanced Security
With a website maintenance plan, you can protect your business website from a range of virtual threats, including malware infestations, cyber attacks, and more. You can secure the files on your website by regularly renewing its SSL certification and updating the security software.
2. Performance Boost
You can improve the overall performance of your website with a maintenance plan by improving the loading speed, removing content flaws, ensuring compatibility across devices, and more. Website maintenance identifies functional problems with your website and gives its performance a much-needed boost.
3. Better First Impressions
With website maintenance, you can make lasting and favorable first impressions on visitors by fixing design flaws and adding popular design elements. Positive first impressions go a long way in improving the conversion rate on your website. Therefore, you must invest in an effective website maintenance plan.
4. Solid SEO Strategy
With website maintenance, you get to monitor and improve your website’s SEO strategy regularly. As you update the content, redirect pages, fix broken links & broken contact forms, and more, you improve your website’s chances of ranking higher on the SERPs.
In other words, website maintenance makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl your website. Therefore, website maintenance can help solidify your SEO strategy.
5. Better Business Reputation
With regular website maintenance, you update your website’s plugins, add 404 pages for broken ones, decrease the page loading time to bring it to a standard value, and more. By doing all of this, you end up maintaining the professionalism, reliability, and quality of your website. It’s no-brainer that these attributes strengthen your business’ reputation.
How to maintain a website? What to do and how often?
Now, finally, we need to answer how to maintain a website. You can divide your website maintenance tasks based on their frequency of undertaking them for a healthy website. The four categories of this division are as follows:
A. Weekly Tasks
- 1. Updating plugins and software on the website
- 2. Verify that all of your pages are loading correctly.
- 3. Make sure that all of your forms are working correctly.
- 4. Make a backup of your site and ensure that a previous version is saved.
- 5. Look for 404 errors and either fix or redirect them.
- 6. Delete all spam comments from pages and posts
- 7. To keep your community interested and increase SEO traffic, write one or more blog posts.
B. Monthly Tasks
- 1. Examine the prior month’s website statistics.
- 2. Examine the page load speeds and remove all lags.
- 3. Go through your blog to determine if any articles need any updates.
- 4. Go through your security scans to ensure nothing is missing.
C. Quarterly Tasks
- 1. Check your website on a variety of devices and browsers to determine if it works properly.
- 2. Examine your SEO, meta titles, and descriptions to make sure they’re as successful as possible.
- 3. Popups, forms, and CTAs(calls to action) should all be tested and tweaked.
- 4. Examine your website’s design and structure to see whether it can be enhanced.
- 5. Examine your advertising and marketing campaigns to discover what needs to be updated or modified.
- 6. Examine the visuals and images to see if anything needs to be updated.
- 7. Examine your workflow for efficiencies and see what you can automate.
D. Yearly Tasks
- 1. Make sure your website’s domain name is up to date.
- 2. Examine all of your most popular blog posts to determine whether they can be updated with new material.
- 3. Examine each page for correct text, grammar, inconsistencies, and relevance.
- 4. Bring any references to the current year up to date.
- 5. Think about if you need to improve your website’s design.
Common Website Maintenance Costs
The type of website determines the cost of website maintenance. Some examples of these costs are as follows:
- Maintenance costs of a personal website may range between $5 and $25 per month.
- Maintenance costs of small business websites may go up to anywhere $100/month.
- Maintenance costs of corporate websites may range between $200 and $3500.
- Maintenance costs of eCommerce business websites may range between $1500 and $2500.
There are some additional costs of website maintenance as well. These include:
1. Hosting Cost
There are two ways of hosting a website. You either host it on your own or avail the services of hosting providers. If you choose a hosting provider, you will incur costs like:
- The cheapest option is to share a server with multiple other websites by using a shared host. It will cost $24 and $120 each year.
- You may host your website using a user-friendly website builder like WordPress. This will cost somewhere between $60 to $180 a year.
- You can also use a virtual private server (VPS) to host your website. Here, you will still share a server with other sites, but the supplier divides the server into numerous VPSs, providing your site its own dedicated server space. VPSs range in price from $240 to $600 per year.
2. Cost of SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate
An SSL certificate is a vital element of your website as it enables your website to securely transfer and receive sensitive data. You can get an SSL certificate for free in some rare cases, but the standard practice is to pay for one. An SSL certificate may cost between $10 and $1500 a year.
3. Cost of Renewing the Domain Name
Your domain name won’t be yours forever unless you keep paying for it. Therefore, it is an unavoidable cost for your website. You can get domain names anywhere between $2 and $20 per year.
Website maintenance is a set of processes that monitor the performance and health of your website. We have established that website maintenance is a crucial part of running a business website as it provides some excellent advantages. We have also discussed how to perform website maintenance and the potential costs of the same.