Make Sure Your Website Continues to Work for You

The Case for Website Care Plans

Yippee! Your website has launched, you’ve told all your customers, and you’re even attracting new business. Do you think, “Whew, finally! Now that’s finished… I’ll check in again in a couple of years to see if it looks out of date?” I sure hope not – you won’t get the results you want if you just set it and forget it. Get ready to do a little maintenance on your site.

What could happen to your site?

Well, did you know your website is a collection of software components and custom developed code, and all the files that make up your site sit on servers that are usually out of your control? Software updates, server vulnerabilities, and outright hacker attacks can all impact your site. Someone needs to be keeping an eye on it.

Now, I’m sure you’ve visited sites with images that don’t show up properly, or links that send you nowhere. You don’t want that to be your site – it undermines your credibility and just looks bad. Your content can get stale and even out of date easily. Small changes over time to your business or industry add up and before long, your original content doesn’t reflect your current business.

The worst-case scenario is that your site is hacked. You could end up selling questionable pharmaceutical products on your site without your knowledge. Client information could be stolen, or your site could be hijacked completely.

How could website maintenance prevent trouble?

At a minimum, you should be backing up your website. If you ever do have issues, you can restore your site from a previous version.

Next, you must keep your software and their licensing up to date. This quickly closes any security holes or vulnerabilities found in software. It also makes sure that all the pieces play well together.

You will also want to keep an eye on your site’s uptime, it’s performance & speed, check links to make sure they’re still valid, review content on your site, and keep track of your online marketing strategy.

Can a DIY Solution Work? Does it Make Sense?

Yep. A DIY solution will absolutely work. The question is, do you want to take time out of your team’s work schedule on a regular basis for this? Does someone on your team have the technical skills to troubleshoot if something goes wrong? If you answer yes to both questions, awesome. Put these maintenance tasks on your calendar – the biggest trouble will be remembering to do them.

But, if you don’t want to mess with this yourself, take a look at the Website Care Packages that we offer. My team and I are careful to make the proper backups, review your site, make updates to software, and ensure that the updates don’t make any unwanted changes. We’ll keep your site humming along, and we’ll fix and tweak things as we go to keep it in tip-top shape.

If it sounds expensive…

So, if caring for your site sounds like it might be expensive, think about how much you lose if your site is down. If you’re selling through your site, what’s your average sales per day? What if your website is down for a week? If you don’t sell and you instead gather leads, what if you miss a week’s worth of incoming leads? Even a brochure website needs maintenance. If it’s not up and looking good, you won’t have the credibility your business deserves.

And what if something goes wrong? Fixing a site can be as costly as building a brand-new site – you often have to pay emergency rates and you’re at the mercy of whoever is available on immediate notice. Hint: it’s not likely to be the developers who built your site.

It so much more cost-effective to have professionals protect your investment with monthly maintenance.

Action Plan

Sit down today and make a plan to keep your software, your content, and your strategy up to date.

If you’re an individual with a personal website, add your maintenance items to your task list and be sure to do them regularly.

But, if your website is professional, if you rely on it to bring you income either through sales or through client leads, hire a professional to handle this for you. The peace of mind knowing this is taken care of will allow you to focus on the core tasks of your business.

You can check out the Website Care Plans we offer here.

Quick! What do you do?You have 43 minutes until carpool. You have 17 items on your to-do list.

You're a business-owning mom, so you use this guide to prioritize your tasks in 2 minutes, and have 41 minutes left to knock out a task.