Website Maintenance: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Site Updated

upqode | Jul 30th, 2020

If you are reading this article, chances are you are looking for ways to improve or maintain your website. Perhaps you are looking for tried and tested ways to funnel in more visitors to your site and curious about how exactly web maintenance services can help you. 

In a nutshell, whether you are a tech giant or a start-up venturing into the online platform, it is important to keep your content and web page functionalities relevant, updated with the trends, and protected from malware and data breach. For this, regular website maintenance services will be necessary. 

Additionally, aside from gaining an audience the companies must learn to keep up with Google’s constantly changing algorithm. Google and other search engines favor recent and trending content over those that do not get regularly updated. Hence, driving the importance of website maintenance to the top of every company’s list of priorities.

In this article, I’m going to talk about web maintenance. We will talk about what website maintenance is and why it’s important. I will also cover website maintenance monthly costs, the advantages of hiring professionals as well as website maintenance plans and packages worth considering based on your specific needs and goals.

What is Website Maintenance?

Website maintenance is essentially checking your site for errors and potential problems to stay at the forefront of audience website preferences. It is important for you to do a number of tasks consistently to build a sturdy foundation for your growing website. Additionally, it should also be your aim to constantly strengthen your SEO ranking on Google, proper web design, and an optimum user experience.

two monitors and a laptop

A well-maintained website that is able to effectively engage target audiences is important for any company to retain customers. A common mistake for many businesses is to neglect website maintenance. After all, why worry if there is no immediate problem in front of you? 

What they fail to realize is that regularly keeping track of potential issues is crucial to the long term health and functionality of websites. This also plays a huge role in whether search engine algorithms will push your site up on search pages or bury your website on the last page of results.

If web maintenance is done correctly, your site stays relevant and you are able to encourage high traffic of customers on your site. For many businesses, this may mean more engagement and impressions as well as higher profits.

Some of the main aspects proper website maintenance covers are:

  • Broken links
  • Contact forms
  • Security updates
  • General website security
  • Content management system (CMS) correct functioning
  • Hosting service configurations
  • General website updates
  • Domain name renovations
  • Social media integrations
  • Miscellaneous maintenance tasks
  • Google analytics integration

Why Is It Important to Do Website Maintenance?

There are a number of factors that play a role in the fast-paced and dynamic online market. This is why it is important that your website is able to keep up and stay updated with the changing trends and online market strategies. Below is a list of reasons why and how website maintenance can give you a leg-up from your online competitors.

1. Google Algorithm Keeps Changing 

Relevant events and trends spurt out all over the world and search engines such as Google peddle web content that carries updated information upwards. As a business in the online platform, it should be your goal to be ranked high in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ratings. This will ensure that your website is seen and visited by your target audiences with an excellent digital marketing strategy

Another important feature that can easily render your website obsolete without proper and regular maintenance, is how search engine algorithms de-index sites carrying old content. Similarly, it is done for websites that are suspicious or have been suspected of infected malware.

2. SEO Purpose

SEO is essentially used to determine which websites appear on a user’s search page. Proper website maintenance will ensure that your website is valuable by updating keywords and content that will help your website be placed highly in SEO rankings. 

3. Customer Attraction/Engagement

Online users have a sea of sources of information. The goal is that your website is easily visible from the search page and also contains the information that they are looking for. A certain website can be the preferred source of certain information by the uses and gratification it guarantees a user.

Since part of website maintenance is constantly updating relevant and timely content and market strategies, you are able to ensure that your website is able to fulfill your audience’s needs and wants.

4. For Security Purpose

If you are an online business that actively collects valuable user information, it is of utmost importance you keep your website safe and hacker-proof. Regularly checking for potential threats and weak points will ensure that your information and those of your users are safe from any type of breach. 

Website building platforms release many updates throughout the year and it is important to constantly download their new software.

5. To Maintain your Corporate Image

Keeping a well-maintained website also means optimizing your brand’s identity and functionality. Staying updated with the current designs and constantly striving to make your website’s interface easy to use and understand is all part of website maintenance. 

