Effective website maintenance requires the frequent and regular checking of your website for issues and mistakes and keeping all of your content, plugins, products, and security updated and relevant. Consistency is vital in order to stay ahead of the game maintaining your website’s overall health.
- What is Website Maintenance Exactly?
- Website Maintenance – Routine Maintenance Tasks
- Weekly Website Maintenance Tasks
- Monthly Website Maintenance Tasks
- Quarterly Website Maintenance Tasks
- Yearly Website Maintenance Tasks
- The Importance of Effective Website Maintenance
- Rinse and Repeat, Continuous Website Management
So what is Website Maintenance exactly?
Regular site maintenance tasks encourage continued traffic growth, and will also strengthen your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Google rankings in the long term.
A well maintained and fully responsive website is important to companies regardless of size in order to engage and retain website visitors. It’s far too easy to cut corners and let a few tasks slide, especially with a startup business. Website maintenance can just as easily as your own bodily health, fall apart if you go too long without a regular check-up.
Regular monitoring of your website is an absolute must for keeping your business running smoothly and growing consistently.
What Are the main Tasks involved with Website Maintenance? Our definitive Checklist
There is a bounty of tasks that should be done to keep your website running as smoothly as possible. The most important time-sensitive of the tasks are the website security updates and patches. If you do not stay up-to-date with these, your website has the potential to be an actual danger to your visitors/customers.
With that in mind, here is a breakdown of website maintenance tasks that should be completed regularly and consistently:
- Check that all of your pages are working as expected and that they load up quickly.
- Create backups of your website and databases and ensure a previous version of your site is also stored.
- Update any available website core software and add-on/plugin update releases.
- Root around your pages to see if there are any broken internal or external links.
- Search for 404 errors and fix or redirect (Use 302 redirects for temporary fixes and 301 redirects for permanent redirects).
- Check that all of your forms are running correctly.
- Write one or more blog posts to keep your community engaged and to encourage further SEO traffic.
- Purge any spam comments you may have received from pages and posts.
- Test the load speed of your website and ensure that nothing is causing it to drag its heels.
- Analyze your website statistics from the previous months to see if you are meeting your goals.
- Review your security scans (We use Wordfence and fully recommend you do too) and make sure nothing is out of place.
- Check your blog content for any articles that could be updated or improved.
- Review your workload for efficiencies and see if any of your regular tasks/processes can be automated.
- Restore a previous version of the website to test your current backup health.
- Review your website design and structure – is there anywhere it can be improved?
- Check graphics and images – Are they fully optomised for SEO and Page Speed? (Consider using Lazyload for images and videos).
- Test and tweak any popups, forms, and calls to action – Are they still valid? (e.g. Seasonal content).
- Test your website on all devices and browsers to see if it displays responsively across them all.
- Review your SEO and meta titles and descriptions to ensure they are as effective and informative as possible
- Analyze Digital Marketing and advertisement campaigns to see if anything needs to be adapted or updated.
- Ensure that your website domain name is renewed. *You can normally get a discount when you register your domain for 2 years or more with most registrars.
- Decide whether a website design update is due
- Update any reference to the current year, e.g. the footer copyright area and blog posts.
- Review each page for content accuracy, grammar, typos, and relevancy
- Check any active email address inboxes, purge anything not needed and file away all client and supplier correspondence
- Review all of your top performing blog articles and see if they can be improved and updated with new content
Why is it important to do regular website maintenance?
Many new businesses have more than enough on their plates without having to worry about constantly checking in on their website. It’s tempting to buy a domain name, throw together something temporary, and eventually worry about it at a later date. There are so many reasons why this is definitely not the smartest route to go. However maintaining a current, healthy, and active website is a very pro-active role, and most businesses do not have the time or the staff to ensure the requirements of website maintenance is met.
The main focus when starting a business is to gain and retain customers, clients, or an audience. To drive traffic to your website, you will actually need to keep it regularly updated with fresh content.
