How Website Maintenance Services Can Help You Scale Your Business

Website maintenance services are critical to your site's success. Why?

Well, have you ever seen a car that was left to sit unattended in a yard or driveway? Over time, it probably began to rust. The paint began to peel. The tires went flat. Eventually, it became undrivable because it had never been maintained.

Even cars that are used regularly fall apart more quickly if they never get oil changes, tire rotations, and other basic maintenance.

The same is true for a website. Like an unattended car, an unattended website starts to fall apart. At first, the problems are small: A link here or there breaks down. An image becomes outdated. The blog starts to look a little old. Over time, however, the problems become bigger: Error pages show up. The blog is weeks or months out of date. The website's graphics stop working.

This 404 or “Not Found” page is an example of what can happen when website maintenance isn't taken care of.

Why Is Website Maintenance Important?

In order to avoid these problems, website maintenance is essential. The right maintenance services can do more than simply keep your site up and running. They can also improve the overall experience on your site, and accommodate your company's growth. For example, the right web design company (like Distinct Web Design) can add pages and functionality as you earn more business, help you keep up with the latest design trends, and manage your content.

Website maintenance looks like an easy step to skip if your budget is tight. Why not just pay for the web design and then let the site run on its own until it starts to have problems? Isn't it cheaper to fix the problems than to prevent them in the first place?

It is thinking like that which has led to many website owners scrambling to repair downed web pages, facing lengthy downtime, and wondering why their sites are not bringing in more visitors. Just like a neglected car can lead to extensive and costly repairs, so does a neglected website lead to extensive and costly fixes, as well as long down times that cost you customers and money.

Here are just a few of the reasons that regular website maintenance is an important aspect of any successful website:

  • Website maintenance prevents expensive problems.
  • Website maintenance can improve your search engine optimization.
  • Website maintenance keeps your website updated and appealing.
  • Website maintenance maximizes the number of visitors your site can handle.

Website Maintenance Task Checklist

Below is a list of weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks that make up a solid and thorough web maintenance strategy.

Website Maintenance Cost Breakdown

There are a number of ways website maintenance costs might be broken down. Some of the most common ways to purchase website maintenance are as follows:

There are a number of ways website maintenance costs might be broken down. Some of the most common ways to purchase website maintenance are as follows:

Weekly Website Maintenance Tasks

1. Check Site Backups

In the worst case scenario of a website crash, you need to have your content and design backed up. Otherwise, you will lose everything on your site and need to start from scratch. In addition, you need to make sure that your site backups are working. Every week, double check your site backups to ensure that they are occurring on schedule, are being safely stored off site, and occasionally check that those backups work.

2. Check for Broken Links and Pages

Broken links and pages can discourage visitors from digging deeper into your website. As a result, you need to check for and repair these issues on a weekly basis. That way, you can catch problems before they lose you business and money.

3. Update at Least One Piece of Content

Whether you write a blog post, create a new landing page, or promote a new product, updating your content every week will keep your website fresh and relevant. Plus, fresh content is good for search engine optimization because it gives the search engines material to draw from when analyzing your web pages.

Monthly and Quarterly Website Maintenance Tasks

1. Streamline page load times.

Research has shown that a 1 second delay in page load times can lead to a 7 percent drop in conversions. There are many culprits that cause slow load times: Large images, cluttered coding, and more can all bog your pages down. If you want to improve the success of your website, you need to check your page load times and address any issues on a regular basis.

2. Check browser compatibility.

Your web design should show up properly on all of the major web browsers. By checking its browser compatibility regularly, you can catch any display problems before they lose you business.

3. Update web graphics.

Visitors want to see fresh graphics occasionally on your site. These graphics make your site look modern and up to date, plus they let visitors know that you care about your business and the impression you make on your customers. At least once every quarter update your graphics to reflect new trends, changes in your business, and customer preferences.

Yearly Website Maintenance Tasks

1. Review your web strategy.

As time passes, your business will grow and evolve. Your messaging might change. Your target audience might shift. The number of visitors you need to accommodate might change. Keeping up with these changes means regularly reviewing your web strategy with your web design company and then implementing any changes into your site. It's important to stay up todate with the current state of digital marketing trends.

2. Update the web design.

Web design trends change quickly. For example, within a single year, mobile responsive design moved from being optional to being necessary for most websites. By tweaking (or updating) your web design every year, you can incorporate any important new trends, scale your design for changes in website traffic, and keep your site running smoothly.

3. Evaluate your site for consistency.

Over time, your site might lose a little bit of consistency. New content might not quite match the old. New fonts might not be implemented throughout the entire site. New graphics on one page might not quite mesh with graphics on another page. An annual review of your site can help you to keep the consistent look you need.

What Do You Do If Your Website Has To Go Down For Maintenance?

