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What Is Website Maintenance?

Contrary to popular belief, a website is never “done”. 

Sure, there are very set stages in a website build process, resulting in the delivery of a “final” product, but that’s only the start of the journey.

Once a website has been launched, it requires frequent maintenance in order to get the most out of your investment – without this, you’re likely leaving some significant results on the table and potentially allowing your website to become something that damages your brand instead of benefiting it.

A common metaphor for website maintenance is that of a vehicle’s MOT. 

Pretend you’ve gone and purchased the fanciest, most expensive, top-of-the-range car off the forecourt. It looks, drives, and sounds amazing.

Then, for the next few years, ignore any warning lights, services, oil changes, or tyre changes and never get it cleaned.

Chances are you’re going to have some faulty features and, at worst, something that’s potentially now dangerous.

It’s the same for your website.

Why Does Website Maintenance Matter?

There are a number of reasons why website maintenance matters, but none of them are more important than this: if you invest in a website, you want a return on this investment in some way, shape, or form.

If that’s an e-commerce website, then you want sales. If you’re chasing lead generation, it might be phone calls or form submissions. 

To put it simply: your website is there to serve a purpose. 

Regular maintenance ensures that you’re getting the most out of your investment, avoiding potential downtime (which costs you money) and making sure your content is fresh, up-to-date and doing its job.

Let’s take a look at what this means for a few key areas…

SEO & UX

I’ve grouped SEO and UX as there are many similarities between the two disciplines, and what matters to search engines is increasingly what matters to people too. 

Regular maintenance ensures that your site is responding to changes in algorithms, which can be pretty vital to the organic reach of your website

By keeping up to date with industry developments, you can ensure that you are not only maintaining previous progress but retrospectively bringing your entire site and content up to speed at regular intervals.

Your website is there to provide value to site visitors. It can’t do this if they’re not visiting, and they won’t visit if you’re not being shown to them on search engine results pages.

When they’re actually on your site, you want to leave a positive impression – that’s why keeping on top of your page speed, fixing broken links and page elements, ensuring your site is fully responsive and making sure content is up to date are all vital to long term success.

Consistency/Authority

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you probably do. People are picky – so picky, in fact, that the average person takes just 0.05 seconds to form an initial impression of your website.

If your content is riddled with spelling mistakes, images that won’t load, slow pages and out-of-date blogs, people will judge your website negatively and by extension consider your business to be amateur.

Regular maintenance ensures that you are giving yourself the best chance of generating a favorable response and engaging your audience to consider your brand authoritative and trustworthy!

Site Security

Finally, we have site security. Keeping your website secure is of paramount importance, and it’s often something that business owners overlook, sometimes to their peril!

Keeping admin permissions up-to-date, changing passwords, updating plugins, SSL certificates, hosting and regularly backing up your website can all contribute to securing your site and protecting your content.

How Do I Maintain A Website?

Good site maintenance is performed regularly, with different tasks requiring attention at different intervals. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, here’s some tasks split into weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly maintenance to get you started!

Weekly Maintenance Checklist

  • Check your web pages for obvious errors in loading or content.
  • Ensure your site is backed up and that previous versions of your site have backed up successfully.
  • Check for broken external and internal links.
  • Check for errors or redirects.
  • Check that your contact/submission forms are functioning properly.
  • Post keyword driven content to your blog.
  • Reply to blog comments and clear spammy entries.
  • Check Social Media feeds work & sharing functions are operating correctly.

Monthly Maintenance Checklist

  • Conduct a site speed test and ensure you follow any recommended actions.
  • Review your website analytics and identify any opportunities for optimisation.
  • Review SEO audits and follow recommended actions.
  • Review security scans & update plugins.
  • Test site across different browsers.

Quarterly Maintenance Checklist

  • Conduct a full SEO review and analyse organic traffic compared to last quarter.
  • Conduct a full site performance audit, analysing performance compared to last quarter and tracking your progress towards key objectives.
  • Check all graphics and images are loading, optimised and accurate.
  • Test your site across all devices to ensure responsiveness.
  • Optimise your forms, buttons and calls to action.
  • Review admin accounts, alter/remove permissions and update passwords if necessary.
  • Check for any algorithm updates/industry news that could affect your performance.

Yearly Maintenance Checklist

  • Renew your domain and SSL certificates.
  • Compare hosting packages and renew, update or change hosting provider.
  • Conduct a full website audit and consider major updates or redesign.
  • Update statistics, links, copyright symbols, and anything related to the current year (such as your footer copyright claim).
  • Conduct a full and comprehensive audit of your copy to ensure it is still reflective of your business practice, prices, and update your portfolio, testimonials, etc.
  • Review your blog – identify your top performing content and see if it can be further optimised.
  • Remove outdated content or features that no longer serve your site.

Can We Help You Maintain Your Website?

Yes! 

To continue my metaphor of maintaining a vehicle…

Sometimes you might want to invest time and effort into fixing your car yourself.

Other times, you might think it’s more appropriate to leave it to the experts and book it into the garage.

We can help maintain your website, regardless of whether we built it or not. 

We have a variety of support packages available, as well as SEO packages for content production too.

Get in touch with us today for an obligation-free chat and we’ll see where we can add value and help you get the most out of your website!

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Contact us to find out how we can support your business.

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