A Beginner’s Guide To Website Maintenance
Your website is the best investment you'll make, which makes website maintenance the insurance it needs to protect its longevity.
Published on Mon, 5 Jul-2021
Category: Web Design, Web Development

What is Website Maintenance?

Website maintenance is a continuous process of maintaining site performance at its most optimal level. This includes updating the site’s designs, fixing bugs and other crashes, optimising the site speed, and other important fixes.

A website is not a matter of just designing, developing, and deploying it on a server. Post-development maintenance and updates are an essential practice that ensures continuous traffic growth and security. Also, regular maintenance plays a vital role in improving Google rankings and strengthening the website’s SEO. Having a well-maintained and up-to-date website is a major need for both bigger and smaller companies considering the market competition. Websites that are not maintained well and face bugs are most likely to drive away their users. Moreover, a website’s overall health is just like your health; if it is not regularly checked, it becomes prone to potential damages like cyber-attacks and malware.

Why is Website Maintenance so Important?

Your WordPress website is kind of like a house. If you regularly maintain your house, you will end up with a very good return on investment on your hands. Adversely, if you ignore the cracks in the wall, your investment won’t do well when it comes time to sell. The same can be said for your website. If you look after it, it will look after you and your business. If you ignore regular maintenance, issues will pile up and if you really put things off, your website might even stop working.

So we know website maintenance is important but let’s recap the top three reasons:

  • Most updates include security patches. Your site will be more secure if you have these installed.
  • Updating your theme or plugins ensures you have access to the latest features.
  • Theme and plugin updates ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress version, so updating ensures your site won’t have any problems.

What Does Good Website Maintenance Look Like?

All websites require at least some level of maintenance to keep them secure and functioning well. By doing the following web maintenance tasks, you will have a secure website that runs smoothly for years to come:

  • Moderate comments: If you allow comments on your site, you’ll need to spend some time moderating to make sure you approve real comments and flag/delete spam comments.
  • Back up the website: The last thing you want is your site to disappear into the deep hole of cyberspace should something go wrong. Back up your website files so that you can easily restore them without having to get someone to recreate them from the ground up should something go wrong.
  • Update plugins, themes and WordPress version: If you want to secure your website and keep it functioning, promptly applying updates to outdated plugins, the website theme and the overall WordPress version is important. You can use plugins like UpdraftPlus, BackWPup Free or BackUpWordPress to help you tick this item off your list.
  • Identify and redirect broken links: Broken links or 404 errors are horrible for the user experience on your site because they get in the way of visitors finding what they’re looking for. While broken links and 404 errors are separate things, they go hand-in-hand because a broken link will usually lead directly to a 404 error. If you’re not familiar with what a 404 error is, it’s the error that your website displays when a visitor goes to a URL that doesn’t exist.
  • Update the website: According to WordPress, “if you haven’t been adding posts or articles lately, make a schedule to remind yourself to add new material on a regular basis. If you have, then take a look at what you’ve posted in the past and maybe do a little checking for proper grammar, bad spelling, information that needs updating and rewriting to make the information you’ve released to the public better.”

Top Tip: If your website has a lot of plugins, make sure you upgrade them one at a time. That way if a conflict arises you’ll know which plugin was the culprit and it will be easier to fix. With no more than just a few hours per month, your website will become the best salesperson on your team.

How Often is Good Enough?

Website maintenance is an ongoing process. So think of it as the Comrade marathon and not the 100m sprint when deciding how to schedule it into your day.

While this may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be! Simply schedule the above checklist and get it done! This means, that you need to be realistic when allocating time to web maintenance tasks. Ask yourself how much time you can commit to it per month and then schedule it into your calendar. More importantly, don’t aim for Everest but rather pick fewer hours that you can do without fail. Once you have decided on a realistic number, stick to it without fail.

what’s the key takeaway?

This may sound a bit intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Most of the time, website maintenance goes off without a hitch. But to avoid the rare situations in which something does go wrong and to stay on top of your website’s performance, it’s important to put in a little maintenance work. So make sure to adopt a hands-on approach to securely backing up your website, updating its core, and optimising it on a routine schedule. This way you can rest easy knowing your website has the best chance of performing optimally without any cause for concern.

Sound time-consuming? Well, it can be, but there are people, like us, whose entire careers are to build and maintain websites. If you aren’t thrilled about the idea of website maintenance, let’s chat. We offer budget-friendly website maintenance plans for your website. Our flexible plans provide both short-term and long-term service packages based on your website’s unique needs.

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