Why You Need a Website Care Plan to Protect Your Investment
What Is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance refers to the ongoing upkeep and monitoring of your website. With a maintenance plan, we regularly check your website for issues and mistakes that may keep it from appearing in search results or loading properly. Along with technical issues that may impact the performance of your site, we address potential security issues. Failing to update a WordPress plugin or using an outdated version of PHP may create a security vulnerability. A maintenance plan allows you to stop worrying about these issues so you can focus on running your business. Some of the steps taken to keep your site running 24/7 include:
- Secure website hosting
- 24/7 uptime monitoring
- Daily security scanning
- Software updates
- Monthly cloud backups
- Monthly maintenance reports
Server crashes, website hacks, and outdated scripts may keep you from reaching potential customers. If you want your website to remain secure and perform optimally, explore the main features of a website maintenance plan.
Secure Website Hosting
The performance of your website relies heavily on the hosting provider that you choose. Using the least expensive provider may save you money, but you are more likely to suffer from server downtime and slow-loading web pages. Inexpensive hosting providers may also lack the security needed to shield your site from malicious attacks. A secure web host helps you avoid security issues and performance issues. They maintain servers that are constantly monitored for malware and can reallocate resources to prevent downtime.
24/7 Uptime Monitoring
While using a dependable website host is a good first step in protecting against downtime, many other problems can also cause your website to go dark:
- Server failures
- Application errors
- Power outages
- Human errors
- Usage spikes
- Network outages
Most web hosts claim to offer 99.99% server uptime. Unfortunately, that 0.01% of downtime can still impact your business. Every minute that your website remains unavailable may result in lost sales or customers. If your website is down, users may choose to visit your competitor’s website. Uptime monitoring protects against these issues 24/7 and ensures a quicker recovery if they occur. The second a server fails or an application crashes, your maintenance team works to recover your website and minimize downtime.
Daily Security Scanning
Hackers attack websites for a variety of reasons, including obtaining sensitive information or intellectual property. They also target sites to host and deliver malware, allowing them to use resources from hacked computers to target larger organizations. Small businesses are increasingly becoming victims of cyberattacks. According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), a single hack can cost a small business an average of $500,000. Hackers tend to target smaller businesses as they are less likely to have the resources to deal with security threats. Using a secure web host increases your protection. However, you still need frequent monitoring to sniff out attacks and malware. Daily security scanning helps detect suspicious files, links, and emails that may potentially expose your website to hackers.
Most websites rely on a variety of software packages that work together to create what users see in their browsers. For example, if you use WordPress, your website depends on the WordPress platform and a variety of third-party plugins. If the WordPress installation or any of your plugins become outdated, your website may not work properly. Certain features may stop working or the entire website may fail to load. Along with keeping your website from working correctly, outdated software may leave your website vulnerable to cyberattacks. Many software updates are released to address specific vulnerabilities discovered by the developers. Without the update, hackers have an open door to attack your site. A maintenance plan keeps your entire website up-to-date, protecting against performance issues, and further reducing the risk of cyberattacks.
Monthly Cloud Backups
When a server crashes, you may lose access to your data, including your website files. Performing monthly cloud backups protects against data loss and makes it easier to recover your website after dealing with server or hosting issues. Backups also protect against human error. Everyone makes mistakes occasionally, including accidentally deleting an important file. A simple error may cause your website to stop working. With a backup, you can quickly recover the website to its original state.
Monthly Maintenance Reports
As with any service, you should receive a summary of the tasks performed. A monthly maintenance report gives you a breakdown of what you are paying for. This gives you a clearer view of the value of hiring a professional for website maintenance. Depending on the maintenance plan that you choose, the report may include a list of content changes, updates, and other actions that were completed to keep your site running smoothly. It may also include a summary of key analytics related to the performance of your website.
Update Your Content Frequently to Stay Relevant
Keeping the content on your website updated is an essential part of growing your online presence. Luckily, website maintenance plans often cover content changes, including minor edits and complete revisions. Frequent updates keep your website relevant, which is necessary for continued web traffic and effective SEO. Google and other search engines look at the age of the content when determining its relevance to specific search queries. Without updates, your search rankings are likely to sink. Even a minor change updates the timestamp for a web page, refreshing the age of your content. Common edits include:
- Changes to hours of operation
- Updates to services provided
- Changes to contact information
- New items on a food menu
Along with minor edits, you may consider generating entirely new content. Providing your visitors with helpful information can go a long way toward building trust. A typical local business, such as a dentist office or a chiropractor, may only need one to two hours of content changes per month. However, a growing company with a wide selection of services or products may require more frequent edits. The number of content changes that you can request each month will depend on the plan you choose. With the highest-tier, you receive unlimited content changes.
Keep Track of Your Growth with Website Analytics
The maintenance plan that you choose may provide access to website analytics, including Google Analytics. By placing tracking code in your web pages, you gain detailed stats on the performance of your site. Reviewing the analytics of your website allows you to analyze how people browse your site. You can track the increase in web traffic and determine which pages receive the most visitors, highest conversion rates, and lowest bounce rates. This information leads to a variety of advantages:
- Enhance user experience
- Improve your marketing
- Boost your search optimization
The insight that you gain from website analytics helps you create a better user experience. By analyzing the age, geographic location, gender, interests, and onsite behavior of your visitors, you can tailor your site to better fit their needs. You can also use analytical data to evaluate your marketing campaigns. Find out which ads or social media posts bring in the most traffic to focus your marketing on what works. Website analytics also allows you to review the search queries that users enter when finding your site. This information helps decide which keywords are most effective for boosting web traffic.
Receive Custom Marketing Strategies and Advice
Maintenance plans tend to focus on the health of your website. However, there are also solutions for accelerating your business and taking it to the next level. With a comprehensive website care plan, you receive one-on-one strategy sessions to review and develop your marketing efforts. A marketing expert can work with you to help you reach your specific goals. Receive advice on building brand identity, business automation, content development, and other areas of your business. Sessions may be completed in person, over the phone, or via Zoom to accommodate your schedule.
Now that you know what goes into website maintenance, how do you want to protect your site?
Choose the support plan that best matches your needs. If you just want to keep your website running, a basic plan has you covered. However, adding more content changes, website analytics, and custom marketing strategies can propel your business to greater success. No matter which option you choose, hiring a professional provides you with the peace of mind in knowing that your website is up and running 24/7. To continue reaching new customers, ensure that you have a maintenance plan in place.