Website Maintenance: What Is It And Why Should You Care?
Yes Deer website maintenance plans
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Website maintenance sounds like as much fun as a poke in the eye with a hot stick. But recently when a client came within an inch of losing their entire website, and their maintenance plan totally saved the day, I was compelled to write about proper website maintenance.

A lot of people don’t fully grasp the importance of a maintenance plan, because they simply don’t understand what is included (and what it helps them to avoid). Here I lay out the basics (with as little tech-jargon as possible) so you know what’s what.

 

What’s included

 

Security Measures

Maintenance plans usually include added security measures like regular scans for malware and keeping software/plugins up to date. This is to ensure the website doesn’t get hacked by a third party. Hackers weasel their way into the backend of a website via out of date software (eg. WordPress) and out of date plugins (eg. Contact Form 7). In fact, a recent report by Sucuri (one of the largest internet security firms in the world) stated that out of date plugins is now the most common way hackers get into WordPress websites. This is because when a plugin provider updates their plugin, they have to release a list of changes they’ve made to the old version. Including updates to security vulnerabilities… If you’re still on the old version, hackers have got a step by step guide to the weakest part of your site – and boom. They’re in.

 

Content Updates

Some maintenance plans include content updates. Websites that update their existing content regularly see a positive impact on their ranking results. Google can tell if your website is constantly providing valuable, up-to-date information for your visitor’s vs a static site that is no longer relevant. Irrelevant content does not show in google search results. Updating existing content improves your SEO in two key areas: authority (age) and relevancy (up to date).

 

Support

If your website stopped functioning correctly, you’d want a quick fix, right? Most maintenance plans cover the costs of making sure there’s staff on hand ready to help you out when there’s a web-mergency.

 

Data analysis

Successful businesses know their metrics and centre their marketing strategy around what works. Detailed reporting on what your visitors do when they land on your site goes a long way towards a businesses overall success.

 

 

Why Should You Care?

 

Time

If you know how to back up your site, safe update WordPress and Plugins, manage google analytics and monitor your own security then you absolutely can manage your own maintenance. But… a lot of small businesses have bigger fish to fry.

 

Reputation

Many businesses who suffer cyber attacks take months, if not years to rebuild their credibility among their customer base. When clients are spammed, subject to identify theft or credit card fraud, they tend to loose respect for your business pretty quickly.

 

Money

Business owners who get hacked are faced with some hefty costs to get their website back. Rebuilding your site to erase the damage is a lengthy and costly process that involves:

  • Password changes
  • Restoring from backup (if you have one. You have a backup, right?)
  • Re-creating your whole website (if you don’t)
  • Investigations to figure out how they got in
  • Fixing the vulnerability
  • The cost to your clients, if they have their identity or credit card details stolen.

With a solid website maintenance plan, you’re much less likely to be the victim of data loss or hacking. But trust me when I say, if the time ever comes where your website world does flash before your eyes, you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief when you’re able to pick up the phone and get someone onto the recovery process!

 

We offer website maintenance plans that cover all bases – to both existing Yes Deer clients and website is DIY-ers. You check out the website maintenance we offer here.

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