Maintaining a website is essential because there is a new update every other day. The website is the initial digital place where you interact with your customers. It’s essential that every brand, big or small, looks for website maintenance services to stay current with navigation, page design, relevant content, optimized keywords, and internal linking. Different companies offer website maintenance services, and website maintenance costs vary! It depends on how diverse the website is and how you plan your future strategies. Some brands start with redesigning their brand website, while others use the website maintenance services of good companies and use their monthly website maintenance packages. After reading this blog, you will have a clear answer about what website maintenance involves and how long it takes. Every individual needs to work carefully, focus on the basics first and then proceed with updates.
What is internet site maintenance, and how long does it last?As the name suggests, website maintenance is a continuous process of optimizing website performance. That includes updating the website design, fixing bugs and other crashes, optimizing the website speed, and other critical fixes. A website is not just about developing, designing, and deploying it on a server. Post-development maintenance and updating are essential for the practice to ensure continuous traffic growth and security. Moreover, regular maintenance plays an essential role in improving Google rankings and strengthening the SEO of the website. Given the market’s competitive nature, a well-maintained and up-to-date website is essential for both larger and smaller businesses. Websites that need to be maintained are riddled with errors that will most likely alienate their users. On the other hand, the overall health of a website is like your health: if you don’t check it regularly, it becomes vulnerable to potential damage, such as cyberattacks and malware. Keep in mind that Google takes hundreds of websites offline every day due to malware. Therefore, a well-maintained website is crucial for smooth operation. The answer to the question of how long it takes to maintain a website is quite simple! It depends entirely on the updates you make to your website. Sometimes it takes as little as half an hour, but other times it can take three to four days. The best way is to place the message “Website is being maintained” and inform your audience about the duration of the website maintenance. This way, your visitors will understand the maintenance time and stay on the website, which will have a negative impact.
Why you should prioritize the maintenance of your website?Continually maintaining your website is critical to achieving your overall business goals. Whether your website is newly launched or recently redesigned, there is always room for improvement. Maintaining your website will prevent reputation-damaging mistakes from being noticed and cause you to lose customers or potential customers if they have a negative experience with the site. Four reasons why you should make regular website maintenance a business priority:
➢ BrandingYour digital presence is essential to your business and contributes to your brand’s overall image. A well-functioning, user-friendly website is the first impression a potential customer will have of your business. A poorly maintained website with broken links, outdated information, and content that doesn’t meet your brand’s guidelines will likely send your customers back to search engine results pages and your competitors.
➢ Better SEOEvery business wants to rank at the top of Google. Factors like broken links, poor navigability, or flimsy content can negatively impact your page ranking. Fortunately, well-maintained websites have an added advantage regarding search engine rankings. If you quickly identify and fix SEO blockers, search engines won’t penalize your website.
➢ Eliminate conversion blockersA good user experience on your website helps you avoid losing customers but can also help convert potential customers and generate valuable revenue or sales. Something as trivial and easy to overlook as a single incorrect contact form or an unlisted phone number on a crucial page can cost you business. Regular maintenance ensures that your website always meets visitors’ expectations.
➢ Eliminate security vulnerabilitiesA regularly maintained website is a more secure website. Website maintenance goes a long way in preventing malicious attacks on your website through security vulnerabilities such as outdated scripts, unprotected plugins, or missing CMS patches and security versions. Avoid your business being targeted by hackers and making headlines for the wrong reasons by regularly checking your website’s security vulnerabilities.
How Do Websites Get Hacked?Up Before we go into detail about how to prevent your website from obtaining hacked, we should probably discuss what a hacked website looks like. While there is no set idea of what a hacked website looks like, there are patterns. And we should tell you now that if your website has been hacked, you will not doubt it, since something will certainly be very wrong. Here are some typical ways hacking presents itself:
RansomwareThe hacker threatens to publish your data and block access to your website unless a ransom is paid.
Gibberish HackYou will discover many automatically created pages filled with keywords and gibberish to make them rank on Google for keywords. When people click on them, they are rerouted to a questionable website.
