A website maintenance plan is crucial for your business! Website maintenance refers to the tasks required to keep your website functioning properly and up to date. It involves regularly checking your website for issues, correcting any issues, and making updates.
Reasons Why You Need A Website Maintenance Plan
1. The majority of customers conduct online research
Before making a purchase online, 87% of people conduct online research. People that are considering buying a product from you will likely end up on your website.
If your website gives them a negative impression of your company, they’ll likely continue their research on a competitor’s site, and you could miss out on a sale.
2. Your website informs users’ first impressions
If your website doesn’t work properly or looks outdated, customers will often click away. It will set a negative first impression of your business. If your website looks unprofessional, customers may think that your business is too.
3. Your website helps grow your sales
Your website plays a crucial role in guiding users toward making a purchase. In the case of e-commerce sites, your site facilitates purchases. If your site doesn’t work properly, you’ll miss out on potential sales.
4. Site visitors value user experience
Among consumers who have a poor user experience on a site, 89% will shop with a competitor instead. Regular maintenance prevents these poor user experiences and encourages potential customers to stay on your site, increasing your chances of making a sale.
5. A website maintenance plan improves security
Cyber attacks cost U.S. companies £15.4 million per year. Repairing the damage caused by cyberattacks is often costly, plus you may lose customers who no longer trust your company with their personal information.
Regular maintenance helps protect your site from cyber threats by keeping your security systems up to date. When you maintain your security protections, customers will feel more comfortable making purchases on your site.
6. Website maintenance supports your SEO strategy
If users frequently leave your website shortly after arriving on it, Google may view this as a sign that your site isn’t relevant. This increase in bounce rate can lead to lower rankings in search results, which means you’ll drive less traffic to your site.
Persistent technical issues, security issues, and outdated website design, structure, or content all contribute to diminishing your search engine rankings.
Website maintenance cost?
Website maintenance costs may vary depending on the type of site. Here are a few examples of potential website maintenance costs for various types of websites:
- A personal website will have low maintenance costs, typically from $5 to $25 per month
- Small business website maintenance may cost up to $100 per month
- A corporate website may have maintenance costs of $200 to $3500
- E-commerce website maintenance costs may range from $1500 to $2500
Additional website maintenance costs
Some website maintenance costs to keep in mind include:
1. Domain name renewal
When you created your website, you purchased a domain name, which is your website’s address. For example, Google’s domain name is google.com.
You might pay for your domain name on a monthly or yearly basis. Domain names typically cost from $0.80 to $1 per month or $2 to $20 per year.
While a domain name typically isn’t too expensive, it’s essential to keep up with the payments so that someone else doesn’t buy your domain name.
2. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate
You’ll also want to ensure that your website has an SSL certificate, which helps keep your site secure. An SSL certificate enables your site to receive and transfer sensitive information securely.
Sites that have an active SSL certificate have HTTPS, instead of HTTP, in their URL. They also have a padlock image next to the URL in many browsers.
Sometimes you can get an SSL certificate for free if you’re using a hosting website, but generally, you’ll pay for an SSL certificate. SSL certificates typically include features, such as higher encryption rates, which can be beneficial for businesses. Their costs range from $0.80 to $125 per month or $10 to $1500 per year.
Be sure to keep up with your SSL payments so that your certificate stays active and your site stays secure.
3. Website hosting
Website hosting is another website maintenance cost to consider. You can either host your website yourself or hire a hosting provider.
When it comes to website hosting providers, you have several options.
- With a shared host, your website shares a server with several other websites. It’s the least expensive option at $24 to $120 per year.
- Website builders like WordPress and Wix are user-friendly and cost between $60 and $180 per year.
- If you choose a virtual private server (VPS), you still share a server with other sites. However, the provider divides the server up into several VPSs, giving your site a dedicated amount of server space. VPSs cost $240 to $600 per year.
- With a dedicated server, you get full access to your own server. This option costs between $1200 and $24,000 per year.
Long gone are days when creating a website was just a matter of development and deploying it on a server. All you had to do was pay thousands of dollars to get your website built and wait for the leads – No extra attention and maintenance was required. However, things are pretty different as post-development maintenance is equally essential as the development cycle.
