What is "Website Maintenance" Anyways?!
This is a hot topic in my world, and something we have to explain over and over, so I thought I would break this down for you. You’ve built your site, it looks gorgeous, but why do you need to maintain it and why on earth would you need a professional to do so? Well, good news, if you are using a hosted site builder like Squarespace or Wix it won’t be as important… but by using builders you are giving up a lot of customization options, which are vital for creating a great user experience, and ease of getting your site to rank on Google.
Here are some reasons why it might be a good idea for you to get your site on a maintenance plan:
Back-Ups: This is probably the most universal and most understood reason if your site breaks or gets hacked, having a recent backup is critical. Yes, you can do it yourself or have your hosting company do it, but most likely, you wouldn’t be comfortable enough to restore it yourself. Also, when is the last time you backed up your own computer? If it’s been a while, this would be a good reason to hire a professional.
Wordpress Updates: If you are using a Wordpress theme, all of those customizations you got are called ‘plugins’ and they are run by third party companies. Example: Your theme may be bought from company A, the banner slider you are using is run by company B, and the Instagram feed is company C. Every time Wordpress has an update (which can be anywhere from monthly or quarterly, it isn’t planned but based on need or security issues) then you run the risk of all of those plugins not being updated ceasing to be compatible with your theme and now you have error messages or parts of your site not loading. Part of the updates are making sure all updates are done in a manner of which all plugins are still working, and if they are no longer compatible, a professional can see the issue coming and help find something else suitable.
Plugins: In #2 we discussed what a plugin is, but another concept to keep in mind is that any of those companies may cease to exist or stop providing updates or have security issues. A professional can keep an eye on this and provide help when needed.
Security Issues: High-end security for your site can be costly and there is never a guarantee that your site won’t get hacked. My philosophy on this for the small business is to not be the ‘lowest hanging fruit’ for hackers and implement some basic security protocols -- one of which actually include keeping your Wordpress plugins up to date.
Expensive Help When In Need: As an agency, if you are our maintenance client and when things do go wrong you are queued up in our system and we are ready to fix it. If not, getting all the login info, learning and troubleshooting the site and the many many hours it takes to get it up and running again not only come at a higher billable rate (most companies it’s $100+ an hour) but also can cost you in terms of not having your site online.
Credibility: This one is pretty simple, if your site starts breaking or not working properly, then you can lose credibility with your potential or current clients pretty quickly.
Peace Of Mind: You are running a business, doing what you do best. We live in a world that is constantly changing on the digital side, and anyone from Google to Wordpress to laws governing how we collect information are on our news list. It takes a team to keep up so you don’t have to.
Have more questions? Reach out to us here and we can set up a quick discovery session to see how we can help!