Introduction: Is Your Web Hygiene Lacking Website Maintenance?
Too many small and large businesses neglect their business’ primary brand assets. Your website is the digital front door of your business or organization. It should be given the attention that is given to your home or car.
Are you prepared for the consequences of not having a website maintenance services plan? Similar to personal assets, neglecting maintenance never ends well. In this article, we’ll explain why your company website is a dynamic entity that demands ongoing attention.
Like oil changes for a car, website maintenance services keep websites at their optimal condition for security, engagement, and credibility. Read on to uncover why and how to keep your digital doors as appealing and secure as possible.
You May Ask, How Long Does Website Maintenance Take?
The truth is, a little longer than an oil change.
Time Is Money: The Investment in Maintenance Revisited
First off, you might be scratching your head, asking, “How much time should I really dedicate to website maintenance?” While there’s no universal answer, consider this stat.
Businesses that update their sites at least once a week typically see a 13% increase in monthly site traffic ~ Hubspot1. So, a maintenance package investment can pay off immensely with greater visibility and customer engagement.
In concrete terms, small to medium-sized businesses can consider the following time allocations for effective maintenance:
- Content Updates: Around 2 hours per week to keep information current and to add new posts or pages.
- Security Checks: At least 1 hour per week for scanning for weak spots and applying security patches.
- Design Tweaks: 1-2 hours every other week to refresh visual elements. Additionally, ensure your website is in line with modern design standards.
- Performance Monitoring: Roughly 30 minutes per week to check loading speeds and make any necessary optimizations.
The Universality of Maintenance: Lessons from WordPress
Having dived deep into the WordPress universe, it’s important to circle back and understand that the core principles of website maintenance apply across the board. The meticulous care required for WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS, magnifies the imperatives for all website types.
Why Small Businesses Should Invest in WordPress Website Maintenance Services: Top Picks Unveiled
In the digital age, your website isn’t just a luxury; it’s now necessary for businesses in nearly all industries to remain competitive. WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, has made creating a robust, professional-looking site easier than ever. However, maintaining it is another story.
After a recent comprehensive review by WPBeginner, it’s evident that WordPress website maintenance services are not just a good-to-have but essential for small businesses.
The Need for Maintenance
If you’ve been running a self-hosted WordPress site, you know how daunting the maintenance tasks can be. There is always something to maintain backups, security checks, updates, and bug fixes. No doubt, keeping up with the condition of your website can affect your core business activities.
Fortunately, there are many options for professional website maintenance services for sites built on WordPress. These services will save time and provide expert-level services that can help you focus on growing your business.
Top Three Maintenance Services for Small Businesses
The list is exhaustive, but for small businesses focused on cost-efficiency and high-quality services, these three come out on top:
WP Buffs is a highly reliable option for the business owner who needs it all but has no time to spare. Starting at $79/month, they offer cloud backups, weekly website updates, and emergency support. One unique feature is their weekly .pdf reports that keep you in the loop on exactly what’s been done on your site. While malware removal is only included in their premium plan, their 24/7 support ensures your website is in capable hands.
Geared towards agencies and freelancers but equally efficient for single website owners, GoWP offers a basic maintenance plan at $39/month. It’s an affordable service that provides essential features like backups, updates, and malware clean-up. Their ” Visual Validator ” sets them apart,” which takes snapshots of your site after updates to ensure nothing goes wrong. For an individual managing a single website, their maintenance plan can take the hassle out of routine tasks within 8 hours.
Affordable and reliable, Maintainn offers their standard plan at $49/month, which is slightly more expensive than GoWP but brings along features like 24/7 security monitoring. Suppose your small business operates an eCommerce site. In that case, you might find their professional plan at $149/month useful, as it includes special support for online stores. Maintainn also comes with a weekly report, just like WP Buffs, so you can keep track of what’s happening on your site.
The Bottom Line
The time, energy, and expertise required to maintain a WordPress site should not be underestimated. With cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated and regular updates a must, it’s essential to consider a maintenance service. The goal is to offload tasks and ensure your website’s health, security, and efficiency, freeing up your time to run your business more effectively.
No matter your requirements, there is a service tailored to your needs. But for small businesses aiming to get the best bang for their buck without compromising on quality, WP Buffs, GoWP, and Maintainn come highly recommended.