Regardless of size and experience in the market, all companies would always have this goal in mind. Your corporate image, branding, and design should always have a professional and trustworthy appeal to audiences. Otherwise, users will look for websites that do.

Maintenance Time

There is a hierarchy of tasks for website maintenance. There are tasks that should be done on a weekly basis while some only need to be done once a year. Careful attention in website maintenance through performing these tasks is crucial in ensuring long term health for your site.

Here is a checklist of steps that you need to take for your website maintenance weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly.  

To be Done Weekly

  1. Are all your pages loading seamlessly?
  2. If you’ve launched new updates for your site, do you have a backup of the older version?
  3. Have you updated to the latest website software plugins?
  4. Are your forms and customer service interfaces running smoothly?
  5. Is there any spam comment or posts from other pages?
  6. Are all the links live, functioning, and still carry relevant information?
  7. Have you checked for 404 errors?
  8. Have you uploaded relevant and engaging content?
  9. What have you done and what else can you do to encourage SEO traffic?

To be Done Monthly

  1. Is your website loading fast enough?
  2. Have you reviewed security scans and is everything well and organized?
  3. Have you analyzed the statistics and insights of your website from the month before? What does it say and what can you do to maximize user engagement?
  4. Do you have articles that can be updated with more relevant content?

To be Done Quarterly 

  1. What structural renovations can your website undergo? What improvements can you have?
  2. Are the graphics and images updated and following branding guidelines?
  3. Have you reviewed SEO meta titles and descriptions? How can you make them more effective?
  4. Is there anything that can be automated from your workload? How can you make it more efficient?
  5. Are your popups, forms, and calls to action effective?
  6. Is your website versatile enough to run on different devices? Is the display mobile friendly?
  7. What advertising and marketing strategies can you improve? What’s working and should be maintained, what should be left behind?
  8. Have you restored older versions of your website to check on backup health?

To be Done Yearly

  1. Have you updated any references to be appropriate for the current year?
  2. Are all website content reviewed to be grammatically sound, accurate, and relevant?
  3. Are there inactive email addresses that can be deleted?
  4. Is your website domain renewed?
  5. Is your website design relevant and updated to current design trends? Do you need a web renovation?
  6. Are all your top-performing articles and content updated with the newest information and resources?

Checklist for the Website Maintenance  

If you are performing website maintenance on your own, here is a shortlist of things you should definitely be doing. Note that this list is just the bare minimum of tasks.

  1. Do We Have a Process in Place? Do you have an effective and efficient workflow in ensuring your website is well maintained and relevant?
  2. Make Backups of Everything – And Make Sure They Work. This ensures that you do not lose data when updating or redesigning your website.
  3. Update website software and plugins
  4. Remove any spam comments from pages and posts. This is important in protecting your brand’s credibility and reputation.
  5. Monitor Your Site’s Uptime and Speed. Is everything working and loading at optimum speed?
  6. Stay Compliant With Laws. Legal precautions are always a good idea.
  7. Set an Alert for Domain and SSL Expiry
  8. Watch Analytics. This is a great way to formulate new market strategies or simply tweak and improve existing ones.

How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?

Website maintenance costs may vary depending on the needs and functions your website aims to provide. Factors such as audience size and content volume determine the average monthly website maintenance fees of keeping your website updated and healthy. Customization of website maintenance plans and packages will also differ across the board depending on what your company does.

Monitor on the purple background

1. Small Personal Blog

Small blogs pertain to websites that do not have as much traffic as other sites that feature multiple functions. Blogs can be hosted by Google Blogger for free, or they may be self-hosted through platforms such as WordPress or WIX that require a low monthly subscription. Small blogs are relatively easy to maintain as most bugs and potential threats can be mitigated by a simple software update.  

2. Medium-Large Sized Active Blog 

If you are a medium or large-sized blog that is able to funnel in a good amount of active audiences into your website, it is ideal for you to operate on a customized self-hosted platform. Since medium or large-sized blogs bring in income, your website needs a more comprehensive and constant maintenance plan. Website maintenance for blogs like this would require a slightly higher monetary investment.

