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Website Maintenance 101 – What Is Website Maintenance?

Do you have a website? Have you been checking it and keeping it up to date? Is it performing as well as you would like it to? If not, it may be in need of some website maintenance.

In this article, we will review what website maintenance is all about, why your website needs it, and the approximate costs involved.

What Is Website Maintenance?

website maintenance

Website maintenance is just as the term implies – it is the act of maintaining a website. This is done by performing various one-off and regular tasks related to the operation of the website.

Website maintenance is a lot like a regular check-up on your vehicle. With your car, you keep an eye out for warning lights on the dashboard, check your tires and top up fuel regularly. A website has certain maintenance tasks that need to be performed to keep it running properly. And just like a car, if you don’t maintain it, it can start to play up and not work as reliably as you need it to.

Updating the website software including plugins, themes and WordPress, running security scans, uploading new content, and improving the way the website looks and performs are all website maintenance tasks. These tasks help to ensure that your website runs smoothly which helps in attracting new traffic and encouraging previous visitors to return.

Why Is Website Maintenance So Important?

The first impression new visitors form when they land on your website for the first time will have an impact on the success of your business website. If your website is not working or displaying properly, visitors can and will click away and head for your competitors. Attention span online is very short, so it is critical that your website works and displays properly.

Having all your software up to date is also important for security reasons. With so many hacking attempts, security is of utmost importance. You want to minimise the chances of your website being hacked, so it is important to keep it updated at all times.

What Is Included With Website Maintenance?

There are various daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks in website maintenance. Some of the key components of website maintenance include:

Website Testing and Checking

Your website should be tested regularly. Testing the website involves many different aspects and depends on the website functionality. All elements contained in your website will need to be checked to see if they still operate properly or if updates are needed.

For example… a visual check is a quick and simple task that is often overlooked. Internal and external links need to be checked and broken ones either deleted or updated. All content will be periodically reviewed to confirm that it is still current and outdated or incorrect content will need to be updated. To check the user experience with the site, have someone not associated with the business visit the website and try to navigate around the site. If there are issues, they should be addressed.

Browser/Device Compatibility Testing

It is important to test your website on various browsers. You should also test it on various devices as well to confirm that the website appears and functions correctly. This involves testing on everything from handheld devices to laptop and desktop computers. This shows you that any user will be able to access your website with ease.

Test Forms/Checkout Process

website maintenance cost

If your website contains any type of form for visitors to supply their contact information – to subscribe to a newsletter or to join an email list – it is important to check that all the forms are successfully sending responses to where they should be going to generate leads.

Also, review the checkout process if you have an eCommerce site to verify that it still operates smoothly.

Check Software

Depending on the specific software you use within your website, there will be regular updates that contain patches, fixes, new security features, new functionality, etc. It is especially important that all security-related updates are loaded onto the site… otherwise, you may leave your site vulnerable to hackers.

Website Backup

This cannot be stressed enough. Having a current backup of your website can be the difference between getting back online quickly or having long downtime should something go wrong with your site. There are many reasons why your site can go down, including hackers get into your website, corrupted files, hosting issues, or updates not going as planned.

A backup is your insurance policy that minimises the chance of your website going down for any longer than required. With a good backup, it allows for a fast restoration to get your site back up and working as soon as possible.

How Often Does Your Website Need Maintenance?

It depends a lot on the type of website you operate and the task. For example, a personal site will need far less maintenance than a corporate or eCommerce site. Renewing domain names and web hosting is an annual task. However, updating content, monitoring for downtime, and updating plugins will be more frequent.

How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?

Website maintenance cost really depends on the type of website you have. For example, a personal or solopreneur business website will have far lower maintenance costs that may run up to $100 per month.

A website for a small to medium sized business will likely cost more simply because there will be more things to check and monitor with this type of website. And since more money can be lost due to any downtime, more frequent monitoring is required. Expect website maintenance costs to be around $100-200 a month.

A corporate or eCommerce website is another level that would require considerably more maintenance compared to a small business site. The cost expected for website maintenance would be upward of $300 per month.

Conclusion

There are a few key things to consider when looking at website maintenance. It helps with the first impression new visitors get about your business or service. It helps to maintain the reputation of your business. It is an important part of the SEO strategy of your website. It can help with user-experience and sales. And finally, website maintenance keeps your website software up-to-date to minimise security risks.

Unfortunately, website maintenance is often an overlooked part of running a business. Because the business owner has not had any problems in the past, they expect that they won’t have any problems in the future. However, this is often not the case.

Website maintenance is far more than an expense. It is an investment into the success of your website and your business. If you need any help with your website maintenance, please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help.

About Brendan

Brendan Hones is a digital marketing consultant and website designer and developer at SB Web Designs. He loves helping business owners take control of and improve their online presence to help their business grow. He is passionate about SEO and helping others to learn more through WordPress training.

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