This is mainly due to the skyrocketing competition of the online market and bombardment of small business websites. Today, you need to stand out among the tough competition to make your brand and business site successful. Moreover, websites today are prone to cyber-attacks and hackings than before; therefore, staying on top of your website maintenance game is a must.
What Includes on Your Website Maintenance Plan
1. Latest Security Updates
Security is one of the primary reasons you need to stay on top of your Website maintenance plan. Hundreds of WordPress sites are taken down by Google every week due to malware attacks. Security updates are an essential part of a website maintenance plan that ensures that your business site is constantly updated with the latest security protocols.
2. Thorough Testing
Ensuring that each process of your site works seamlessly is quite essential. The main reason behind this is if your site functions like payment gateways, contact forms, CTA buttons, etc., don’t work like they’re supposed to, your website would face a hit in terms of traffic and bounce-off rates. But, that’s not all; your sales and revenue would be affected as well.
A website maintenance plan includes regular reviews and testing of your site’s functionalities and interactive buttons to ensure its smooth and seamless working.
Optimisation is an essential aspect of today’s throat-cutting competition. No matter if you have world-class design and top-notch content on your website, if it’s not optimised as per the SEO standards, your position in the Google SERPs would gradually decline, and you’d notice a decline in leads as well. It’s that simple; if you’re not visible to your prospects, you’re not going to make any sales. Therefore, SEO is an important part of a website maintenance plan to ensure that your site is continuously optimised as Google’s suggested criteria and is always visible to your target audience.
4. Site Backups
Having a backup of your business site is most important. This is because even a minor bug may cause your website to crash. Worst of all, a website is always at risk of losing data. In that case, if you don’t have site backups, you won’t be able to retrieve your data, and your website would be gone for good. Therefore, regular site backups are included in the website maintenance plan to ensure that you don’t face such disasters.
5. Performance Optimisation
Website performance plays a vital role in making a website successful since it is an essential part of its UX. For example, the ideal loading speed of a website is 3-5 seconds. If your website takes more than that to load, your audience will start looking for better alternatives, and you’ll see a spike in bounce-off rates. Therefore, website maintenance plans include speed optimisation to ensure the robust performance of your website.
Scheduled Database Maintenance
This functionality will clean up your database once a week to keep it small and optimised by performing the following tasks:
- Perform Database Optimisation for MyISAM tables
- Delete all automatically created posts and page drafts
- Delete all pages and post revisions
- Delete all posts and pages in your Trash
- Delete all comments marked as Spam
- Delete all expired Transients
While there are multiple reasons why you need to consider a website maintenance plan, these were five essential ones that you must know. Also, it is worth remembering that you must stay on top of your website maintenance game, or your competition would leave you down in the dust.
What does website maintenance include?
So, how do you do website maintenance? Here are some of the most important tasks involved in website maintenance.
Testing your whole website annually:
Test your whole website at least once a year and after making updates. Check that all features work, look for broken links, and watch for outdated or incorrect information. Bring in someone not associated with your company to get a fresh perspective on your site’s usability.
Testing browser compatibility:
Test whether your website works correctly in several versions of mainstream browsers at least once a year.
Testing your forms and checkout process quarterly:
At least once a quarter, make sure all your forms and your checkout process are working properly.
Checking for software updates monthly:
Check for software updates from your hosting provider, security provider, and other third parties monthly. These updates help ensure proper functionality and security. Even better, install patches as they’re released, if possible.
Backing up your website:
Backing up your website can save you from losing a huge amount of time and money if something goes wrong with your site. If you have an automatic backup feature, check that it’s working each month. If you don’t have automatic backups, complete a manual backup at least once a month.
- Reviewing key metrics weekly:
Using tools like Google Analytics, review your website’s performance at least once a week. Check your key performance indicators (KPIs)and make sure your site is helping you meet your goals. If it’s not, make updates and check whether they improve your site’s performance the next time you review your key metrics.
This website maintenance services list includes the most essential website maintenance tasks, but it isn’t a comprehensive list of all the maintenance work you can complete.
You may choose to create a more extensive website maintenance plan or work with a professional website maintenance company to meet your goals.
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