Why Website Maintenance Is Critical For Your Business Success
Why do you take your car to a mechanic? Why do you insure your home and business? Because you want your assets professionally maintained in tip top condition and you want to know you’re covered if anything does go wrong. You know you're better off leaving it to the specialists. The same applies to your website.
Your website is an investment in your business, not a cost! It’s a critical part of your brand, it generates leads, customers and revenue (or at least it should). It’s often the first channel through which customers, suppliers, potential new staff and partners will find you and engage with you. It’s fundamental to your ongoing success and you want peace of mind that it’ll be up and available for your audience 24/7 without problems, without interruptions, and looking fantastic!
For any business, a website attack can be devastating. It can range from your site being vandalized and all your hard work being destroyed to loss of visitors and revenue - and it’s more likely to happen than you think, with websites receiving, on average, 62 attack attempts every single day.
Cybercrime is Big Business – it’s quickly becoming more profitable than the illegal drug trade! So, more and more cybercriminals are actively looking to get in on the game!
Most cyberattacks are caused by malware which, as its name suggests, is software created for malicious purposes. The effects of malware are many and varied. It can:
• Slow your website or crash it completely
• Steal data or traffic
• Steal sensitive customer information, such as credit card details or phone numbers
• Cause your website to be blacklisted and removed from search engine results
And, the number one reason malware gets into your site? Unpatched plugins (52%), outdated core code (37%) and unpatched themes (11%)!
Despite the alarming stats, many business owners are still asking “Do I really need website security?” or “Is it worth the money?”.
Key Benefits of Website Maintenance
Your website – while it might be easy to edit – is a complex software application. And all software is vulnerable. Just like the operating system on your computer, it needs to be kept up to date for performance and security reasons. In WordPress websites, this means regularly updating the core software as well as any plugins and themes.
Most modern websites contain thousands of lines of code and depend on specific software that runs on your web hosting server. Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in code to exploit. A simple action to prevent this is keeping your web hosting server’s software and your website’s software updated with the latest patches and security releases.
But, if your site is compromised (and no one can guarantee this won’t happen), you also need to remove the virus, clean up the website and restore any data. This includes contacting search engines and browsers that have blacklisted you because of the virus.
The content on your website should keep visitors coming back for more. No one wants to see the same information week after week. So, if you’re not updating your website, what message is this sending to the world? That there’s nothing of value happening in your business or, worse, that you’re going out of business?
All search engines prefer sites that are fast, error free, well maintained and, most of all, they love finding fresh content. So, every time you update your site with relevant material, you’re giving them something new to index and rank you in search results.
It’s simple… don’t take chances! Every site should be backed up regularly in case something happens, and you need to rebuild or reinstate.
Take Advantage of New Features
Website technology is evolving fast, not least in the area of social media connections. But cybercriminals are also using social media as weapons of attack. Companies connected to three or more platforms are three times more likely to get infected, which is particularly concerning given almost all businesses use social media to connect, contact, and interact with their customers.
You will need to invest in securing your site with an SSL certificate that will encrypt communications to give customers peace of mind that their personal details are safe with you.
To improve visitor experience
Your website is a public reflection of you and your business. It will often be the first impression a prospect has of your business, given most will check out your website and social media sites before getting in touch. Does your website meet your visitor’s expectations? Routinely examine the look and feel of your site and update it to match your corporate image. Here are a few things that need to be monitored:
Page speed and broken links. This includes excessive site downtime, slow-loading pages and broken links. Through regular website maintenance, you can correct these before they become major issues.
Page not found errors (404 errors). A 404 error is returned when a browser or search engine goes looking for a page and can’t to find it. Not a good user experience!
Poor grammar and spelling mistakes. Find these and correct them before your visitors do!
Reaching people online has changed!
When websites were first introduced, the only devices users had to see your business online were clunky desktop computers. Then laptops were developed. Mobile browsing changed everything and usability on various screen sizes suddenly became the top priority. Each new advance creates a new set of hurdles.
It’s critical to invest in professional website performance and protection that keeps you and your business ahead of the curve.