Keywords Disguised As A HackAs above, but a bit more sophisticated at first glance, these pages look like the ones on your website because only the written content has been changed.
Japanese Keywords HackCreates random Japanese pages full of affiliate links to stores selling fake goods.
Malicious Code/VirusesIf a malicious code or a virus is infiltrated into your website, your website may stop working, or you will not be able to access it. It is also possible that all of your hardware may be impacted.
Denial Of Service (DoS)Hackers make use of bots to overload a website with requests and crash the server it resides.
PhishingScammers contact your customers pretending to be with your company and use your branding in hopes of obtaining personal details.
FROM THE EXPERTWe asked Krys Lambiase, elderly product marketing manager at Endurance International Group (EIG), the parent company of web hosting giant Bluehost HostGator, to share his insights on website security with our readers and us. In this guide, you’ll find quotes and tips from Krys but first, he reveals the most significant security risks for new internet sites
Outdated Software ApplicationWebsite owners require to stay on top of updates for WordPress and other CMS plugins and anything else that needs an update. In addition to taking care of bugs or glitches, software application updates usually include security enhancements or patches. Hackers are constantly looking for ways to capitalize on software vulnerabilities. Today, many cyberattacks are automated. Criminals use bots to scan vulnerable websites. So whether you are not up to date on software, it’s simple for hackers to determine your website prior you can do anything about it.” Now that you know what a hacked website looks like check out these seven ways to prevent your website from becoming one
Install SSLSetup SSL by buying a simple Secure Sockets Layer certificate is an essential first step.
- Use anti-malware software applications to scan for and prevent malicious attacks.
- Make your passwords unbreakable – 123456 is not enough!
- Maintain your website up to date – using outdated software is like leaving your back door open.
Move upOne of the easiest things to protect your website, yourself, and your users are installing a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. You may not know it, but you encounter SSL all the time when you surf the Internet. It is the reason for the “s” in “HTTPS” and the padlock in the address bar. Great to know what SSL means for Secure Sockets Layer. You set up an SSL certificate on your website that encrypts the data (such as login credentials) between your website and visitors. There are different levels of SSL – e-commerce sites that process payment data, for example, should use a more advanced version. Want to learn more? Learn more about what an SSL certificate is in our guide. SSL encrypts the information that is transferred between your website and your site visitors. Google currently warns visitors when they visit a website without SSL and even “discriminates” against these websites in its search results. SSL security is essential when accepting payments through your website, asking for credentials, or transferring files. Without it, the information is unprotected and unsafe for hackers. Krys Lambiase highlights the importance of SSL for website security – especially in online stores. “An SSL certificate is required on condition that you run an eCommerce store or collect visitor data such as emails on your website. This is where the importance of SSL becomes apparent. SSL certificates not only improve search engine optimization but also prove that all the data your visitors send to your website is transmitted over an encrypted channel, so hackers can’t view the data during transmission. You do not require to be intimate with the technical details of SSL security, so don’t worry if you don’t know how it works. The most important thing is that you know your website needs SSL and how to set it up. There are several ways to install SSL. We recommend the following three ways in particular:
Choose A High-Quality Website Builder That Includes SSL For FreeInstall a simple Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate yourself. Choose a hosting provider that offers SSL for free in all packages (if you build your site with a content management system like WordPress.org). If you desire a much higher level of security, you will have to pay for an advanced SSL certificate. These differ in price and can be purchased from hosting providers or domain registrars. Unless you run a large online store or handle large amounts of sensitive data, the accessible version of SSL is probably sufficient. For more details on how to get an SSL certificate for your website, check out our dedicated guide. In just easy steps, we’ll guide you through the entire process! Hacker attacks are the most common cause of data breaches on the Internet, accounting for 61.9% of lost data. Greater than 8 billion records have been lost due to hacker attacks.