Changing the oil in your car or having your vehicle tuned up requires time out of your day, and website maintenance sometimes means that your site has to go down for a certain amount of time. Here are some of the best ways to manage that downtime.

Website Under Maintenance Checklist

Publicize The Downtime

1. Inform Your Visitors

People who encounter your site while it is down are more likely to return if you let them know that the downtime is planned and that the site will be back up and running shortly.

2. Inform Search Engine Robots

Broken links and pages can discourage visitors from digging deeper into your website. As a result, you need to check for and repair these issues on a weekly basis. That way, you can catch problems before they lose you business and money.

3. Notify Users When The Site Is Back Online

Whether you write a blog post, create a new landing page, or promote a new product, updating your content every week will keep your website fresh and relevant. Plus, fresh content is good for search engine optimization because it gives the search engines material to draw from when analyzing your web pages.

Select A Low-Traffic Time

1. Check Your Analytics

If you want to know when might be a good time for your site to go down for maintenance, look at your analytics. They will tell you when the low traffic times are for your site so you can miss as few visitors as possible while maintenance is occurring.

2. Keep Your Downtime As Short As Possible.

No matter how careful you are to select the right time for maintenance, you risk losing visitors while your site is down. As a result, keep your downtime as short as possible in order to get your site up and accessible again quickly.

3. Minimize the amount of downtime needed.

Consider combining maintenance tasks, hiring web designers who have a proven record of efficiency, and creating a maintenance plan ahead of time. By doing so, you can minimize downtime for your site.

Publicize The End Of The Downtime

1. Include a time on all communications about the downtime.

Every time you discuss the downtime, mention when it will be over. That way, people know when to return to your site.

2. Stick with your promised ending time.

It is better not to mention when your downtime will be over than to give a planned end time and not stick to it. Make sure that your maintenance downtime is over when you said it would be.

3. Get the word out as soon as the downtime is over.

Just as you publicized your plan to conduct maintenance on your site, publicize the end of that downtime as soon as it occurs. From social media to emails, getting the word out will get people back to your site more quickly.

How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?

Website maintenance will cost you some money. Unless you want to take time away from managing your business to try to do all of the maintenance by yourself, you will need to hire a web design company to help you with keeping your site running smoothly. In addition, there may be other expenses, such as backing up your site, maintaining your domain name, and so forth.

However, the cost of maintaining your website will be far less over the long term than fixing problems as they arise. For example, a web design company’s services might cost you a monthly fee, but their support could save you tens of thousands of dollars in fees and lost business if your website crashes.

Website Maintenance Cost Breakdown

There are a number of ways website maintenance costs might be broken down. Some of the most common ways to purchase website maintenance are as follows:

There are a number of ways website maintenance costs might be broken down. Some of the most common ways to purchase website maintenance are as follows:

As Needed

You might be able to hire a company to do your website maintenance on an as-needed basis. This means that, instead of having a contract, you simply pay an hourly rate every time you need maintenance done. While convenient in that you do not have to pay every month, you run the risk of a) the company not being available when you need them and b) having problems crop up because you didn’t have anyone monitoring your site on a regular basis.

Hourly

Often, you can purchase a certain number of hours of maintenance a month. For example, you might be able to ask a company to spend 2-5 hours a month on your site, and pay $100 an hour for a total of $200-$500 dollars a month spent on website maintenance.

This system usually requires a contract and, therefore, a guarantee that you will spend a certain amount of money on website maintenance every month. However, it also guarantees that your site receives regular monitoring and updating. And, you can often get a discount off the hourly rate because you are committing to a certain number of hours every month.

Specialized Packages

You might also be able to pay an upfront amount every month that will include most of the basic maintenance your website needs. For example, you might pay $400 a month to have your website monitored and updated throughout the month.

This amount will cover specific maintenance tasks and/or maintenance for a certain number of pages. The more maintenance you want, and the larger your site, the more you will pay. However, these packages allow you to tailor the maintenance your site receives to your needs, and often allows you to receive a discounted rate off what you would pay on an as-need basis.

Do You Use WordPress? We Offer Outstanding WordPress Maintenance Services!

WordPress websites need maintenance just like every other site. However, when looking for a web design company to keep up your WordPress site, you want to hire somebody who understands WordPress. For example, someone who knows how to conduct updates of the software and plug ins and is familiar with the coding will do a better job for you than someone who has never looked at WordPress before.

If you need help maintaining your WordPress site, we here at Distinct Web Design can help. We build WordPress websites from the ground up, so we understand how they work and what they need to keep running smoothly. We can offer you expertise as well as competitive packages and pricing to make maintaining your WordPress website an easy and affordable experience. If you want to learn more about how we can help you streamline your website maintenance tasks, contact us today.{{cta(‘329ea1b1-1677-48e1-9809-8ec228b76b2a','justifycenter')}}

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