Which Website Maintenance Services Do I Need for My Business?
What is website maintenance? Why is it important and what does it include?
Should you outsource it or do it yourself? What types of website maintenance packages are available and which are right for you?
If you have questions about website maintenance services, good. We have the answers you're looking for.
In this guide, you'll learn the answers to all these questions and more. Then, with this knowledge, you can easily find the right website maintenance plan for your needs. Read on to discover all you need to know about site maintenance.
The Importance of Website Maintenance
Website maintenance is a lot like car maintenance. Your car needs regular cleaning, oil changes, replacement parts, and other maintenance to keep it in good, working condition.
If you neglect this maintenance, your car looks bad and function worse. Things stop working correctly and, eventually, the whole thing breaks down. The car is then unusable and unpleasant to behold.
There's No Cash For Digital Clunkers
The point is, this is exactly what happens to an unmaintained website, too. Site features stop functioning properly and the site becomes ugly and unusable. Pretty soon, the visitors just stop coming.
And that's only part of it. There are other aspects of website maintenance besides function and appearance. A site that looks and works great can still fail to attract and convert visitors.
You also must maintain the quality, value, and amount of content on your site. And your site must be properly advertised and optimized to keep bringing in visitors.
Even worse, neglecting website maintenance is a security risk. Without proper maintenance, your website is more susceptible to data/security breaches. That includes both intentional cyber attacks and accidental security breaches.
Why You Should Outsource Website Maintenance
There's plenty more to say about the specific types of website maintenance, and we'll get to that shortly. But there's something you need to know first.
Before you run ahead and try to handle all these maintenance tasks on your own, don't. It's far better to outsource to a competent, third-party website maintenance team. In fact, it's just as important as the maintenance itself!
1. You Have Better Things to Do
Maintaining your website isn't your business. And whatever business you are running is only doing well because you've used your limited resources in the best possible way.
But website maintenance requires resources, too: time, staff, and, most importantly, attention. To do your own website maintenance in-house takes a big portion of these resources away from where you're currently investing them.
Alternatively, when you outsource website maintenance, you get to keep all your resources invested in running your business, just like they are now. The only resource it costs is a small, affordable fee.
2. It Costs Too Much to Do It Yourself
Speaking of cost, in-house website maintenance is far more expensive than outsourcing, anyway. First, you must spend the time and money to hire, train, and pay your in-house website maintenance staff. They'll also need health benefits, paid sick days, vacation, retirement, and anything else you provide your regular employees with.
Plus, you'll have to monitor and manage their work performance. Then, if you're forced to fire them or they quit, you have to start all over again. All the time and money you spent hiring, training, and managing those employees go right down the drain.
The alternative: simply find a third-party website maintenance service that fits your budget and hire them. They take care of their own employees so you won't have to deal with any of these issues.
3. They're Already the Best
Best of all, this means that your third-party team has already completed their training—they're ready to go! And it's not just standard training they receive; it's expert training. And they keep their training up-to-date, accounting for the latest website maintenance trends.
After all, website maintenance is all they do. They have honed all their skills and focus on this sole purpose. And they do it well enough to survive in heavy competition against all the other website maintenance companies.
4. They Have Proof
And speaking of how well your website maintenance company performs, you don't have to take our word for it. They can prove it. One of the biggest benefits of website maintenance services is that they accurately track and clearly communicate the results of their work.
They understand that you're not a website maintenance expert. (That's why you're hiring them.) Therefore, they give you regular reports on what they do and how it has helped.
Types of Website Maintenance Packages
Now, let's look at all the wonderful things your trusty website maintenance company will do for you.
1. Website Software Updates
Like all software, whatever content management system you're using needs regular updates to continue functioning. Without these updates, your website may stop working in certain browsers or on certain devices.
Some content management systems update automatically and some don't. Your website maintenance company makes sure yours gets the updates it needs as soon as it needs them. They also can check it after updating to make sure it's working properly.
