What is website maintenance?
Website maintenance is regularly checking your website for issues and keeping it updated and relevant. This should be done consistently to keep your website healthy, encourage continued traffic growth, and strengthen your SEO and Google rankings.
Why is website maintenance important?
Just like a car, a website requires maintenance to operate properly. Properly maintaining your website ensures site security, increase the number of new visitors, boost returning traffic, and more. We’d love to share with you some of the main reasons why it’s important to maintain your site.
1. It attracts customers and boots engagement
A well-maintained website attracts new customers and maintains the interest of existing customers. Your website should be customer-centered and relevant by routinely refreshing the content. This involves checking that contact forms work, address, and phone number listings are updated and products, services, and price lists are current and correct.
2. It Improves security
Security is the main reason that website maintenance is so important. If your organization is using a Content Management System (CMS) such as Drupal or WordPress, you will want to ensure that your site is keeping up with software patches and security updates.
There are many reasons your site could get hacked. Mining Bitcoin, stealing bandwidth, drive-by downloads, or Black-hat SEO spam campaigns. The likelihood of an older site getting hacked is a lot greater due to it having less secure coding and modules that are not up to date.
Failing to maintain your site gives hackers the chance to steal data from your site.
3. It boosts website traffic and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The whole point of having a website is to boost leads, get new customers, clients, or an audience. To drive traffic to your website, you’ll need to keep it regularly updated.
To provide searchers with the best quality content, search engines such as Google raise rankings for websites that are updated regularly. A higher ranking increases your site’s visibility, which increases the likelihood that your content appears when your target audiences search for relevant keywords. Updating your site with valuable information, fixing broken links, removing duplicate pages, and keeping your content updated will help drive both new and returning visitors.
4. It boosts your corporate Image
Your website is a public reflection of your corporate image. 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.
A poorly maintained website with lots of errors, broken links, dead pages, and outdated information projects a sloppy corporate image and can cause business to decline over time. Routinely examine the look and feel of your website and update it to match your corporate image. Check and fix broken links, poor grammar and spelling mistakes as quickly as possible — preferably before a customer brings them to your attention.
What does website maintenance entail?
Some tasks 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 is in 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
- 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
- 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 any articles could be updated
To be done quarterly
- Review your website design and structure – can be it 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
- Update any reference 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
How much does website maintenance cost?
There are different cost expectations based on what your website is used for, the size of your audience, and how much content is hosted. We’ve discussed the different pricing brackets below.
1. Small personal blog
A small blog typically does not have a lot of traffic and has very few needs. This can be hosted using a platform like WordPress with low monthly costs stemming from domain name renewal and hosting service.
2. Medium-large sized active blog with a wide audience
If you have a blog that is bringing in an income with an active audience, you will likely want to be self-hosted with some customization. This will require more frequent maintenance, updates, marketing and backups, and a slightly larger monetary investment.
3. Company website to market 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.
4. 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.