Many business owners understand the importance of having a website, but many neglect the importance of keeping their website up-to-date. Instead they create a site, launch it, and never look back. If your website isn’t maintained, chances are you’re losing out on valuable customers.
Just like cars, your websites need routine maintenance to ensure all of the components (links, contact forms, shopping carts, images) are working in a safe an effective manner. Creating an appealing and functional website is a great first step, but upkeep is required is you want your business’ visibility to flourish and grow.
What are some important reasons for maintaining your website?
Security is the number one reason for website maintenance and it is the primary problem that often makes news headlines. Whether your website uses WordPress or another platform, hackers around the globe are always searching for vulnerabilities. Preventing security breaches before they happen is essential.
When your business uses a content management system or other software it is important to always make sure you are running the latest version. This ensures that all the latest bug fixes and security patches are installed. The majority of hacks occur when malware or redirects are uploaded to your website. Not only does this cause problems for your business, but potentially every person that visits your website. How do hackers get in? Usually by exploiting a website’s outdated software and security patches. Like thieves, they are looking for websites who left their door unlocked.
If you haven’t updated your website in a while, your design may look old or outdated; sometimes failing to load properly in new versions of web browsers or devices. When you perform maintenance, you can check for display and functionality issues to provide a great user experience.
Besides making sure your website displays properly, you also want to keep you website maintained to make sure the user experience is fresh, exciting, and relevant.
Checking website functionality such as forms and links is also important. You also want to make sure that contact information, phone numbers, social media icons, and pricing are all accurate. When customers encounter outdated information this reflects poorly on your business leaving a negative experience for your visitors.
Driving Search Engine Traffic and Boosting SEO Rankings
Adding new content to your website is a great way to drive traffic and boost your rankings. Part of scheduled maintenance should be making sure that content is correct and updated. The more you update your website, the more search engines will raise your rankings. Failing to update your website can lead to decreased rankings and sometimes removal of your website if suspected of containing malware.
Google has begun to show selective search results based on user devices. What does this mean? If you haven’t been keeping your site updated, chances are your website is not optimized for mobile devices. If your website fails to load properly for mobile devices, Google may not display your site in the search results. This can hurt your business greatly!
One of the primary tasks of website maintenance is backing up all of your website’s files. This can either be done manually or through automated services offered by your web hosting provider. Backing up your files is important because the last thing you want to have happen is to lose all of your website’s information. If this were to happen (due to a natural disaster or malware attack, for example) you would need to re-build your entire website from square one – and that would cost significant time and money. If your business website is a simple, informational one, backing up monthly is probably sufficient. However, if your website has more dynamic components such as an online store, or content and images that are constantly changing, then backing up more frequently may be critical.