Websites today are far more technologically complex than they ever were. Thanks to the evolution of web technologies over the years, websites today are built with variety of technologies and frameworks that can make them difficult to maintain. Also, more and more businesses, business processes and requirements have gone online today, this requires lot more business logics, workflows, and functionalities to be added to the websites.
Just building a modern website with all these business requirements is not all. Maintaining a website in top shape and good condition should be the primary goal.
In this article, we will try to answer everything about website maintenance and why you should focus on maintaining your website.
What is website maintenance?
Websites, Ecommerce platforms or web applications are important for business today. They either directly generate revenue for business or are critical part of any business. Keeping websites in good shape and condition requires ongoing proactive maintenance, just like maintaining your car. Security updates, CMS updates, Patch updates, Performance checks, Server checks, SEO, ADA etc. are some of the areas that require ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
Why Is It Important to Do Website Maintenance?
Websites today are built with many opensource and licensed frameworks, 3rd party modules, extensions, plugins etc. To keep the website functioning optimally always, it is important that all these pieces of software are constantly updated and remain up to date. Any outdated or deprecated module or plugins can break a sites functionality or could even crash a site. In order to keep up with all these platform updates, its essential to proactively maintain a site.
This is the single most important reason to maintain and keep your website up to date. Your website could be built on Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Shopify, Sitecore, AEM or any other platform. all these platforms require ongoing security updates to prevent hackers and bad bots from targeting your websites. Failing to do these security updates on time could result in severe compromise of your sites security.
Google’s search ranking algorithms factor many things to rank a website in its search results. Parameters like page loading time, site architecture, UX/UI are some areas that weigh heavily on the website’s overall SEO profile. For good and constant improvement of your organic SEO rankings, websites must adhere with all SEO best practices and should be up to date in all areas.
It is very important for a website to provide good overall experience to the visitors. Without good user experience, websites cannot retain or engage a visitor for longer duration. Customer engagement or user experience is a combination of many factors like- site performance, site architecture, navigation, relevant and meaningful content etc. All of these requires ongoing work and incremental improvements.
Websites can have multiple purposes- informational, revenue generation, business process, customer sign up, marketing campaigns etc. Whatever be the purpose, company brand identity, image and reputation are integral part of any website. Maintaining a good, sleek, engaging,and functioning website is very important for overall brand and goodwill.
Digital Trends and Transformation
Websites should make use of the latest and effective digital tools and trends to remain relevant and competitive in their areas. Digital enablers can greatly help in driving the business outcomes. Be it customer acquisition, revenue per customer or transactions, customer retention and growth, digital enablers can greatly help.This can be possible only through a proactive maintenance plan.
What are my Maintenance Options?
Business owners have four options when it comes to web maintenance:
- Hire a web and marketing team in-house. This is a certainly more expensive option. You must pay for each person’s salary, benefits, overhead costs, etc. All of these are fixed expense. Also, effective utilization of all resource cannot be ensured.
- Hire a variety of specialized freelancers. Hiring freelancers is less pricey but it requires good coordination and communication. Also trust deficit, confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information is not guaranteed.
- Hire a web maintenance company. Working with a web maintenance company can be a smart option. You will get all the multi skilled resources you need for web maintenance at less expense.
- Do it yourself. If you decide to handle the web maintenance yourself, be prepared to invest an ample amount of your time and patience.
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?
Small Personal Blog:
A small blog typically does not have a lot of traffic and has very few needs. This can be hosted on a blogging site like Google Blogger with no costs whatsoever. Or, it could be self-hosted using a platform like WordPress with low monthly costs stemming from domain name renewal and hosting service.
Medium-Large Sized Active Blog with a Wide Audience:
If you have a blog that is bringing in an income with an active audience, you will likely want to be self-hosted with some customizations. This will require more frequent maintenance, updates, marketing and backups and a slightly larger monetary investment.
Company Website for the Purpose of Marketing Only:
Unlike the medium-large size blog, this will need to be hosted either on your premise or in the cloud. With a good design template or customized theme and businessinformation, workflows, and functionalities, this could require medium to high effort for upkeep, regular updates, marketing changes, and backups.
Large Customized eCommerce Websites:
This will be a larger financial investment as you will need to be vigilant about website maintenance, availability, performance, security and SEO. You are handling a lot of content, code customization, and customer data and the websites generates revenue. If you do not have an IT team on staff, we would recommend finding a web maintenance company to stay on top of your website needs.
Custom Built Web Application:
This will be your largest financial investment. Your web application was custom built from the ground up for a specific purpose and it always needs to be in top-notch working condition or your company will suffer. This likely needs a dedicated staff of developers keeping a close eye on the maintenance.
Paying for Website Maintenance Services: The Advantages
Focus on your core business:
Maintaining a business website is a time-consuming job that also requires lot of technical and specialized skills.By hiring a good company that can maintain your website in good condition, you can focus in other business areas and differentiate yourself from competition.
Avoid losing revenue:
Every time your website is down, you are losing customers. Did you know that 77% of users said they would give up trying to access a website if they see a 404 error? 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less!
An up-to-date and modern website is a customer’s magnet. Maintaining your website well, you will avoid on losing revenue.
Protection of your brand:
A website that gets hacked or defaced severely tarnishes a brand or could even put the whole business in jeopardy. Erroneous website or poorly built website can also lead to slow adoption, acceptance of your products, solutions, and services by the market.
In the post Covid 19 world, businesses will increasingly rely on online channels to fuel their growth. Website is critical to any business growth plans, be it small or big. Investing in maintaining your website is the right way to grow your business.
Website Maintenance Plans:
Most web maintenance companies offer three types of plans, including:
Monthly Retainer Plans:
Monthly retainer plans are a perfect blend of proactive and reactive website maintenance. You can have your team proactively maintain your website on all important areas. At the same time, you can use these plans to incrementally improve and enhance your website to cater to your business requirements. Just the perfect way of maintaining all business sites.
Hourly Block Plans:
The hourly plans are perfect for smallwebsites and blogs that does not requireongoing routine maintenance. These hourly blocks can be used for ad hoc site maintenance whenever required.
Most websites today are business critical and cannot afford to go down at any time of the day. You need to have complete support coverage any time of the day, so if the sites not functioning for any reason, you can immediately bring it back up.