Use Anti-Malware SoftwareThe good news is that anti-malware software does the hard work for you, so you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff. There are quite a few different anti-malware programs available. This means that you can tailor your security to the needs of your website and your budget. The security services offered include:
- Web scanning
- Malware detection and removal
- Firewall for web applications
- Vulnerability patching
- DDoS protection
- PCI compliance
- Free SSL
- Hack protection
- Automatic backups
- DDoS protection
Make Your Passwords UnbreakablePasswords go to the top. They’re so familiar to us that we sometimes forget how important they are. It’s easy to overlook the fact that your password is often all that stands between a hacker and your personal information. Passwords are an essential step and one of the easiest things you can change to increase the security of your website. Spend just 20 minutes today strengthening your passwords, and you’ll be on your way to a more secure website. Of small businesses surveyed said their company had been affected by an attack that misused employee passwords. The typical cost of each attack was just over $380 thousand! A survey conducted by the UK’s National Cyber Security Center analyzed the most commonly used passwords of accounts that have been attacked around the world. A list of the ten most frequently hacked passwords was then compiled if you use any one of the following passwords, you should change them (and change them now)!
- Combine three random, unrelated, but memorable phrases.
- Use a randomly generated sequence of characters.
- Don’t use recurring passwords – use a password manager to manage all passwords.
- Make your password long.
- Never utilize personal information in your password – that’s the first thing hackers will try!
Keep Your Website Up To DateTo the top, We are not talking about posting the latest gossip or keeping your visitors up to date on your latest product. This is about the imp of keeping your website software up to date. If you are using a website contractor, you don’t have to worry about this because most builders will handle software application updates and security issues for you. However, if you’re using a platform like WordPress, you’ll need to stay up-to-date and make updates as needed. You need to perform updates for your core WordPress software and any plugins you have installed. If you don’t, everything can become outdated and vulnerable to bugs, glitches, and, worst of all, hackers with malicious code. Fortunately is that you can automatically set these updates in your dashboard but it’s still worth keeping an eye on it and making sure everything is running smoothly. If your website is outdated, it can have dire security consequences. So it can’t hurt to keep an eye on updates.
Website Maintenance ChecklistWebsites today are never truly “finished” – they need constant maintenance to perform at their best. Many different elements contribute to the performance of a website, but some of the most important ones that need to be constantly monitored to present an excellent website are:
1. keep your CMS, scripts, plugins, and other CMS add-ons up to dateOutdated security patches and software are hackers’ best friends. To maintain a secure website, you must always use the latest version of your CMS. That will ensure that the latest security patches, plugins, and scripts are installed on your website promptly and prevent your website from becoming an easy target for cyber attacks.
2. Fix broken linksOne of the biggest obstacles to a positive customer experience is a broken link – especially on an entry page. Broken link finders spot dead ends on your site and help you fix them before visitors notice. Broken links disrupt the user journey and can negatively impact your SEO ranking, so it’s essential to identify them as soon as possible.
3. Eliminate links to unsafe domainsLinking to unsafe domains makes your website look untrustworthy, hurting your brand’s reputation. To ensure your visitors’ safety – and your own – you should track down unsafe domains and delete them from your website. That will prevent your visitors from being exposed to phishing, malware, or other unwanted software.
4. Improve your readabilityUsers read web content differently than printed content and will quickly leave your website if the content is too dense. For a visitor to engage and convert, your website must speak a language they can relate to. Readability checks can help you identify complex text to understand, reducing the risk of bounces.
5. Banish spelling errorsTypos and grammatical errors reflect poorly on your business and can cause your bounce rate to skyrocket. Spotting and correcting spelling errors will ensure that your website (and brand) always look professional and credible.
7. Refresh your contentYour website should always be dynamic. Outdated content reflects poorly on your business and leads to a negative user experience. Website maintenance detects outdated or irrelevant content so it can be easily replaced or refreshed with pertinent, up-to-date information that meets visitors’ expectations. In addition, search engines prefer fresh content: The more often you update your content, the better your rankings will be.
