Benefits Of Ongoing Website Maintenance
So, we’ve just made you a sparkly new gorgeous website? Think that’s all sorted, box ticked? Wrong. Websites are like the human body. You may be gorgeously slim right now but three months of Netflix, takeouts and forgetting to go to the gym will take a negative effect on how you look and feel. Websites are the same!
However, like with every bad diet decision we make, there is always a solution! Now that your website is up and running and everything is looking shiny and new, it’s only right that you upkeep this level of standard for the foreseeable. By maintaining your new website, you can avoid customer dissatisfaction and breaches, amongst other things.
As a small business that may not have a large following or get millions of hits, keeping your standards high on all platforms is a must. With a clear vision of expansion in the future, your website needs to keep up to date, as well as be 100% user-friendly all of the time. Continue reading this blog to find out what ongoing website maintenance you need to keep on top of, and how to do so – and we can assure you that your website will have never looked or felt better.
Weekly Health Checks
With every new business comes the potential to grow – and like your resolve grows when you say no to that extra slice of pizza, it sets you up on the path to success. Ok, we will stop with the metaphors now. Basically, we are trying to say that, to be able to prosper, you must stay motivated to keep your shiny, brand-new website up to date on a weekly basis.
By forgetting to update your plug-ins, accidentally keeping the “Merry Christmas” message running until mid-February, and not refreshing the look of the site for the seasons or when you introduce new products, your potential customers will either get a bad impression or they simply won’t enjoy their experience while exploring your website. A fast loading website is a must for consumers; if your navigation systems aren’t in tip-top shape when new versions of WordPress are released, users will notice this and they won’t be a fan.
By keeping your plug-ins and WordPress up to date, your website has a lesser chance of breaking down or not working. By using older versions, the website can’t work at its optimum performance, and it will become more insecure. We have dealt with companies who had a website created twelve months previously, but as it wasn’t maintained, it ended up broken. In some cases, it can be easier to replace an outdated website than repair one!
If your website is lagging or plug-ins aren’t working, this can also cause users to exit the page and abandon their shopping bag. The last thing you want is to waste the opportunity to gain a sale. If your website isn’t easy to navigate or runs slow, consumers won’t wait for it to load or invest time in finding the information they are looking for, they will just go elsewhere. This can cause high bounce rates and affect your overall rankings on Google as site speed is an element of SEO.
As SEO algorithms are continuously changing, it is super important that when big changes are introduced, you update your website to meet the new guidelines and practises. Your main aim is to be one of the first to appear when someone uses a search engine to look up a term that is related to your business. For example, by updating your website’s meta descriptions to include new popular terminology, the more likely your website is going to be seen.
Not only that, but who likes to look at an outdated website that looks like it is stuck in the 80s and has buttons that don’t go anywhere? Not us, that’s for sure.
Secure Your Website
It is so, so so important that you keep your website secure. Many people think that as they are a small business they don’t need to worry about cyberattacks. I mean who would bother trying to hack a tiny start-up. Well, I’m sorry to say it happens more than you think. Every website is at risk of a cyberattack; whether it’s a case of visitors trying to steal your data, hackers using your website as a spamming proxy or undergoing a Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This can not only be significantly damaging to your business, but it can also affect your compliance obligations with the data protection of your customers and employees.
SSL certificates are incredibly important as they offer a level of protection for your website, but are also a big factor when it comes to SEO. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are really cracking down on ‘non-secure’ websites. They don’t want to direct people to websites that are badly-built and packed with spam. In their eyes, if you don’t have an SSL certificate you can’t be trusted. In fact, Chrome, Firefox and other browsers have even started to issue warnings that non-https sites (ones without an SSL certificate) are insecure! It’s a big nasty red warning. People won’t visit your site if they see that!
Don’t take the risk because those extra pennies that you have to pay out for security can protect your reputation and data, and make sure that your potential customers know that you are trust-worthy which makes it totally worth it.
Be the Rose Between Two Thorns
Your business is online so that you can make sales, grow your brand awareness, answer customer support queries and let’s be honest, show it off. It’s very likely you will already have some competition out there who always maintains a gorgeous online presence, so it is important to make sure that your website is easier to use and better looking than your competitors – and it stays that way!
We hate to say this but consumer behaviour does change and what was incredibly popular in 2019 may seem outdated now. Your competitors can use this to their advantage and get ahead of you by regularly refreshing their content and design. But with ongoing website maintenance, your website can stay modern, working well and optimised for the modern-day user.
As the market evolves, your website needs to evolve, too. Following the seasons and trends keeps your business at the forefront for consumers and shows that you are an active business. By keeping it looking fresh, trendy and appealing to your audience, you help them to trust your business, which is always a big challenge for new or start-up businesses. Design and development are the two crucial D’s: by continuously developing your website’s functionality and design to suit your users’ needs, you can give them the best possible customer experience and grow your business.
Back It Up
Patience is a definite virtue, so why do you think that people will wait around for your website to get back up and running if you suffer from a security breach? Whatever issue your site is faced with, having a backup ready to keep your level of service consistent will majorly benefit your business; financially and development wise. It is incredibly important to always have a backup of your website at hand, but if you aren’t tech-savvy, it can quickly become confusing. With website maintenance packages, this is usually included so you can stay rest assured that your site is protected but also prepared for the worst. Hopefully, you’ll never need it but it’s better safe than sorry, right?
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?
Ongoing website maintenance doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg- although it’s an added cost on your website domain. The return on investment makes it 100% worthwhile. Here at Cheshire Cat Marketing, we give our clients an affordable solution to website design and development.
From the branding and creation of a new website through to maintaining and updating it 24/7, we are able to keep our clients’ website mobile, SEO, and user-friendly and a pleasure to visit. If you too want to reap the benefits of having a website that truly represents your brand, as well as gives your business the best chances of growth, we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s WordPress, Wix, Squarespace or a custom build, we can bring your vision to life!
Contact us today on 01606 270513 or through our website for more information; even if you just need a step in the right direction, we will be more than happy to guide you through the complex world of coding, UX & SEO.
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