3. Company websites Solely for Marketing Purposes

It is ideal for websites like this to operate on a customized self-hosted platform as well. Designs and templates should be user-friendly, engaging, and feature only important structural content. It would not be as high maintenance as other types of sites but would still require regular updates, marketing, and backups for website maintenance.

4. Large Customized e-commerce Websites

Large customized e-commerce websites host many site functionalities as well as valuable user information. Aside from this, there are also higher amounts of content to review, more code customizations to maintain, and customer data to protect. Because of this, there is a higher monetary investment for website maintenance plans. If you have yet to assemble your own IT team, I suggest you look for web maintenance packages that fit your website’s needs. 

5. Custom Built Web Application

Custom-built web applications are sites coded and built to cater to a specific goal or purpose. Therefore, website maintenance for sites like this would be a large investment. All of your application’s features and functionalities must work seamlessly at all times in order to encourage audience use and to avoid problems in the future. If you are a company operating under a custom-built app, it should be your priority to hire highly competent professionals to perform necessary web maintenance and pay close attention to potential problems.

Should I do the Website Maintenance myself or Hire a Professional 

As established before there are a lot of different needs and customizations when it comes to website maintenance for companies depending on the services they aim to provide. If you are running a simple personal blog, you may think this section won’t apply to you; however, I can give three reasons why hiring a professional is always a good idea.

strategy on the image with arrow
  • You will have a team of experts who will perform daily tasks for website maintenance at your disposal
  • Professionals will spot a problem for miles away. This means you can avoid future costs and problems on your site.
  • You will free up time and resources to focus on other aspects of your company that needs attention
  • Outsourcing website maintenance services are cost-effective as plans and packages for web maintenance can be tailor-fit to your specific needs.

This is why it is always advisable to leave the job of website maintenance to the professionals while you sit and watch your ranking going up. 

Is Web Maintenance the Way to Go?

Website maintenance is an important task that needs to be constantly carried out on a regular basis regardless of your company’s size or the services you offer.  Hiring a professional to keep a close eye on time-specific tasks is important in not only keeping your website relevant but also in ensuring the safety of your information and the data of your customers. Experts will know what to look out for and how to effectively troubleshoot problems. Additionally, they can suggest valuable insights for your company’s future market strategy and advertising stints.

Google and other search engines’ algorithms constantly change to cater to trends and popularly searched information. Because of this, website maintenance becomes an important strategy for your brand and your website to be on top.

Larger websites that cater to bigger audiences and carry out multiple functions are sure candidates for professional website maintenance services. However, smaller blogs can reap benefits from expert assistance as well. The ideal arrangement can be made for your specific needs when hiring a professional to maintain your website.

Frequently Asked Questions about Website Maintenance

What Are Website Maintenance Services?

Website maintenance is a long list of important tasks to keep your website relevant, updated, and protected. These tasks range from simply testing your site’s live links to something as exhaustive as ensuring your website’s protection from data breaches. 

How can I do the website maintenance without losing data?

It is important to keep a backup version of your website when creating new updates or when redesigning the website.

Where to find the best professional help for website maintenance?

A good search online would lead you to professional services for website maintenance. When choosing experts to hire, do keep in mind your company’s goals and your vision on how this may be translated to your websites.

Why Is It Important to Do Website Maintenance?

It is recommended for you to perform tasks on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis in order to keep a well-maintained website. A well-maintained website ensures audience engagement, relevant content, an optimized site structure, and fully functioning features on your website. Additionally, if you have customer data, correct website maintenance would ensure that these are safe and protected from hackers.

What are my Website Maintenance Options?

There are plenty of website maintenance plans or packages to choose from depending on the size and function of your website. If you decide to carry out the tasks on your own, it is important to keep in mind the safeguards professional help can provide.

How much does the website maintenance cost? 

Website maintenance costs may vary depending on how customized and comprehensive your plan needs to be. As mentioned above, audience size and traffic, website functionalities, company branding, and the overarching goal of your company all factor in on how extensive your plan should be. It is more ideal for large websites to seek professional help, however, smaller blogs will surely benefit as well. Should you consider hiring a professional,  website maintenance packages can be arranged for your specific needs, goals, and budget.

Filed under: Project Management

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