If you’re running a business, your website is the epicenter of it all—it’s how potential customers find you and how they learn about what you offer. It’s where they finally decide whether or not to give you their hard-earned money.
Without proper web maintenance, your website could end up looking outdated and won’t give off the best impression of your business to its visitors.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about web maintenance so that you can make informed decisions about how to maintain your website going forward.
Table of Contents
What Is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance is the process of keeping a website up-to-date and running smoothly.
The primary purpose of website maintenance is to ensure that your site runs smoothly on all platforms (web browser, mobile device, etc.) and user agents (browser types).
You should also consider how often you need to perform this task based on the content you have on your site, as well as any changes such as updates or enhancements made by third parties such as Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel.
To keep your website running smoothly at all times, you should perform regular checks for errors throughout the day so that any problems can be fixed before they become significant issues for your visitors or clients.
Here are some eye-opening statistics about site maintenance that you should take seriously:
- 57% of customers won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
- 85% believe that a website should be as good as it looks on mobile through responsive web design.
- Website speed matters as 83% of users expect sites to load within three seconds.
If a website takes too long to load (including the images, widgets, sections, etc.), 38% of viewers will stop engaging.
Businesses with websites that load slowly cost retailers about 2 billion dollars in sales every year.
Consumers spend an average of 5.94 seconds viewing a website’s main image.
What Does Site Maintenance Include?
When you’re looking for a website maintenance and support provider, you want to know what it includes.
There are specific tasks that need to be addressed, such as:
- Troubleshooting website issues. For those who simply buy a website without conducting any maintenance, any sudden problems may arise regarding the website, which will require separate handling (typically billed separately). This means reaching out to your host about why the site went down or troubleshooting the problem yourself.
- Updating plugins and integrations. These same plugins and integrations on your site should be constantly updated to improve usability.
- Updating security. If your website isn’t kept current with updated software, it’s exposed to attacks from hackers, malware, and viruses.
- Annual website testing helps ensure your site is functioning correctly and that there are no broken links or other errors.
- Backing up your website regularly protects your data in case of a server crash or other unforeseen incident.
- Reviewing key metrics such as page views and weekly bounce rates can help you identify areas of your site that need improvement.
- Other changes. Without keeping up with maintenance contracts, you will have to play web developer yourself or hire someone else at no additional cost. If you’re undecided, keep reading to learn whether you need a web developer or to maintain your website by yourself.
Why Is Web Maintenance Important?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” And you might agree that it’s true.
When trying to get your business off the ground and running, it’s easy to lose sight of what your customers are looking for—how they want to interact with your brand.
But one crucial thing to remember is that keeping up with website maintenance is one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy customer experience.
If you don’t do it, then your site will become irrelevant in no time at all. And if you don’t keep up with security updates? Then bad guys will take advantage of those vulnerabilities and use them against you.
While this seems like common sense, there’s no better way to prove how much value website maintenance has for your business than by looking at some stats:
It only takes around 50 milliseconds for visitors to have an opinion of your website. Make sure you give a great first impression.
According to research, 48% of people consider web design the top factor they consider when determining the trustworthiness of a business.
Another study shows that 94% of the first impressions of a website are related to its web design.
And if your layout is unattractive, 38% of viewers will bounce and exit your website.
88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.
By looking at these statistics, you should have a more precise grasp of why maintaining your website matters.
Now, here’s a quick look at why maintaining and updating your website is beneficial:
- You might not realize it, but your website directly reflects your business’ quality. Potential customers often make their first impression of you on your website.
- If they see a cluttered or poorly-maintained site, they may decide that you aren’t professional or don’t care about your online presence.
- A well-maintained website allows for a good customer experience because it’s easier to navigate, letting users find what they need quickly.
- It can also help prevent problems, such as security breaches or data loss.
- More importantly, a properly-maintained site will help you attract new customers and retain existing ones.
We all know how easy it is to forget about new features once they are released. By having a regular check-up of your site, you can manage new features without making any mistakes! You might want to add a few extra features or plugins, but when you don’t update them regularly, they will eventually stop working correctly.
It helps you stay on top of trends in design and technology—so that you can continue to add value to your customers through new features and functions.
It’s easy to become complacent when it comes to your website, but if you want the chance to impress your customers and win their business, you need to keep up with trends in design and technology.
The sleeker your website is, the more you’ll convince potential customers that you are their ultimate choice.
If you’re staying on top of your website maintenance, you’ll also have the opportunity to be an early adopter of new website technology that will help the back-end run more smoothly.
Effects of Website Negligence
A website is like a car; if you don’t maintain it, it will eventually break down.
If a website is not maintained correctly, it will not work optimally and will provide a poor experience for users. This can result in lost customers and revenue.
If your website is neglected or just plain bad, there’s a chance you can lose your business too. And that’s not the only way negligence can hurt you.
An unmaintained website can cost you money. Security vulnerabilities can crop up if your site isn’t updated regularly, leaving you open to attack.
Outdated software can also lead to compatibility issues, costing you even more in lost business.
Neglecting your website can also damage your relationship with current and future customers. If they can’t rely on you to keep your site up-to-date, they won’t trust you with their business.
In short, neglecting your website is a recipe for disaster.
How Maintaining a Website Can Benefit Your Online Presence?
Aside from the importance of providing a good user experience, having a well-maintained website ultimately benefits your website’s SEO.
Maintaining your website is an excellent opportunity to establish a routine process of monitoring and improving your site’s SEO, ranging from updating content to fixing broken site links.
The best way to improve your website’s SEO is to spend time on it daily—including regular maintenance.
