What is website maintenance?
In short, website maintenance is everything that is involved in keeping your website up to date and making sure that everything on your site is working as it should. How in depth this is can vary depending on the site but generally maintenance can include:
- Updating or adding content to the site regularly
- Regular backups in case anything happens your site
- Fixing any broken links or features that may happen with updates
Why do I need a maintenance plan?
Like a car, in order for your website to stay in good working order it needs to be maintained regularly so you can avoid it letting you down when you might need it most or to avoid a big bill to fix something down the line that some basic maintenance could have avoided. As well as this, depending on the site it can take quite a long time to make changes / updates to a site and test that everything is still working as intended. Having a maintenance plan in place can help free up your time so you can spend it focusing on your business.
What should be taken care of if I get a maintenance plan?
Steps to take care of proper technical things like technical SEO settings and accessibility considerations should be done during the initial site development process however the following are the main things that need to be taken care of on an ongoing basis:
- Plugin / Theme Updates
If your site is on WordPress you can be sure that there will be regular updates released for not only WordPress itself, but also any plugins you may have used to build or provide functionality on your site. These can update fairly regularly and if left to automatically update can break your site. Though everything may look fine at a glance, maybe the menu stops being clickable on mobile so half your visitors can’t browse, or maybe the checkout button isn’t working and your customers can’t buy anything from your site. That’s why as part of a maintenance plan it’s vital to test any updates before they are rolled out to your site to avoid any potential breaking changes to your sites functionality, impacting your business.
- Security Updates
As well as regular functionality updates, the nature of the internet means that there is always a need to be vigilant about the security of your site also. As well as making sure your hosting is secure there can be vulnerabilities discovered in any themes or plugins used on your site. Making sure that that your site is updated once any vulnerability has been discovered is vital to keeping your site healthy and functional and help reduce any potential hacks or unauthorised access to your site
- Updating Content
It is important that the information that you provide to your customers on your site is up to date so it is good practice to regularly review this. If you have a blog on your site it can be very helpful to review content to see if it is still up to date and accurate information to provide more value to your customers. As well as add new articles and content to your site. If you run an e-commerce website you may regularly need to add/remove products, change product images or descriptions as well as pricing. Having a website maintenance plan that incorporates content changes can save you a huge amount of time in your business.
- Backups & Recovery
Having a schedule of regular backups is an important consideration for your site should anything go wrong. If you are regularly taking backups and something happens to your site you can minimise the amount of downtime in the event of your site being corrupted or a hasty update that breaks your site.
- Uptime Monitoring
Monitoring your site after launch is a good idea to make sure that your site is always available to inform or sell to your customers. Having uptime monitoring as part of your website maintenance plan can immediately alert you if your website is unavailable for any reason so that steps can quickly be taken to get the site back up and running.
Need a maintenance plan for your site?
At Blackfort Digital we can take care of your website maintenance needs and make sure that your site is fast, secure and always up to date. If you need any more information in relation to website maintenance or would like to discuss your maintenance needs don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to assist you.