Your website doesn’t run itself! After launching your site, you’ll need to put website maintenance routines and practices into place. These tasks cover everything you need to do to ensure your site is running smoothly and that all aspects of it are up to date, from the content on the page to the way it functions. Get a sense of what you need to do with our website maintenance guide.
There are several reasons why you need to keep up with website maintenance, including:
Site visitors expect fast run times and easy navigation. If your site falls short, even by just a few seconds, it could be enough to send a potential customer to a competitor. By keeping your site updated, you can ensure a smooth and seamless visitor experience.
Bad actors are smart and creative, working around the clock to find new ways to break into websites. This is especially true for small businesses who often think they’re not a target for hackers and thieves. Websites and any accompanying connections, such as plugins, regularly issue updates that are important to install for this very reason.
There are dozens upon dozens of factors that influence your search engine rankings, and many of those factors involve having a website that’s technically sound.
For example, it’s important to ensure all links work and that your site is structured properly. Whenever you update your site in a small or big way, it’s good practice to check these elements to make sure everything is still functioning correctly. Read our guide to sites Google loves to learn more.
Potential customers and clients want to work with businesses that are on the cutting edge. Your site design plays a key role in portraying that, with a modern look and strategically chosen fonts and colors that convey who you are. Regularly maintaining your site helps to keep your audience engaged and attract new customers to your brand.
Site maintenance involves a list of tasks that ensure peak performance and a positive user experience. Some of these tasks include:
People — and search engines — love fresh content. Writing a new blog, updating a service listing, or changing the headline on your home page can bring a refreshed feeling that not only catches the attention of customers, but guarantees that your latest and most important offerings are featured prominently on your website. Protip: Each time you make a change in your company, whether that’s adding a new service or discontinuing a product line, make it part of your procedure to add those changes to the website.
Site backups involve downloading and saving a copy of your website. This is in case your website goes down for any reason, whether due to server error, hackers, or something going awry as you update the site. Regularly backing up your site is key to getting back up and running quickly.
Whether you want more visitors or need a speedy site, data can provide insight into how your website is doing behind the scenes. If something changes in the data, it can be a good indicator that your site is either performing well as-is or needs updates in a certain area, which helps to narrow your focus as you perform site maintenance. Check out our guide to site performance metrics to learn what they can tell you about how your website is doing.
Plugins, software, and other components of your site frequently release security updates. These updates are essential for ensuring that your site is best protected against any harm that could come to your business. These updates can be tricky, though — sometimes, an update can conflict with other plugins or elements of your website. So once a plugin is updated, keep a close eye on your site to make sure it performs as intended.
You can issue user roles with specific permission levels to coworkers, professional service providers, and other stakeholders in your company. Regularly reviewing who has access and at what level is a key component of website security. It also ensures that the people who do need access have those proper permissions as well.
Accessibility — or, how those with disabilities interact with your site — is becoming a crucial component for many reasons, including regulatory compliance and SEO. This can involve fonts, colors, text placement, and other adjustments that ensure as many people as possible can easily interact with your site. There are also special plugins dedicated to customizing the appearance of your site according to an individual’s needs.
You can split up the many recommended website maintenance tasks into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual checks.
The costs for site maintenance vary. The factors that can influence cost include:
Domain name costs vary wildly depending on the popularity of the domain, which extension you purchase (such as .com versus .xyz), and how long you renew your domain for. A domain name can cost as little as a few dollars a year, depending on these factors.
A secure site license (SSL) certificate is essential because it establishes an encrypted connection that’s good for security and identifies your website as a safe and authentic one. These certificates generally cost a few dollars a year, and their price may be affected by the level of service and length of the license.
There are plenty of hosting configurations, and prices vary according to a number of factors. Hosting can cost as little as a few dollars a year for a shared hosting plan, while dedicated servers for larger sites can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Most small businesses can work with a shared server or a small dedicated server, both of which are attainable for the average business.
Your content management system (CMS) is the platform you use to publish your website and its content. Some CMS platforms are free to use, while others cost a few dollars a month or year to access.
If you want professional help to maintain your site, you’ll have to account for those costs. Many web developers or website agencies offer packages where they take care of all the necessary security and content updates for you. You can also opt to work with a web developer a la carte as needs arise when it comes to updating. The actual cost depends on the time spent and the prices the developer sets for these services.
If you’d rather a professional handle the creative on your site, such as graphics, content, and copy, you’ll have to account for those costs. The budget this requires depends on the complexity of what you want, the experience of the creative person you’re hiring, and if they have any subject matter expertise that adds value to their input.
Get everything you need for a secure, well-maintained website in one place. With Namecheap Site Maker, many of the essentials for site maintenance are included right off the bat. Security updates, a secure site license, and a support team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week keep your site protected, functioning well, and ready for new customers. And with easy and intuitive site design tools, you can quickly change text and replace images as your company grows and evolves. Get started today — prices start at just a few dollars per month.