Maintaining your site also helps avoid potential issues with Google and other search engines.
For example, if you continually update content and fix broken links, Google will recognize these changes as part of an ongoing effort to improve your site’s ranking in search results.
SEO strategy is a bit like a game of chess. You can’t just throw your pieces out there and expect to win—you have to make them move in the right direction and do it strategically.
There are many steps you can take to make sure that your website continues to improve over time:
- Update regularly
- Use relevant keywords
- Write more engaging content
Sustaining the SEO of your website is essential for its long-term success. The more you pay attention to your website’s SEO strategy, the more likely it will be to gain and hold a search engine ranking.
However, it’s important not to get too caught up in small changes like these if you want to maintain your site’s rankings.
You should remember that Google doesn’t reward sites that constantly change their look or content regularly—it rewards sites that continue to build quality content over time.
Should You Hire a Web Developer?
Sometimes it can be hard to know what things are important when it comes to maintenance on your website.
The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to ensure your online presence is looking its best and running at peak performance.
One of the ways is by hiring a web developer.
Your website is your business’s face to the world. You might need professional help from a site developer who can keep an eye on your website and make sure it looks its best so that when potential customers land on it, they’ll be able to see what you’re all about.
This person could be someone within your company or a freelancer outside of it. Either way, finding someone who understands what needs to be done can take some time.
Here are some reasons why you should consider hiring a web developer:
- If you want your website to be successful, you must ensure it is well-maintained.
- A web developer can help ensure your website is running smoothly and efficiently.
- They can also help improve your website’s design and functionality.
- A web developer can help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies.
- Hiring a web developer can save you time and money in the long run.
It’s essential to choose a web developer you can trust and who has experience with the type of website you want to create.
Even if you plan to do all the maintenance yourself, it’s still a good idea to hire a web developer as they can teach you what you need to know about best practices for maintaining your site and how to avoid common mistakes.
Your best bet is to hire someone who will offer ongoing maintenance services at an affordable price so that they can check in with your site regularly, find any issues before they become too serious, and deal with them promptly.
How to Maintain a Website by Yourself?
When you first set up your website, you may not have realized how much work it will take to keep it running smoothly.
It’s easy to forget the most basic tasks like checking for spam comments and renewing your domain name—and you certainly don’t want to leave those things undone if they need doing!
But when you let these little details slide, soon your site will begin to fall apart.
When it comes to maintaining a website, many tasks can be done by yourself. For example, you can renew your domain name and update the design of your website.
If you want to maintain your site and ensure it runs smoothly for visitors year after year; then you need to take care of the little things that keep your site running smoothly.
Below is a checklist of tasks that you should perform weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually:
Website Maintenance Checklist
- Check your website for 404 errors.
- Update your main plugins.
- Publish one or more blog posts.
- Check for broken links.
Test the loading speed of your website.
Analyze your security scans.
Analyze website statistics. Check the visibility of your local search.
- Update your graphics and web photos.
- Check your website's content and ensure it is up to date.
- Update your meta descriptions and meta titles.
- Make sure the website is optimized for mobile devices.
- Test and update pop-ups, forms and calls to action. Check if anything needs to be changed or updated with your advertising and marketing campaigns.
- Restore the most recent backup to check the backup status.
- Renew your web domain name.
- Consider revamping your website design.
- Review each page of the site to ensure accuracy.
- Update your best-performing blogs.
Website Maintenance FAQs
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost per Year?
Website maintenance costs can range from $100 per year to $60,000 per year, depending on the size and complexity of your website. Generally, the larger your website's complexity is, the higher your annual maintenance costs will be.
However, even a small website can benefit from regular maintenance, so it’s essential to budget for these costs accordingly.
Which Costs Should I Prioritize?
Any business that wants an online presence should prioritize web hosting, domain name, CMS, and SSL certificate costs.
Web hosting is necessary for your website to be accessible online. A domain name is how customers will find your website.
A CMS will help you manage your website content. And an SSL certificate will ensure that your website is secure.
Should I Buy Website Maintenance Packages?
Several elements that go into determining whether you should purchase a website maintenance package:
- The size of your website: The more extensive your website is, the more likely it is that it needs regular maintenance. You’ll want to ensure that your website is up-to-date and secure so visitors don’t see outdated or inappropriate content.
- The purpose of your website: If your business sells products or services, then its primary goal is to provide an experience for customers that makes them want to buy from you. A site with outdated features may not be effective at delivering that experience, which could lead to lower sales.
- How much of your website is customized content: It’s important to remember that while many people think their websites are custom-made, they’re mostly templated with some minor changes here and there (like color schemes and font choices). The more custom content on a site— images, videos, blog posts, or other types of content—the more time and effort it will take to keep everything up-to-date. This can quickly add up!
- How quickly is your business growing: How much experience do you have with website maintenance? Is your website currently out-of-date?
Website Maintenance: Final Thoughts
Poor web maintenance comes off to your website’s visitors as a lack of interest in their educational and buying needs, which can be detrimental to your business.
It’s much better to be proactive about maintaining your website and do what you can to make it look great for all visitors.
These are all the important things you need to know about maintaining your website so that it will always be as effective as possible in driving conversions and keeping customers happy over time.
If your website passes the necessary maintenance checks, it will save you unforeseen problems down the road, and you’ll have an easier time ensuring that your visitors can always find the best content on it.
Website maintenance is the antidote to entropy, which is the worst thing that can happen to your website—and the best way to ensure your business thrives. A web design agency that provides development services should also always provide maintenance.