Why You Should Budget for a Website Maintenance Plan
In 2021 there are very few businesses if any that can survive without having a website. Having a website is having a full-time salesperson for your business. Whether you hired a developer to build your website or you did it yourself, at some point, you will need to update your website. Maybe your business is growing and you need to add new staff or new services. You will probably need someone to help you make those changes, especially as your business gets busier and you don’t have time to try to figure it out yourself. You will soon discover that you will need to have a monthly website maintenance plan in place.
A Monthly Maintenance Plan to Help with Website Updates: Good Idea or a Waste of Money?
There is a good chance that your website has been built using WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms because of its large community of developers, ease of use, and customization. Not to mention it’s a free platform. However, with all these benefits comes some maintenance. WordPress usually releases updates on a monthly basis and therefore your website will need to be updated to stay current and running smoothly. Updates usually come with security enhancements and new or improved features. Often times, when the update button is pressed, WordPress updates occur without any issues. However, from time to time, updating to the latest version causes incompatibility issues with the plugins you have installed. Plugins are what make your website function and work the way it does. As new versions of WordPress are released monthly, plugin developers need to keep up by updating their software to avoid any compatibility issues. Having outdated plugins could lead to security issues, bugs, and potentially lead you to be a victim of a malware attack which could take down your site indefinitely. Having a maintenance plan in place with an experienced developer should be an essential part of your website marketing strategy and budget. An experienced developer can monitor your website monthly, troubleshoot issues as they come up, and would be able to fix issues with minimal downtime.
What about Malware and Other Security Issues?
Malware and other security issues should be considered as a top priority. Your website is your 24-hour-a-day billboard and lead generation tool. You can’t afford to have your website down for days at a time because of a security breach leading to malware being installed. Without proper security, backups, and a website company that is equipped to handle a malware attack or security breach, you could face weeks of downtime and lost revenue, and still be faced with the cost of cleaning and removing the malware from your site. Having a company on your side to help maintain your website, and to make sure it’s as secure as possible, will give you peace of mind in the long run.
What Should I Consider in Choosing a Website Maintenance Provider?
When hiring a company to maintain your website, keep these tips in mind before you sign a contract.
- Make sure they have experience with whatever platform your website is running. Whether it is WordPress or something else, the developers need to know how to fix and maintain it.
- Are they outsourcing your work? If this happens, you might not know who is actually working on your website and they could be causing additional problems.
- Find out if they do an audit of your website to benchmark where your website stands before they start working with it.
- Do they have a plan in place if something does go wrong or if it takes longer than hoped to troubleshoot and solve the issue?
- How are they monitoring the uptime of your website? Do they get notifications when there is an issue or do they wait until you say something, or worse yet, your clients inform you that there is an issue?
- Do they craft reports every month to show you how well your website is functioning, what issues occurred the previous month and how they fixed them, and what recommendations they have going forward?
Having a website maintenance plan in place is critical to keeping your site up and running. Working with a company that can maintain your website is essential. Similar to a car or home insurance, when something does happen, you will be glad that an experienced developer is there taking care of your website.
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