Google wants to rank websites that have the most relevant and up-to-date information on their search engine results page. They can even de-index your website entirely if it hasn’t been updated recently enough and if they suspect it has been infected by Malware.
Regular website maintenance is invaluable for your long term SEO strategy.
If your website is gaining traction and traffic, it’s important to keep those potential customers engaged. If they aren’t able to find what they are looking for quickly and simply, there is a good chance they’ll lose interest sharpish and ‘Bounce’ back off your site. In order for your website to be the useful tool they need, you will ensure that it is free from all typos and grammatical issues, has any and all valuable information a customer could want easily accessible on any platform, whilst keeping all of your content consistent.
If you are using a website building platform like WordPress or Shopify, you must ensure that you are installing regular software updates and security patches. Security is the single most important reason to keep your website maintenance on your radar, particularly if your website is storing any form of customer information.
It’s becoming more and more simple to create a website that is beautiful, functional and professional. There is an expectation for a professional website from professional companies. If your website doesn’t deliver on the promise of professionalism, your customers 9 times out of 10 will often go elsewhere.
What are Website Maintenance prices like?
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.
Small-Large Personal Blog
A small-large sized blog typically does not have a lot of traffic and has very few needs. This can be hosted on a blogging site like Google Blogger or other FREE blogging platforms with no costs whatsoever. Or, it could be self-hosted using a platform like WordPress with low monthly costs from domain name renewal and hosting service. If you have a blog that is bringing in an income with an active audience, you will likely want to be self-hosted with options of some customizations.
Company Website for the purpose of marketing only
Similar to the larger sized 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.
Large Customized eCommerce Websites
This will require a larger financial investment as you’ll need to be ahead of the game with website maintenance. You’re handling a lot of content, code customization, and customer data. If you do not have an in-house IT team, we would definitely recommend finding a website maintenance package to help you keep on top of your website needs.
Custom Built Web Application
This will need the largest financial investments. If your web application was custom built for a specific purpose, then it needs to be in top-notch working conditions at all times or unfortunately, your company will suffer.
Paying for Website Maintenance Services: The Advantages
Now that we’ve established website maintenance is a must for websites of any size, it’s time to discuss the advantages to sourcing someone to do the important maintenance tasks. You, of course, could take on these tasks yourself, but it will save you so much time and stress to pay an agency or individual for several reasons.
- You can focus on other vital areas of your business that need your attention.
- You’ll be hiring a team of experts who take care of these tasks every day. They know what to look for and what to expect.
- Hiring an outside agency or individual is very cost-effective and can scale with your company.
Determining if you Should buy Website Maintenance Packages
There are several elements that go into determining whether you should purchase a website maintenance package.
- The size of your website
- Is your website currently out-of-date?
- The purpose of your website
- How quickly is your business growing?
- How much of your website is customized content
- How much experience do you have with website maintenance?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to website maintenance?
If you’ve read this whole article, you probably have a good idea now, whether or not maintaining your own website is something you are currently capable of. On the other hand, if your website, however, is simply sitting and taking up space on the internet, you should absolutely consider purchasing some form of a website maintenance package. Your website should be a tool that is supporting and helping your business grow. It is a living and breathing entity that deserves your time and attention in order to fulfill its potential.
Google have provided a ‘best practices’ guide for those of you that would like to attempt your own website maintenance and planned site outages.
Let Us Help You
At NextPixel we offer reliable and affordable website maintenance packages with no long term contracts. Our extensive range of services covers everything you could require from a Web Development team: SEO, Hosting, Security and Updates, Website Backups, General Website Support, Copywriting, and Content Population. Other bespoke services are available, contact us for information about Website Maintenance or any other query you may have.
Ask yourself honestly whether you are keeping your website in good health and consider contacting us. If you were to drive for car miles every day without regular servicing, you wouldn’t expect it to work for you long-term would you? Your website is the same… But don’t worry, We’ve got you covered.