Posted on: 01.05.2024

Website Maintenance: Do You Know Who’s Looking After Your Website?

Look, we get it. You’re a busy brand. You’ve got all sorts on the go, from thriving TikTok channels to complicated lead funnels. Your website, it just sort of… works! It might be a little old and clunky, or it might be fresh from those developers your MD knows. But you know it’s online, and when customers click ‘Send Enquiry’ you get a handy email.

That’s all good right?

That’s all good… right?

… right?

That deafening silence is the sound of developers everywhere waiting for the penny marked ‘maintenance’ to drop. Because it’s no good taking delivery of a fantastic, functional website if you have no idea who’s looking after it, what they’re doing, and why.

So today we’re asking: Who’s looking after your website? And are they doing all this?

Keeping everything secure

Our go-to CMS (the platform a website is built on) is WordPress. It’s one of the world’s most popular platforms because of its flexibility and accessibility, but that does come with a major downside: it’s a prime target. Hackers know that if they can find a WordPress exploit, they stand a good chance of targeting loads of sites. And WordPress’s ubiquity means there are bound to be plenty of businesses and organisations who aren’t keeping things up to date.

WordPress releases regular security patches and improvements, and they need to be implemented. Without them, you’re basically leaving the front door open. Do you know who’s responsibility this is, and the last time they checked?

Optimising for performance

The website biz is all about speed. Fast sites keep users happy, and slow ones lose them even faster. Laggy interactions, slow loading images and videos or broken elements are all huge signs to users that you don’t care about your site, or their experience. 

Luckily, WordPress rides to the rescue once again, with regular CMS and plugin updates that bring improvements to performance by improving the underlying code. But who’s checking for these updates, and who’s monitoring your site’s speed and performance to find ways to optimise it, or fix the broken bits?

Checking on compatibility

No, we’re not talking about your site like it’s a dating profile. Compatibility is about how websites appear on all the different devices and browsers users might access them from. Ever tried to buy something from an online shop that just didn’t work on mobile? Or discovered videos or images on a desktop site clearly meant for a phone? Yeah, don’t do that.

As devices change, your website needs updating too. That means keeping WordPress regularly updated so any plugins don’t stop functioning, and any specific functionality you need doesn’t get left a generation or more behind. You get the theme by now, but when was the last time someone checked?

Maintaining your backups

Even the best maintained website might go down, whether that’s because of an emergency like a server crash, a hacking attempt or a hamfisted deletion by the person who was clearly meant to be keeping on top of all the maintenance we’ve already mentioned but hasn’t.

Surely they must have been keeping a backup… ahh. That’s awkward. Whose job was it to schedule backups, test them and refine your recovery process? Do you know how to roll back to a previous version if you need to, and when that version was taken?

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Those customers we spoke about earlier. It looks suspiciously like they’ve stopped visiting the site! A quick Google shows you aren’t quite where you used to be. Competitors are stealing your search page thunder! 

That’s because SEO best practice changes with every Google update, and the content on your site needs to change alongside it. It might have all been humming along nicely at launch, but when was that again? How many years? Who’s been buttering up Google since then?

Here’s how it should  work

Maybe you’ve identified the mystical person who should have been doing all that. Or maybe that person doesn’t exist. Either way, if they’re not offering you that comprehensive maintenance, your site – and business – could really be at risk.

You need guaranteed hours every month (with more complex sites needing more), and a proactive and specialised team who can keep everything safe and secure day to day, recommend regular improvements and upgrades in line with your business objectives, and jump into action if an emergency happens. A team a little bit like… ours.

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