Website Maintenance: What is it and what are the costs?
Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Creating a website that looks good and works well is important for any industry, but it's only half the battle - maintenance is just as important. The maintenance of your website ensures that your business, blog or online presence continues to evolve and succeed over time. This also states that everyone who interacts with your site will always have the best user experience.
While there are a number of tasks to consider when maintaining a website, organizing each one by week, month, quarter and year can help you build a foolproof plan so that nothing goes unchecked and unnoticed. To help you get started, we have put together this complete guide to website maintenance, why it's important and how much it costs.
What is website maintenance?
Website maintenance is the practice of monitoring the website's overall health and performance. Keeping a website up to date is essential to ensure that it works at full capacity, engages and keeps visitors.
There are a number of tasks required to properly monitor and maintain a website, including updating security software and plugins, adding new content, increasing new and recurring traffic, and meeting user satisfaction. While some of these points are more time sensitive than others, each one will be treated thoroughly longer in the post.
Why is website maintenance important?
Website maintenance can affect a company's first impression, SEO strategy, security and sales. Whether you are a business owner or starting a blog, you want to be sure that when people and search engines land on your site, they will immediately see the benefits of your site's offerings - or risk losing them. This means that your ability to curb and retain online interest lies primarily in the maintenance of your site.
That said, if you go too long without regular site maintenance, your site may suffer during the process. Your website will start to slow down, stop converting leads, potentially contain malicious software and get hacked, thus causing problems for those who click on it. It may even stop working completely.
Let's delve deeper into the benefits of website maintenance:
01. First impressions
Just as the saying goes, "You only have one chance to make a first impression," online businesses can make or break a deal depending on the original look and feel of their website. If yours looks old or is not working properly, you could potentially lose out on catching new leads in the first few seconds that matter.
Research shows that first impressions are 94% design related. Using attractive and up-to-date web design can help you convey the right message to new visitors to your site. It assures them that they have found what they are looking for and reinforces the site's relevance, credibility, reliability and uniqueness. As a result, applicants will find it in their interest to stay on your website.
02. The reputation of the company
In the same way as first impressions, the company's reputation is extremely important for winning customers' trust. Some ways to maintain your reputation online include having working links, adding a 404 page for corrupted pages, updating plugins, refreshing content and adhering to a recommended page load time of less than two seconds are just ways to maintain your reputation online. You need to make sure that your website delivers the company's promise of quality, reliability and professionalism.
03. SEO Strategy
Paying attention to website maintenance is crucial to a website's SEO strategy. View this as an opportunity to establish a routine process for monitoring and improving your site's SEO, ranging from updating content to fixing broken site links.
This piece of information is what a Googlebot looks for when it crawls your site. In this initial phase of analysis, Google determines the value of your site, which could potentially affect your ability to rank first page or not down the line. Positive search engine rankings can help drive traffic to your site and bring customers to your business. That said, poor rankings will make it harder for people to find you online.
Sales is the lifeline of any online store. More people buying from your e-commerce site means a healthy and functioning business. To ensure that sales figures are kept high, you should keep certain technical errors in check that may deter the customer's shopping experience. Some common e-commerce issues include errors in product ordering, check-out and payment processes, or failed discounts and free shipping due to an error.
In addition, people who shop online depend on quality images and the ability to zoom in on a product that they would otherwise have tested in a store. It is especially important that you offer professional photos, videos or other visual support to cover any gaps that come with not being able to physically try on clothes or shoes. In addition to viewing photos, customers also want to get as much information as possible about their potential purchases, so you want to invest time in writing product descriptions that can confirm your company's reputation.
A website maintenance plan helps protect your business from virtual threats. Regular updating of the security software and renewal of the SSL certification provider helps to protect the website files. These consist of sensitive information, such as passwords and customers' private data - credit card numbers and bank details.
Developers who release these site updates do so to repair vulnerabilities they may have found. When you maintain the security of your site, it becomes more difficult for hackers to compromise your business and easier for customers to hand over their financial assets to you.
Maintenance tasks on the website
Now that you know what to look for when monitoring website maintenance for your business, you need a plan for each task based on how often they need to be updated:
Weekly maintenance tasks on the website:
Google Analytics gives you access to information about how people access and use your site. You can perform weekly site maintenance checks by logging in to your Google Analytics account to track traffic, thus understanding your site's performance and identifying areas for improvement.
Traffic-driven data, such as the number of visitors to the site and the frequency of flight, can lead to better decisions for your business. In addition, this analytics tool lets you know where your traffic is coming from, by geographic location, keywords, and intent and interest.
Monthly maintenance tasks on the website:
Check that all your web platforms are secured, plugins are up to date and the content of your website is backed up. This will help you avoid losing valuable information and strengthen your site against cyber attacks.
You should also test the speed of your site with Google's free PageSpeed Insights tool, which provides details about your site that work on different browsers and devices. After analyzing your website, it will generate suggestions to make your website faster.
Quarterly maintenance tasks on the website:
Review the content of your site based on defined goals and metrics, such as SEO (organic traffic and backlinks), user behavior (page views and conversion rate), engagement (likes, reviews and shares) and sales (call rates and ROI).
Some questions you should ask yourself during this phase are: "Are all my meta titles and descriptions as effective as possible with SEO?" "Does this blog post get relevant traffic?" and "What can be updated in my content, topic-wise and link-wise?" These are related to performance. Then continue to fine-tune your content, test actionable expressions across your pages and see if the site's content, both visually and textually, is displayed correctly on all types of browsers and devices.
Annual maintenance tasks on the site:
This is the time of year to go over the renewal dates of your domain name, hosting service, and any additional tools you use to maintain your site, such as paid analytics and keyword research tools.
The site's header, footer and legal guidelines may also require special attention at this time. Make sure all your information is up to date and that the main menu categories reflect what is most relevant to your business. Watch out for old logos and company images that may not serve your best interest anymore. After a while, a redesign of the site can be of great benefit to your site.
How much does website maintenance cost?
Depending on the type of website you have, there are different website costs to consider. Here is an overview of prices for maintaining a Wix website in 2021:
Additional costs may include hiring an SEO expert, web designer and marketer, as well as a freelance copywriter to produce thoughtful and engaging content. All of these components can ultimately help your site rank higher on the search engines and keep your site competitive.
Freddy Fix borrowed from Wix