I considered just writing “Yes” and leaving it at that, however I have come to understand that there are a handful of questions that are always asked when it comes to discussing website maintenance with new website owners. Check out the most common questions below and let us know if you have any additional questions!
Do I really need website maintenance?
This is the most asked question when it comes to site maintenance. I believe it’s because web maintenance isn’t discussed very much and when it is finally discussed at the end of a project most clients equate it to the guy at Best Buy asking if you want to buy the extended warranty, which as we all know you always say no.
However the reality is that website maintenance is much more like car maintenance. Sure you could run your car probably for several years without maintenance, but at some point you are going to have a catastrophic failure that may or may not be fixable. The same goes for your website.
The focus of good site maintenance is three-fold and all parts of it work together:
Keeping a website up to date with the latest versions of plugins, CMS, themes, and PHP, along with regular scans and backups of your site drives all of these at once and helps you identify any potential issues or changes needed as your site ages and develops.
I don’t want to pay for maintenance
This is perfectly understandable especially after dropping some serious change on a custom built website. However electing to opt out of maintenance or do it yourself can result in more costly rebuild down the road and seriously hurt your SEO page rank. You also are risking losing customers as well if they are turned off by unsecure pages or missing elements from your website. If budget is a concern, consult with your maintenance provider to discuss areas of focus for monthly maintenance – we’d be happy to help you!
Can I just do yearly maintenance
Yearly website maintenance is way too long of a gap between update periods. Cores, themes, and plugins all typically have at least one major update each month with a that needs to be installed and tested for compatibility. If you leave that for 12 months then you’re essentially crossing your fingers and hoping that the core, theme, plugin, etc that your developer chose to build your site is all going to work together smoothly one year later and there will be no issues.
Getting involved in maintenance for a website that hasn’t been touched in a year or more needs to be handled carefully. There could be a lot development work required to ensure that the site will not break once updates are put into place and defining a critical path for updates will need to be done. If you find yourself in this scenario and need some advice, feel free to contact us and we can help you navigate it.
For the cost of maintenance I can just build a new site every few years
The answer to this is yes and no. While the dollar amounts may equate to the original website build, there is so much more that goes into it than just that. Establishing webpages with backlinks, defining a url structure, indexing your website and pages, and optimizing content and tags on each page are just a few of the pieces that go into a website design and SEO. Rebuilding all of that every few years because you don’t want to do regular maintenance is a poor choice and will set you back if establishing an online presence is the goal of your business. This ultimately means less traffic, lower page ranks, and fewer customers.
Can you do maintenance on the site if you did not develop it?
Absolutely! We have several clients that we do website maintenance for who had their websites developed by other companies. You just need to have access to your login information as well as hosting information for us to be able to start working with you.