What is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance is the act of regularly checking your website for issues and mistakes and keeping it updated and relevant. This should be done on a consistent basis in order to keep your website healthy, encourage continued traffic growth, deliver a positive user experience, and strengthen your SEO and Google rankings.
Keeping a website well maintained and attractive is important to companies big and small in order to engage and retain customers. It’s easy for businesses, especially startups, to cut corners and let a few tasks slide.
Website maintenance can easily become one of those things as it doesn’t always present immediate issues. However, just like your health can fall apart if you go too long without a regular check-up, so can the health of your website.
Regular monitoring of your website is a must for keeping your business running smoothly.
- 1 What is Website Maintenance?
- 2 What Are the Steps in Website Maintenance? A Quick Checklist
- 3 A Proper Website Maintenance Plan Is a Circle
- 4 Why Is It Important to Do Website Maintenance?
- 5 How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?
- 6 Paying for Website Maintenance Services: The Advantages
- 7 Determining If You Should Buy Website Maintenance Packages
- 8 What to Look for in a Website Maintenance Provider
- 9 Let Us Help You
What Are the Steps in Website Maintenance? A Quick Checklist
There is a laundry list of tasks that should be done to keep your website running smoothly. The most time-sensitive of these are website security updates and patches. Without these, your website has the potential to be an actual danger to those who click on it.
With that in mind, here is a list of website maintenance tasks that should be completed regularly:
To be done weekly
Every week, it’s good to perform regular website maintenance to make sure the day-to-day functionality of your website is at peak performance. Every contact form that fails to submit, link that doesn’t lead anywhere, or a general lack of fresh content results in user frustration and can cost you customers, revenue, and high search engine rankings.
- Check that all of your pages are loading without errors.
- Run a backup and make sure a previous version of your site is stored.
- Make updates to website software and plugins.
- Check that all of your forms are running properly.
- Remove any spam comments from pages and posts.
- Check your pages to see if there are any broken links.
- Search for 404 errors and fix or redirect.
- Write one or more blog posts to keep your community engaged and encourage SEO traffic.
To be done monthly
Monthly routine maintenance allows you to see the bigger picture of what’s happening with your site. Metrics begin to reveal trends and patterns so you can analyze user engagement and identify what areas need improvement. While weekly updates help strengthen the present state of your website, monthly maintenance allows you to plan for the future.
- Check the load speed of your website and ensure that nothing is bogging it down.
- Review your security scans and make sure nothing is out of place.
- Analyze website statistics from the previous month.
- Check your blog to see if there are any articles that could be updated.
To be done quarterly
Quarterly website maintenance focuses more on the big-picture aspects of your website. Structure assessments, content updates, and overall troubleshooting help to make sure your site provides the same user experience across various channels and devices. Testing backups ensures your site remains secure. Automation helps streamline your efforts and saves time and resources.
- Review your website design and structure – can it be improved?
- Check graphics and images – should anything be updated?
- Review SEO and meta titles and descriptions to ensure they are as effective as possible.
- Test and tweak popups, forms, and calls to action.
- Review your workload for efficiencies to see if anything can be automated.
- Test your website on all devices and browsers to see if it displays correctly.
- Review advertising and marketing campaigns to see if anything needs to be changed or updated.
- Restore a previous version of the website to check your backup health.
To be done yearly
Annual routine maintenance helps to make sure your website’s design and function align with your long-term goals. It also enables you to stay up to date with the administrative side of your website, like certifications and domain registration. A full blog evaluation can let you know whether you need fresh content to drive more traffic to your business.
- Update any references to the current year.
- Review each page for content accuracy, grammar, typos, and relevancy.
- Check any active email addresses and see if any are excessive and can be deleted.
- Ensure that your website domain name is renewed.
- Consider whether a website design update is due.
- Review all of your top-performing blog articles and see if they can be updated with new content.
A Proper Website Maintenance Plan Is a Circle
As you can see from our checklist, website maintenance should be a consistent part of your business. It grows on itself, and if not correctly implemented, can cause some serious problems and setbacks to your potential growth and business health.
Staying on top of website health takes awareness and organization. This is particularly the case for a large site with hundreds (or even thousands) of pages.
With the introduction of new tools to make website building easier, website sizes are growing each year. While it’s easy to add pages to most websites, it’s not as easy to keep all of your pages in a good state.
All that to say: keep on top of your website maintenance.
Why Is It Important to Do Website Maintenance?
Many new businesses already have a lot on their plates without worrying about constantly checking in on their website. It’s tempting to buy a domain name, throw up something temporary, and just worry about it later. There are many reasons why this is not a good idea. Maintaining a current, healthy, and active website is important for a number of reasons.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The whole point to starting a business is to have customers, clients, or an audience. To drive traffic to your website, you’ll need to keep it regularly updated.
Google wants to rank websites that have the most relevant and up-to-date information on their search engine results page. They may even de-index your website entirely if it hasn’t been updated recently enough and if they suspect it has been infected by malware. You must keep your website regularly updated with current content, news, keywords, and articles in order to rank well in search results.
Regular website maintenance is invaluable for SEO strategy.
If your website is gaining traction and traffic, it’s important to keep those potential customers. If they aren’t able to find what they are looking for, current information and relevant content, there is a good chance you’ll lose interest quickly. In order for your website to be the useful tool you want, you’ll need to ensure it is free from typos and grammar issues, has any and all information a customer could want, and looks engaging and consistent.
This is the single most important reason to keep website maintenance on your radar, particularly if your website is storing any form of customer information. If you are using a website building platform like WordPress or Wix, you must ensure that you are installing regular software updates and security patches. It can be easy and attractive for hackers to find and target websites that have sat dormant for too long.