8. Check for SEO obstaclesEvery page of your website should be indexable by search engines and comply with SEO guidelines. Regular website maintenance will ensure that your new and old pages align with ever-evolving organic search best practices and algorithm changes and are increasing search results.
9. Speed up your websiteA fast website is a must. Most visitors abandon a website after just a few seconds of loading time. Moreover, page loading speed is essential for search engine ranking – Google directs traffic to websites that offer a fast mobile browsing experience. If your website needs to be faster, it will affect your bottom line. Meet your visitors’ expectations by ensuring your site is interactive within five seconds. Use a performance monitoring tool to monitor and track your progress toward this goal.
Website maintenance services – a detailed analysisOne of the biggest threats to websites that are poorly maintained is security. Malware on a website can cause irreparable damage, and in the worst cases, such websites can even be taken offline. However, not only is your website at risk, but a malware-infested website also poses a potential danger to visitors. A website maintenance company checks the website and suggests appropriate changes and updates. Whether it’s a simple or complex website, you must take a hard look at the complexities involved and develop website maintenance plans that are beneficial for websites. Here is a short list of tasks to include in your website maintenance services for a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly cycle.
1. Website maintenance to be done weeklyA website maintenance company should ideally complete the following tasks in a week:
- Check that all pages on your website are loading smoothly and without errors. Fix any problems that may arise.
- Back up your website data to ensure you have saved your previous version of the website in case there are any significant issues.
- Update the core of your website and software. Also, update plugins to take advantage of the latest features and security protocols.
- Delete spam comments from your website’s pages and blogs. You can use spam tools for this purpose.
- Check if all the forms on your websites are working correctly and without any problems, especially after updating the forms.
- Check if there are links on the pages of your website that need to be fixed. If so, remove them or redirect traffic to up-to-date pages.
- Scan the pages of your website for 404 errors. Fix these errors or redirect them.
- Update your existing content or write blog posts to increase traffic to your site and engage your audience.
2. Monthly website maintenanceA website maintenance company should ideally cover the following tasks in a month:
- Check the loading speed of your website pages. Look for things that are slowing them down.
- Your website can generate tons of cached data. Removing this data can significantly improve the overall speed of your website.
- Run a security scan on your website to locate any potential security threats. If you find anything unusual, take action immediately.
- Analyze the previous month’s statistics on your website.
- The more content you publish on your website, the better it is for increasing traffic.
- Therefore, check if there are blog posts that you can update.
3. Website maintenance is to be done quarterlyA website maintenance company should do the following tasks every quarter:
- Carefully review the structure and design of your website to see if there is anything you can improve.
- If the site’s design and structure need too much work, consider revamping your site.
- Test all the forms, CTAs (calls-to-action), and popups on your website. Ensure that these customer-facing elements are responsive and don’t crash during the interaction.
- Check that you can update all graphics and images on your website.
- Try to optimize images and videos on your website to improve loading speeds.
- Test your website on all devices and popular browsers to see if everything displays as designed.
- Improve your search engine optimization and check if the meta titles and descriptions are still as effective. If not, update them.
- Take a look at your advertising and marketing campaigns. Make necessary improvements and updates.
- Thoroughly review your workload. That will help you figure out if there are processes you can automate.
- Check the state of your backup by restoring the previous version of your website.
4. website maintenance to be performed annuallyA website maintenance company should perform the following tasks annually:
- Update all references on your website pages to the current year.
- Check each page of your website for grammatical problems, irrelevance, or typos. If there are problems, fix them.
- Make sure your website’s domain name has been renewed.
- If any website design updates are due, have them done.
- Check the active email addresses to see if there is an excess of unnecessary data that could be deleted.
- Please review the most popular blog articles on your site and update them with new and fresh content.
A website maintenance plan is a never-ending processAs new tools are introduced daily to make website development more convenient, more and more websites are being created. Even though creating websites with many pages has become more accessible, keeping each page in a pristine condition is still difficult. You must pay attention to regular website maintenance and updates to protect your website. As mentioned earlier, regular website maintenance is an integral part of your business that grows independently. Therefore, you must take care of your website maintenance.
