Your new website has been designed, content and images have been added and it’s now online for the world to view.
At this point you may think the occasional update or addition of some new content is all that needs to be done to keep your site maintained. The reality is, once your site goes live regular work is required to help prevent site outages.
Some of the key factors essential to maintaining a healthy website are maintenance, backups, website monitoring and security.
Website maintenance is often confused with website updates, such as making text or design changes. Maintenance however deals with the technical aspects of a website such as updating plugins, themes, and core site files.
Many companies opt out of site maintenance plans figuring they’ll make the updates themselves. The reality is, they don’t. This may be due to lack of know-how, a misunderstanding of the importance of keeping the site up-to-date, lack of time, or a fear that something may break after running an update.
While they are all good reasons for an inexperienced user to not perform updates, not doing so can lead to a site being hacked or your site going offline.
How much is your website worth to your business, and what would it cost to rebuild? Adding up the costs involved for initial site design, hours spent creating content, sourcing images and time spent updating your site since it’s been live, will give you a good idea of the value of your site.
Having a backup of your website is insurance that your site can be quickly restored should a web disaster strike. While your host may keep daily site backups, they do not guarantee them. It’s up to the site owner to ensure they have a copy of their website stored off site.
Often businesses don’t notice their site is down until they have problems receiving email, or someone calls to inform them of the site outage.
If your site is regularly monitored, your web master will be alerted as soon as the site goes down, allowing them to easily narrow down what caused the outage and quickly resolve the issue.
“I’m not a big corporation, why would someone want to hack my site?”
This is a sentiment many small business owners have, believing that as they don’t have any sensitive information on their site they’re not a target for hackers.
In reality hackers aren’t always interested in stealing credit card or personal information, sometimes they do it simply because they can.
Making changes to your default backend website settings can prevent the most basic types of hacks. If you don’t have the technical know-how to get your site back up and running again, the cost of hiring someone to dig around and find the underlying issue will usually outweigh the cost of monthly maintenance.
If keeping your site online is important to your business, it’s best to leave site maintenance to the experts, allowing you to focus on business without worrying about the technical aspects of your site.