Website maintenance is something that can easily be put on the backburner – or worse – the too hard basket. While our sites are working and ticking along, it’s tempting to just let it be and not upset the apple cart.
But, whilst that could work for a while, the time bomb is ticking under the surface and it will explode at some point.
The importance of website maintenance can’t be underestimated.
Why do websites need regular maintenance?
Websites, especially WordPress sites, have a lot of moving parts that need to be regularly checked – just like a grease and oil change in your car. You take your car to be serviced every 6 – 12 months to make sure it’s running as it should. A service improves it’s fuel economy, cleans the moving parts and tops up the fluids to make sure it stays on the road.
The same needs to happen with your website, otherwise it will break down.
Your website will lack economy and become sluggish if it’s not serviced regularly – not to mention a security risk.
Preventative maintenance is key.
What Happens if I don’t service my website?
Failing to maintain your WordPress website could lead to a slow site, security vulnerabilities or even your site to crash completely.
Just like the car analogy, a website that is left to run on it’s own will lose economy and become slow. This will affect your SEO and overall user experience.
It will also mean features on your site will not work properly, because they have not been regularly updated and checked. This could lead to poor performance, lost revenue and even hackers.
Your website is your shopfront and as such needs to be treated as you would a bricks and mortar store. What’s under the hood is just as important as what you see on the front page.
What can I do to make sure my site is maintained?
- Check for updates on a regular basis – I would recommend at least weekly and complete any pending updates that are safe to do so.
- Conduct regular security checks – this tells you whether your site is at risk or has been infected with malware.
- Perform a speed test – Check your site’s page speed and optimisation to see how it rates.
- Look at the new WordPress feature “Site Health” in your admin area – a recent feature added in WordPress was a site health check. This will tell you if your php level is too low or if there are improvements that need to be made to your site.
- Have your site “sped up & optimised” annually – a routine speed up and clean up of your website can keep it all optimised and running cleanly while improving your overall page ranking score and boosting your site speed.
Website maintenance needs to be done on a regular basis – even more so than your car service! Theme, plugin and WordPress core updates will come through periodically and they need to be completed within a reasonable time frame. This will reduce vulnerabilities and ensure you’re running the most recent features.
Always check for plugin compatibility with WordPress before updating and have a recent back up just in case something goes awry.
What if I don’t have time?
That’s totally ok – you’re a business owner not a website guru! Website Management Services are readily available where web designers and developers will be able to take care of all your site maintenance for you. There’s usually varied packages to suit a range of budgets. You can generally opt for a basic website management package that takes care of the standard updates, security checks and performance checks or you can upgrade to packages that give you extra features like annual speed ups or technical fixes.
Ensuring your website is serviced and maintained on a regular basis is important for it’s overall health, performance and user experience.
With websites being such a big commodity and the backbone of many businesses, it’s important to invest in their wellbeing so they can be there 24/7 to showcase your business in the best light.