2. Search Engine Optimization
They also make sure your SEO stays up-to-date with the latest trends. This is very important because search engines, like Google, get updates, too.
When search engines update their algorithms, the SEO techniques that worked before might now be unhelpful. They may even be harmful to your search rank. Keeping your website, and its various content pages, ranking high in search engines requires up-to-date SEO techniques.
This is best left to experts because they always keep up with algorithm updates and other changes in SEO trends. So, they're always equipped to make any necessary changes to your site to maintain or improve your search rank.
3. Website Speed Optimization
The loading speed of your site is important to Google, to your visitors, and to you. For one thing, load times affect your search rank. The slower your loading speed, the lower your rank is.
Slow loading sites are also aggravating to site users. It may be enough to make them ditch your site in favor of a similar site that doesn't take forever to display.
And that hurts you. That is, it decreases the success rate of any goals or hopes you have for your website.
Fortunately, website maintenance companies know all the tricks of the trade to optimize your site's loading speed. They'll also know if any web browser updates come out that might affect the loading speed of certain sites, like yours. Regardless, they're always monitoring your site speed and will fix issues whenever they come up.
4. Fixing HTML Issues
Your website maintenance company should also be fluent in HTML so they can find and fix any problems in your website's code. This should ensure that all the pages and features on your site keep functioning correctly. Plus, they can add to the HTML code to optimize things like SEO and loading speed.
5. Reliable Backup
One of the greatest benefits you get from outsourcing website maintenance is peace-of-mind. That's because website maintenance services make sure your website is safely backed up in case anything happens to it. This includes all your site's contents, files, design themes, etc.
Plus, if your website starts glitching or loading improperly, the website maintenance team can recall a previous version of the site that worked fine. Then, they can publish the working version of the site while examining the malfunctioning version to diagnose and fix the problem. That way, your website stays live while the problem is addressed.
6. Finding and Fixing Design Issues/Inconsistencies
Your website should have a uniform look across all its pages. If it doesn't, visitors might think they accidentally ended up in the wrong place and leave.
Sometimes, though, when the design of your site is updated, a few pages get overlooked. Then, some of your pages still display the old design while the rest shows the new design. Also, some forgotten pages, like 404 error pages, might even show a default page created by your content management system that doesn't match your site's theme at all.
Now, your website maintenance company may or may not offer design services. But they will still watch for any inconsistencies in the design, layout, or any other aspect of your site. They also watch for broken links, images, or anything else that doesn't load or work right.
7. Finding and Fixing Responsiveness Errors
Your site should be uniform across all browsers and devices, too. But it happens a lot that entire versions of a website are overlooked.
For example, when you designed the theme of your website, that theme may not have been applied to the mobile version of your site. If that version looks completely different than the desktop version, it will cause serious confusion for your visitors.
Or perhaps your site isn't responsive at all or is inconsistently responsive, which is a big deal. Responsiveness issues aren't just inconvenient for your site users. They also have an enormously negative effect on your search rank.
Fortunately, these are among the issues your site maintenance team is constantly on the lookout for.
8. Content Creation
Part of maintaining your website is providing regular content updates. This tells your visitors and search engines that you're still active and paying attention.
However, this is not a service that all website maintenance companies provide. You may need to create your own content or find a separate content creation service.
9. Security Monitoring
Your site maintenance service can also monitor your site's security status. They make sure your website security software is working and that your data and files are secure. And they can detect any viruses, cyberattacks, spamming, and other threats to your website.
10. Performance Monitoring
Lastly, they'll be recording the analytics of all the points on this list and more. They can see and report to you exactly how your website is performing on these points.
They'll also tell you how well your website is achieving your company's goals. This includes analytics like visitor behavior, conversion rates, etc.
Remember This Website Maintenance Guide
Again, we don't suggest you try to handle the maintenance points listed above on your own. It's far too costly. Instead, use this guide to choose the website maintenance packages that are perfect for your needs.
Now, click here to learn more about how we can help.