website maintenance

The Importance of Website Maintenance

A lot of people and businesses feel like once their website is built there is nothing else you will ever need to do with it. Like it just sits there and always will perform the way they expect it to and that is a huge mistake. Website maintenance is a vital aspect in making sure your website is performing at it’s peak. Neglecting your website can cost you business, money and even worse; your website could get hacked.

Why You Should Perform Regular Maintenance

When Apple sends you an update to your phone, do you neglect it? When your car’s check engine light starts to flicker do you just pretend it’s not there? For a minority of you the answer to both of those questions is yes, but for the vast majority if you make regular updates to your car and phone why not your website?

Between code changes, Google algorithm updates and a plethora of other changes on the Internet it’s important to keep your website up to date with these changes.

And the reality is that one minor change could break your website and if you’re not on top of things, you could really be hurting yourself and your business.

What really could be the death knell for your website if you don’t update it regularly is that someone could hack your website and take it over or hold it for ransom. You may be able to get it back, but if they attached a virus or trojan horse somewhere in your file directory, what is stopping them from hacking it again?

What Kind of Maintenance is Needed

If you’re using WordPress as your CMS then you will need to update the core files which then leads to themes and plugins needing updates as well. CMS’s always need the most website maintenance because they have a lot of moving parts. Not updating one file but updating another could break the whole website.

If you’re not maintaining your WordPress website then you’re asking for trouble.

There are also SEO or search engine optimization updates that need to happen as Google often has changes to their algorithm. SEO is very important to your website and drawing traffic to it as well. Not keeping up with the times is going to cost you ranking, traffic and money.

Content changes such as fixing broken links, updating blog copy and other miscellaneous content updates need to be routine as well. These content changes also have a direct effect with your SEO rankings so they’re just as important as updating a plugin.

How Often Should You Perform Website Maintenance

Ideally you should be updating or maintaining your website monthly. Check for broken links, look for other places to link your new blog post internally to and make sure your website is functioning as expected.

If you’re website is run on WordPress then weekly updates are needed. WordPress along with the various themes and plugins you use get updated more frequently than just a static website built on HTML and CSS code alone.

When WordPress has an update for it’s core files then you should be updating as soon as possible. WordPress has a lot of patches that fixes vulnerabilities to it’s codebase which hackers can exploit if the files aren’t updated.

What is the Monthly Cost for Maintenance

The price range for monthly maintenance varies depending on the size and type of website you own. Smaller corporate websites and blog websites can range anywhere from $100-$500 a month. E-commerce websites cost a lot more and can go into the thousands depending on the number of products and pages the website has.

Paying a company or having someone on staff who performs routine updates like a webmaster or web specialist is important for the health and success of a website. Leaving it to chance is a risk than no person or company should take, especially when they depend on the money the website generates to survive.

Make sure you website is always updated and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Well that is until the next update comes out.

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