When you invest in a new website there is a mis-conception that the site will continue to work forever and ever. Amen. Unfortunately this simply isn’t the case. To keep your new site functioning well and looking fresh it will need as much love and attention as your health, your business, your house, your lawn and your relationships. Yep, websites are needy beasts! So why do websites need maintaining?
At Start Digital we consider website maintenance a three tiered service:
- Server maintenance and performance
- Website code updates, CMS versions and plugin updates
- Front end. Regular fresh content, align with current trends
Now there is some crossover with these points and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is another topic in itself but we’ll get to that.
Host & Server
Ok, so to start at the basics, if you don’t have a host web server, you don’t have a web site. If you do have a site then you have a server that will need regular patches and tweaks to make sure it’s up to date. Your web server is responsible for the way in which your site is being delivered and can affect the site speed, availability and, in turn, your sites Google ranking. At Start Digital we provide speedy local web hosting with solutions for both shared and dedicated servers. If you’re uncertain about how best to manage your site hosting please drop us a line – we’re here to help!
Chances are your website has been built on one of the popular Content Management Systems (CMS) – WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. Just like all technology, these platforms never rest and are regularly updated to ensure they remain secure and relevant to their community of users. Additionally these platforms each rely on separate plugins and extensions to help extend their capabilities. All this means that the platform code and plugins need to be regularly updated to protect your website from becoming vulnerable to bugs and security threats.
Front End and Content
If you walked past a shop with the door closed and products that looked out of fashion or out of date, would you recommend it to your friends? Not likely. Similarly Google gives a higher ranking to web sites that regularly update their content because it’s their job to present the best, most up to date content to their search engine users.
As a business with an online presence it’s important that you continually engage with your audience and nothing achieves this better than regular content.
You might not think it but the Internet is a relatively new and very open environment. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are trying to gain from hacking their way into sites to steal data and exploit online businesses. As of writing (29th Jan) there have been 9 security updates to PHPMyAdmin (the main administration platform for websites) in 2016 alone! It’s important that businesses mitigate any risk to their online profile by taking out a maintenance plan that provides security and regular, strategic updates to their website.
In summary, when your website is well maintained, links work, images load, emails function and clients engage! A website should be considered to be an ever evolving business asset within a rapidly evolving environment. For it to be a truly successful investment a website needs plenty of TLC and a robust maintenance plan.
If you have any questions regarding website maintenance please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help.