It’s becoming more and more simple to create a website that looks well-designed and professional. There is an expectation for a professional website from professional companies. If your website doesn’t deliver on the promise of professionalism, your customers will often go elsewhere.
Your website is a very important element of your business. If it is up-to-date and running smoothly, it can be a valuable support and asset. If it is not in a good state, it can cost you dearly. Once you are behind on your maintenance needs, it can be quite the process to bring the website back up to speed. Sometimes, if your maintenance has been ignore for too long, it is easier just to scrap everything and rebuild from scratch.
Do yourself and your business a favor by staying on top of your website. This will repay you with simple ease of mind.
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. If you’re installing software updates regularly, you’ll be able to take advantage of new features that install along with the updates.
You’ll also be able to tweak your design to stay on top of the latest website looks. It’s far more tempting to employ a company with a polished and modern website than one that looks like it hopped on a time travel device from 2003.
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?
Website maintenance costs can range anywhere from $35 a month to $5,000 a month, depending on what your website is used for, the size of your audience, and how much content is hosted. These fees cover a number of website elements, including:
- SSL Certificate ($0-$125 a month)
- Domain Name ($0.08-$1 a month)
- Website Hosting ($2-$835 a month)
- CMS ($0-$3,500 a month)
- General Upkeep ($15-$105 a month)
- Tech Support ($1,500-$3,000 a month)
- Web Analytics ($5-$15 a month)
- Ecommerce System Maintenance ($15-$25 a month)
Regular website maintenance cost is divided into different pricing brackets outlined below.
Small Personal Blog
A small personal blog typically does not have a lot of traffic and has very few needs. This can be hosted on a blogging site like Google Blogger with no costs whatsoever. Or it could be self-hosted using a platform like WordPress with low monthly costs stemming from domain name renewal and hosting service.
Medium-Large Sized Active Blog with a Wide Audience
If you have a blog that is bringing in income with an active audience, you will likely want to be self-hosted with some customizations. This will require more frequent maintenance, updates, marketing and backups and a slightly larger monetary investment.
Company Website for the Purpose of Marketing Only
Similar to the medium-large size blog, this will need to be self-hosted with a simple design template and limited content. It will be low maintenance for upkeep with regular updates, marketing, and backups.
Large Customized eCommerce Websites
This will be a larger financial investment as you’ll need to be vigilant about website maintenance. You’re handling a lot of content, code customization, and customer data. If you do not have an IT team on staff, we would recommend finding a web maintenance package to stay on top of your website needs.
Custom Built Web Application
This will be your largest financial investment. Your web application was custom built from the ground up for a specific purpose and it needs to be in top-notch working condition at all times or your company will suffer. This likely needs a dedicated staff of developers keeping a close eye on the maintenance.
Paying for Website Maintenance Services: The Advantages
Now that we’ve established that website maintenance is a must for websites of any size, it’s time to discuss the advantages to employing someone else to do that maintenance. You can, of course, take on these tasks yourself, but it will save time and stress to pay an agency for several reasons.
- You’ll be hiring a team of experts who take care of these tasks every day. They know what to look for and what to expect.
- You can focus on other areas of your business that need your attention.
- Hiring an outside agency is cost-effective and can scale with your company. Your package will reflect the needs of your company.
Determining If You Should Buy Website Maintenance Packages
There are several elements that go into determining whether you should purchase a website maintenance package.
- The size of your website
- The purpose of your website
- How much of your website is customized content
- How quickly your business is growing
- How much experience you have with website maintenance
- If your website is currently out-of-date
- How much time you have to dedicate to website maintenance
If you’ve read this whole article, you probably have a good idea if maintaining your own website is something you are currently capable of. If your website is simply sitting and taking up space on the internet, you should absolutely consider purchasing a website maintenance package. Your website should be a tool that is supporting and helps your business grow. It is a living and breathing entity that deserves your time and attention in order to fulfill its potential.
What to Look for in a Website Maintenance Provider
Finding the right website maintenance provider is important to the success of your website and your business. You want to be sure to find a credible company that knows what they’re doing and has the experience needed to keep your site healthy and effective. Look for a company that:
- Understands the scope of your website’s needs
- Provides the services you need for your site to operate at peak performance
- Is experienced, both in providing the level of maintenance you’ll need as well as in understanding your industry or target market
- Has a solid reputation and possesses multiple positive reviews from satisfied clients
- Delivers the services they promise reliably and on time.
Additionally, it’s important to be on the lookout for signals that alert you that the company is not the best fit for your needs. Be on the lookout for these red flags.
If the company isn’t upfront about the cost of its services, you may need to reconsider. Discussing additional services beforehand and agreeing on paying for those is one thing. Discovering that extra work was done after the fact and being charged unexpectedly is a bad sign.
Any reputable company should have a portfolio of samples of the work they’ve done for previous clients. If the provider you’ve found has nothing to show you to prove their success rate, it’s an indicator that they may not have many satisfied clients.
Act as Gatekeepers
A website maintenance provider should grant you access to the back end of your own site. After all, you should be able to see what changes they made and how those changes affect your site’s performance. If a provider refuses to grant you access to your own site, it’s time to change your security settings and find a reputable company that will work with you to improve your website.
Let Us Help You
At Fingerprint Marketing, we offer reliable and affordable website maintenance packages with no long-term contracts. We offer SEO, hosting, security and updates, backups, support, and peace of mind.
Ask yourself honestly whether you are keeping your website in good health and consider contacting us. If you were to drive a car miles every day without regular tune-ups, you wouldn’t expect it to work for you long-term, would you? Your website is the same. But don’t worry. We’ve got your back.
Find out more about our website maintenance services packages.