The maintenance ecosystem is not one-size-fits-all. Different platforms and website types will have their unique needs and vulnerabilities. But the objectives remain consistent: efficiency, security, and growth.
Additionally, the benefit of outsourcing some web maintenance tasks is clear. Perhaps, most valuable is the time you regain to focus on what you do best—running your business.
The experts will handle the technical aspects of keeping your digital storefront regularly updated. You channel your energies into strategic growth and customer relations.
The Freshness Factor: The Perils of Stale Content
In the digital realm, content is your currency. Updated, engaging content is not just a nice-to-have; it is essential for customer retention and brand reputation.
What Does Website Maintenance Include for Content?
Here’s where website maintenance services come into play for your content:
- Regular Content Audits: These reviews pinpoint outdated material, ensuring your site stays ahead of the curve.
- Content Management Systems (CMS) Usage: A CMS is invaluable for effortless content updates, even for those who are not technically inclined
- Content Calendar Sync: Timing your updates with holidays, promotions, or industry trends can make your content resonate deeply with your customers.
Moreover, you can elevate your brand’s voice through other channels.
- Blogs and social media: Consistently posting articles and social updates is key to staying in sync with customer needs and trends.
- User-Generated Content: Inviting customers to share their experiences creates a community vibe and infuses your site with fresh perspectives.
- Professional Copywriting Services: Expertly crafted, SEO-optimized content specifically aimed at your target audience can give you a competitive edge.
The Aesthetics of Success: Why Design Matters
Your website’s design serves as a visual handshake with visitors. Therefore, it needs to be as polished and professional as you are.
How to Maintain a Website Design
When contemplating the look and feel of your website, consider:
- Regular Design Reviews: These audits help you identify which design elements are stale and need refreshing.
- Professional Design Services: Enlisting the experts ensures your design aligns with what is hot in the industry.
- Responsive Design: In a mobile-first world, a website that adapts to various screen sizes is no longer optional, it is a necessity.
And remember the power of user feedback! Your audience can be a treasure trove of actionable tips to make your site more user-friendly. Therefore, pay attention to their feedback.
The Significance of Security – A Healthy Byproduct of Maintenance
Ignoring website security is like leaving your physical store unlocked overnight. In a world where data breaches make headlines, you cannot afford to be lax.
What Does Website Maintenance Include for Security?
Key security elements in website maintenance services often include:
- Secure Hosting Platform: Choose a hosting provider renowned for their security features.
- SSL Certificates: These encrypt data transfers between your website and its visitors, which adds a layer of trust.
- Regular Security Audits and Updates: Initiative-taking monitoring can identify vulnerabilities, while timely updates can patch them up.
Additionally, integrating other layers of security can further solidify your website’s defenses:
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): This system requires multiple forms of verification, significantly reducing the chances of unauthorized access.
- Employee Training: Educating your team on best practices in password management and phishing threats creates a culture of security.
- Professional Security Services: These tailor-fit services incorporate the latest technology and methodologies to address your specific needs.
The Real-World Risks: Learn from Others
If you think security breaches are rare occurrences, think again. Rackspace, Equifax, and Kaseya are large companies who have suffered attacks that resulted in significant losses and eroded customer trust. Investing in robust website maintenance services saves potential future costs associated with data breaches and legal issues.
Outdated/Unpatched Web Software Casualties
- Rackspace – December 2022 – the cloud computing company suffered ransomware attack that caused millions of customers to lose access to their emails through Microsoft Exchange which used Rackspace
- Equifax – March of 2017 – lost personal data of nearly 150 million consumers
- Kaseya – July 2021 – the IT company suffered a ransomware attach that impacted 1500 of its corporate clients
- WooCommerce – 2021 – the eCommerce giant had outdated software that made five million websites’ data vulnerable to thieves
Conclusion: A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
To sum up, setting and forgetting your website is a risky business move. Whether it’s keeping your content up to date, modernizing your design, or bulletproofing your security, ongoing maintenance isn’t optional. For under-resourced small businesses, website maintenance services are a must.
Through this guide, we have tackled essential questions. You now know how much time maintenance takes, what it should cover, and how to go about it effectively. Hopefully, you are better equipped to make informed decisions to propel your business into digital success.
Do not let complacency set in. Invest in a website maintenance plan and give your business the fighting chance it deserves in this digital age. Cheers to a more secure and engaging online future for your business!