The Bottom Line Value of Website Maintenance
There are few things as exciting as watching your brand-new website go live. But while clients like to talk with great enthusiasm about the “launch” of their new web presence, I’m not always fond of that term. That’s because putting a fresh layout online isn’t so much like sending a rocket into space as it is driving a car off the lot.
The difference? Both are big events, but one comes with the expectation of ongoing care and maintenance.
Just like a brand-new automobile, a newly-created business website needs ongoing care and attention to keep running in top condition. And just like a car or truck, it will eventually break down if you don’t give it regular maintenance and tune ups. When the inevitable happens, you won’t just be stuck by the side of the road – you’ll watch money start bleeding out of your business in a number of predictable ways.
To help you understand why ongoing website maintenance matters, I want to point out a few things you should be updating or examining on a regular basis…
New CMS Software
If your website is one of the millions that’s built on a content management system like Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress, then it’s very important to install the various version updates that are offered to you. That isn’t just because they come with small features and performance improvements (like better support for embedded videos or mobile devices). There are also security updates to be found in almost every new release.
Very often, when a business website gets hacked, it’s not because the criminals in question used a sophisticated set of techniques to break in. Instead, they used known openings in popular content management system platforms. If you don’t update your software (or work with a web designer who will do it for you), you’re essentially leaving the front door of your business open for online thieves.
Plugins and Add-Ons
It isn’t just your content management system that needs to be updated on a regular basis. The plugins and add-ons you have installed to increase the functionality of your website contain bits of code that can be compromised, as well. Without regular updates, they can be used to inject code into your website that redirects visitors or shares sensitive information.
It’s not uncommon for a business website to have nearly a dozen apps and plugins running at any given time. Keeping these up-to-date is good for compatibility (both with new versions of browsers and other plugins) while protecting a vulnerable part of your site.
Content and Links
Updating the content and links on your pages probably isn’t going to do a lot for cyber security, but it can give your business a boost. For one thing, Google loves to see websites with fresh and continually updated pages. And for another, it’s always a positive if you can present customers with accurate contact details, product descriptions, pricing, and locations.
Conversely, having outdated information in broken links on your website is a sign that you are doing a poor job of managing the details within your business at best. It undercuts your credibility and makes it harder for buyers to find what they’re looking for. Why not take a bit of time once every month or two to ensure your pages say what you want them to?
It doesn’t take a lot in terms of ongoing attention to keep your business website in good shape. Ignore the little bit of maintenance that is required, however, and you might find yourself facing down unexpected and expensive problems pretty quickly.
Why not work with a web design and Internet marketing partner who can help keep your business running smoothly, online and off? Contact the Mountain West team today to schedule a free consultation and see what we can do for you.
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