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12 Vital Website Support and Maintenance Services

website support and maintenance

One of the best ways to understand the concept of website maintenance and support services is to compare your business website to your car. Your vehicle requires regular maintenance to ensure it continues to operate properly. The same thing applies to your website. Without regular maintenance, it may perform ok for a while, but the longer you leave it, the worse it will perform and the more likely that something major will happen and it can let you down just when you need it most.

In this article, we will examine 12 of the most important website support and maintenance services required to keep your site running smoothly.

Vital Website Support and Maintenance Services and Tasks

Update Website Software

For websites that are built on a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, it is vital to keep it up to date. Although WordPress and some plugins can be set to update automatically, this isn’t always the best option and there may be times you will have to do this manually.

Updating the website software is important for many reasons including increased security, performance, and functionality, so keeping your website software updated should be a top priority.

Run Website Backups

This is probably one of the most important website maintenance and support tasks. Having a backup of all the parts that make up your website allows you to restore your site quickly if your site is hacked, corrupted, or goes down for any length of time. A backup should include all images, content, plugins, website layout, and everything that is contained on your website, and should be stored separately for added security.

There are many different backup solutions, and these can be automated for extra convenience. A full website backup should be performed weekly at the very least.

Run Security Scans

Keeping your website secure is vital. Websites that are built with the WordPress CMS contain a lot of software elements including plugins and themes, and each one can be a potential target that hackers may try to exploit to get access to your website. Updates that are regularly distributed by software authors often include new and improved security patches. These patches are often to bolster or fix vulnerabilities that have been identified.

Without up-to-date software, your website may contain security risks that hackers can exploit. Therefore, it is important to run security scans to highlight potential security issues such as vulnerable software.

Analyse Website Performance

Page loading speed is an important part of any website. Pages that take more than a few seconds to load turn away a high proportion of all website visitors. It is important to note that adding extra features and functionality can slow down your website, which can end up having the opposite effect of what you were trying to do. When user experience (UX) is affected in a negative way, this can also have a negative effect on search engine rankings.

Often, the reality is that visitors to your website are more interested in finding what they are looking for than how a website looks. The better a site performs, the better the user experience, which will also give your website a better chance to rank well in the search engines.

Suggest and Create New Content

Even if you have a well-executed content strategy, it never hurts to tweak it from time to time. This can be something as simple as creating new content. Plus, the existing content on your website should be up-to-date. An example of this could be a blog post written and published a year or two ago that is no longer relevant or contains some outdated information. This is the time to make corrections and update the information to keep it current.

Suggestions Based on Latest Requirements/Best Practices

As the web continues to evolve, so too do the best practices employed by websites, social media platforms, and search engines.

One such example is that browsers and search engines require SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certification so that your website works with HTTPS rather than HTTP. Without this, your website may be penalised in the search engine rankings, and the number of people who find your site will be reduced. Having SSL will show that your site is compliant with best practices that work in your favour. This is just one change that has been rolled out in recent years.

Since there are many technical aspects with respect to websites, requirements, and best practices are always changing. Therefore, it is important to stay abreast of the latest standards and update your website accordingly.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

website maintenance and support

Improving the SEO of your website requires regular checks and updates. Such improvements may include creating blog posts and updating landing pages to incorporate competitive and popular keywords. Updating keywords throughout your website will help search engines to better understand what your site is about and offer it as part of relevant search results.

But this is only one part of SEO. Ranking in search engines is critically important for most small businesses, so having an ongoing SEO strategy to help your website rank and stay ahead of the competition is of vital importance.

Visual Check

A visual check is a quick and easy thing to do but is often overlooked by many business owners. Software updates and incompatibilities may mean that your website does not display correctly, and if left unchecked, it can obviously affect visitors’ experience with your website and result in lost business.

Your website should also be consistent from page to page. This means uniformity in design and function. The site should also be fully responsive so that it works properly on all mobile devices. Most importantly, the design should be such that your website operates correctly on the most current version of all browsers.

By spending a short amount of time visually checking your website, these problems can be identified and fixed before the business is affected.

Scan For & Fix Broken Links

Links that appear on your website should take visitors to the pages/websites they were originally connected to. When links don’t work, it provides a poor user experience for visitors, and your website could be penalised by search engines. This is why website maintenance and support tasks should always include fixing broken links.

Review Analytics

To properly understand how your website performs, you need to monitor and track what is happening. Traffic analytics stats give you access to data that tells you everything you need to know about what pages are the most popular, where visitors are spending their time, how your website is performing, and other vital data. This can help you to make decisions on how to further optimise your site for more traffic and better conversions.

Monitor For Website Downtime

Uptime monitoring is a system that checks the availability of your website. There are monitoring tools that can be put in place to keep an eye on your website and will alert you as soon as any downtime occurs. Having this type of system ensures that issues that cause your website to go down can be investigated ASAP.

Monitoring for downtime means that visitors always have access to your website which is especially important for eCommerce and small business websites where revenue can be impacted.

Personal Support

There are going to be times when you will require changes to your website. Examples include updating your contact information, expanding your eCommerce site to include a new line of products, or removing seasonal products from the inventory. These are important factors that keep your website current and do not upset visitors looking for something that is no longer available.

Working with a website support team that you have a good relationship with and that you trust ensures you can get these things corrected and attended to quickly. This minimises any inconvenience to visitors and means that your website continues to work reliably for your business.

In Conclusion

As we pointed out above, your website needs care and maintenance in a similar way to how your vehicle does. Without website support and maintenance, your website may still work, but it may not work or perform as well which can result in lost business.

You can choose to take on the responsibility of maintaining your business website yourself. However, when you utilise the services of WordPress support and maintenance professionals, they take care of all this for you so you can focus on your business.

If you need help with maintaining your website, contact us to have a chat about 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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