One of the biggest mistakes made by website owners is that they never maintain their website. Earning a web presence is not a one-and-done deal by just launching your site; if you want your site to grow, it needs attention. You wouldn’t plant flowers, never water them, and expect them to flourish, right? Websites need attention too, especially if you want to expand your web presence. That is why we put together 5 reasons on why you need to maintain your website.
Security is of the utmost importance, trumping any other reason on this list. A while back, we wrote an article on how important it is to keep WordPress and plug-ins up-to-date, and the main reason was, you guessed it, security. Websites are hacked every day, regardless of the platform they are on. Keeping your site maintained from a security standpoint is invaluable.
Time is money. When your website is down you could be missing out on business or prospective clients, and that is not efficient. The more you maintain your security, the less likely your site could be hacked. All it takes is one outdated plugin, theme, etc. and everything could be gone.
The web is always changing
This is another critical area to maintaining a website. No matter what, it won’t stop. Every day there is new technology, newest features, and you could be lagging behind the competition. Have you ever gone to a site and turned back because it looked outdated? How about if a website wasn’t mobile friendly? If you’re not careful, that could be you.
The one thing that’s worse than having customers leaving your site is having them not finding it in the first place. Google, the largest search engine provider in the world, is always tweaking and updating their search algorithm. If you lag behind, your site could be dropping in the ranking order. For example, just in the past year or so Google has started to rank pages on their mobile friendliness, which prioritizes mobile friendly sites to users who are on their smartphones and rewarding sites using a SSL certificate by returning HTTPS sites higher in search results than HTTP sites.
Keeping your content updated
This maintenance reason ties into the previous reason, but on a lesser scale. When going to a website and finding that dates are off, posts aren’t relevant, and the footer still says “© 2008” in 2016 is pretty disappointing. If they can’t keep up with such a simple process of updating the dates on their site, how can they keep up with their business?
Checking for broken content/links
Checking for broken content and links is very necessary, especially when it comes to how Google ranks your site. Every little bit helps, or in this case, hurts. There are a few good resources to check out when scouring a site for broken links. We use http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/ for most websites or Broken Link Checker on WordPress sites.
From time to time the site that was previously linked on your site might have had an address change, is no longer available, or maybe removed the page altogether. Linking to dead content is not beneficial for any party. We run broken link checks once every month on sites subscribing to our web maintenance and digital marketing programs, but doing it once every week wouldn’t hurt.
Maintenance is never ending
This is a tough one because no matter what you do, there will always be more maintenance in the future. It’s a fact we all have to face. Tools will only get you so far, so we recommend a quality assurance (QA) test every other month or so. It’s as simple as running through your pages, testing links, making sure everything displays correctly, etc.
There is no downside to maintenance, only an upside. Your content will be constantly up-to-date, you won’t have to worry about losing customers, and you can live easy knowing that your site is always functioning properly.
If web maintenance is just another item on your to do list that just doesn’t seem to happen – we should talk about a customized web maintenance plan to keep your site healthy, reduce downtime and work to assure your business continuity.