Why is regular maintenance necessary for your website?Startups with new websites usually have an excess of things to take care of and work on. With so much to do, website maintenance, an important task, should be addressed. That has several disadvantages. Here are some reasons why maintaining a healthy and active website is essential for your business.
➢ Search Engine Optimization (SEO)SEO services allow users to be ranked via the SERPs. The reason brands and businesses create websites in the first place is to attract more potential customers and viewers. You will lose your audience if your website is not regularly updated with fresh content. That is because Google ranks the websites with the most relevant and up-to-date content in its search results. Even worse, if your website’s content is not updated for an extended period, there is a risk that Google will remove your website from the index altogether. Therefore, it is essential to regularly update your website with fresh content, keywords, and news to strengthen your SEO and drive more visitors.
➢ Maintaining customer attractionRetaining customers is just as important as driving traffic to your website. If the existing audience can’t find what they’re looking for on your website, i.e., up-to-date information and news, there’s a good chance they’ll migrate to other websites to satisfy their needs. To maintain your site’s appeal, keep your site’s content free of typos and grammatical errors and update it regularly with the latest information.
➢ Security from cyber attacks and malwareSecurity from malware and cyberattacks is the most important reason why regular maintenance of your website should be your priority. Web server security is fundamental because hackers always look for a way to invade privacy. If your website is vulnerable to security threats, you are putting your website at risk and putting valuable customer data at risk that could be used for unethical purposes. Especially websites built on platforms like WordPress are at a higher risk of security threats. It is essential to update WordPress plugins regularly as they are the main reason WordPress websites attract hackers. Google takes down hundreds of websites daily due to malware infections, and you certainly don’t want yours to be one of them. Therefore, you must maintain and update your website regularly to protect it from security threats.
➢ The corporate image of your brandSaas websites are one of the most widespread trends that allow users to get money from the audience organically. Creating websites with well-designed structures and user interfaces has become easier than ever, so people’s expectations of professional websites from professional brands have increased. If your website doesn’t offer a professional look and feel, you’re technically scaring away your potential customers. Besides, no one likes a website full of bugs, errors, and slow loading times. Customers usually look for Saas’s websites to generate revenue for the brand. On the other hand, if your website loads faster and has no errors, you will likely retain most of your potential customers and attract more audience. Therefore, regular website maintenance has a significant impact on your business image.
➢ Keeping up with the latest design and technology trendsIf you maintain your website regularly, you’ll likely be an early adopter of the latest technology trends for your website. These trends can help the backend of your website run more smoothly. If you update it regularly, you can also take advantage of the latest features available with the updates. On the other hand, optimize the design of your website to make it look sleek. The better designed your website is, the more likely you are to convince your audience that you are the first choice.
➢ Your peace of mindWebsite maintenance can make the difference between success and failure for your business. A website that needs to catch up on maintenance can severely damage your brand reputation or, even worse, cost you a lot of money to get it back up to snuff. In contrast, an up-to-date, well-functioning website without bugs and errors can be valuable. It will compensate you with a higher ROI and peace of mind.
Advantages of outsourcing website maintenance servicesNow that you know how much it would cost to maintain a website, you should do it yourself. Even though you can handle these tasks yourself, the process is time-consuming and requires professional expertise. Here are some benefits of outsourcing your website maintenance services.
- As mentioned earlier, website maintenance requires professional expertise. Hiring an agency means that qualified professionals will be working on your websites.
- Since the professionals will be responsible for the maintenance of your website, you will be able to use your time for your business.
- The maintenance package you choose will be based on the needs of your website. You only pay for the services you utilize, which makes this option very cost-effective.
How to determine if you should buy maintenance packages for your websiteTo determine if you require a website maintenance package, focus on the following critical elements.
- Complexity or size of the website
- The goal of the website
- Amount of customized content
- Scalability and growth potential of the business
- The expertise of business owners in website maintenance
- Relevance to the competition
- The time you can spend on maintenance