What does website maintenance include?
– Have you ever seen sites that give errors or open “blank” pages when you click on a link?
– Have you ever seen a price on a website, but later realized that the price has actually been changed a long time ago?
– Have you ever seen website “news” dating back to … say 2018?
… What did you then think of the company that owned these websites? …
One of the worst mistakes you can make with your website is to build it and leave it without regular maintenance.
If left without technical support, competent supervision, care, and regular updates, the website can turn against you and start hurting your business instead of helping it.
The four elements of website maintenance
On this page, we’ll describe the four areas of care that you should regularly take care of your website, and distinguish this from the general and vague term “maintenance”.
We will also try to prove why website maintenance is absolutely necessary if you want your site to fulfill its main function – to sell your goods or services.
The website maintenance includes four elements:
- Technical Maintenance
- Content update
- Google Optimization (SEO)
- Presence in social networks
It is important to emphasize that THESE FOUR AREAS OF MAINTENANCE ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT, and by missing any of them, you will be missing out on serious profit opportunities for your business, and may even be putting it at risk!
Of course, to expect your site to perform its functions, it must first of all work flawlessly, in a purely technical way.
Especially in cases where the site is built on the basis of a CMS, regular technical support is really vital. This means daily monitoring of the site’s operation, updating all modules (plugins) in the system, as well as working to protect the site from security breaches.
Modern websites are a complex system of interconnected elements – management programs and data files. Behind the beautiful interactive pages of the site are dozens, and sometimes hundreds or even thousands of interdependent files, and the incorrect handling or editing of just one of them can disrupt or even completely stop the operation of the entire site.
Modern content management systems provide rich opportunities for site development and maintenance, but they are a double-edged sword. The complexity of these systems makes them both very sensitive to regular software component updates and vulnerable to malicious action by hackers and other malefactors.
Unfortunately, all too often we are approached by business owners whose sites have been hacked or have stopped working after months or even years of no one taking care of them. As a result, all information from the site has disappeared or has been corrupted. Unfortunately, in such cases, restoring the site can often be more expensive than building a new one!
There are dozens of cases in which site owners find out that their site has been taken over by hackers and has been used by malicious people for harmful and sometimes even criminal purposes for months.
In our practice, we had a case where a tour operator’s site was hacked and filled with pornographic materials, and the owner only realized it months later! As a result, Google had already indexed the site as a porn site, and hence not only the website but also the domain became unusable! All of this owner’s many years of effort to create and develop his site had gone to waste simply because he neglected to maintain it for a few months.
We will not give you more examples, although they are many. We’ll just tell you:
Do not leave your site without constant technical supervision by specialists! If you let this happen, you may regret it more than you expect.
Let’s start with this: 380 new sites are created every minute on the Internet!
Every minute, an average of 380 new sites appear on the Internet!
Do you know how much that makes per day? Exactly 547,200! In other words, more than HALF A MILLION new sites pour into the Internet EVERY CHRISTMAS DAY!
What does this have to do with the content right on your site, you ask?
Here’s the thing: About 80% of all traffic to any site comes from Google.
And a site where nothing changes for a long time is a signal for Google that the information on the site may no longer be up to date! Therefore, Google begins to avoid sending its users to such sites, gradually degrades their ranking, and finally ignores them altogether.
That makes sense, right?
Therefore, update and supplement the information on your site as often as possible. This is one of the easiest ways to maintain good Google rankings!
Many website owners specifically insist (even when they don’t have to) that their site be CMS-based so that they can update the content themselves.
This, of course, is usually a wise decision, because it gives freedom and does not require the assistance of web designers for every, even minor, update.
Unfortunately, however, there are cases where such a decision is detrimental to the site owners. This is usually the case where they make updates to their site relatively infrequently (say – two or three times a year).
The problem here is that working with the content management system requires certain knowledge and skills that must be regularly “practiced”. Very often, after receiving their initial instruction on working with the system, site owners return to this system after a month or two, when they have already forgotten everything about this instruction.
In this way, they risk more damaging their site than updating it … and this, unfortunately, happens all too often …
That is why our advice regarding updating your site is:
If you intend to update your site frequently (weekly or more often), it’s definitely a good idea to learn how to do it by yourself or train someone in your company to do it.
However, if updates to your site are done relatively infrequently (say once two months or more), leave it to the professional web designers who built it. This will really save you a lot of trouble.
Google Optimization (SEO)
Let’s go back to what we just said: more than half a million new sites are created on the Internet every day. Internet users in the world are now approaching 5 billion, which is more than half the population of our planet!
You do know that practically every one of those nearly five billion Internet users relies on Google to find what they’re looking for on the Internet, right?
Well, how do you think that among the millions of other sites, yours will appear on the first page of Google if it is not well optimized and precisely tailored to the requirements of both users and Google?
A lot can be said about website optimization, but the most important thing is: website optimization is a constant process of improving and “matching” the content of the website to the existing search and competitive environment, and any disregard or neglect of the optimization process is always paid dearly.
You ask why? Quite simple:
Every Google search starts a competition where only the best win.
It is also important to know that your ranking in Google does not depend only on you, but also on your competition, which, as is known, never “sleeps”!
Of course, this entire site will not be enough for us to clarify all aspects of optimization, and this is rarely within the power of the owners themselves or their employees.
Site optimization, moreover, is a completely independent profession that is not even directly related to web design. It requires a huge amount of specialized knowledge and accumulated experience, and the lack of sufficient knowledge and experience can not only not help the site, but even harm it.
As a result of everything said above, we will give you only two tips:
Do not forget to take care of the optimization of your site, and do not see the optimization as some special “extra” that you can do without. If you want your site to be successful, it cannot become so if it is not precise and, above all, constantly optimized by specialists.
Carefully select the person or people who will take care of the optimization of your site. An inexperienced “optimizer” can harm your site more than a lack of optimization can.
Presence in social networks
The Internet has not been the same for over a decade! The development of social networks, and especially Facebook, “changed the game” in a way that no one had ever imagined.
The facts show that an attractive status on Facebook or an appropriate video on Youtube can bring much more revenue to your business than thousands of dollars invested in expensive advertising campaigns!
It’s no coincidence that they even joke about this topic: “If something isn’t on Facebook, then it didn’t happen.” Although this is a joke, there is a lot of truth in it, and it is an indisputable fact that is confirmed daily.
If you’re still ignoring social media, you’re missing out on a huge potential for the development of not only your website but your business as a whole!