Website maintenance is essential, whether you undertake it yourself or engage a website business to perform the website maintenance for you. Either way, website maintenance is what will keep your website healthy and thriving online.
You’ve got peace of mind that your website is in the best hands, and it’s one less worry, which lets you concentrate on other areas of your business. Which as a small business owner, one less thing going on in my brain is invaluable.
And I’m also a big believer in prevention is better than fixing.
What’s typically included in a website maintenance plan
What’s included in a website maintenance plan can vary from business to business, so do your homework and check out the options and ensure you’re comparing raspberries to raspberries (sorry, apples, but I prefer raspberries).
Some may offer custom plans, too (like us). And it may depend on your platform too.
What I offer on my WordPress Website Maintenance plans is different from what I provide on my Shopify packages. And quite often, my website maintenance plans are tied into my SEO packages, too, as I’m a big advocate for making your website do the hard work for you and climbing up those Google rankings will do that for you.
Basic WordPress Website Maintenance options
Are you new to the world of websites and not know where to start looking for one or know what should be included? I’ve got your back and popped together a list below. These are what I consider to be the essential aspects that should be included in your WordPress maintenance plan.
Updates to your plugins, themes, and WordPress are extremely important and are what keeps out hackers and helps prevent malware and server issues.
Backups should run weekly as a minimum. Or if you have an ecommerce site depending on its size and the number of orders, etc. It may be worth setting this to run more frequently. If your site goes down, what can you afford to lose is an excellent way to look at it.
I am also a big believer in having your backups sync off-site. If the worst ever happens and you get locked out. Then at least you’ve still got copies of your website.
Off-site syncs are such a simple process to set up; why wouldn’t you. All of our new website designs or revamps come with instructions on how to do this. That’s how passionate we are about off-site syncs.
Keeping on of the health of your website is paramount.
If the worst does happen and you get hacked, you want to know asap if it’s happened.
We also offer moderation of blog post comments and removal of all spam comments. We always flag with our clients any genuine comments that need a response if we see they haven’t been attended to.
We’re big believers; if a website visitor has taken the time to leave a comment or ask a question, then it’s essential to take the time to respond. It’s a great way to start building a relationship with someone too. You never know where it might lead.
By us maintaining the comments and removing the spam – it’s one less thing for our clients to worry about.
As a website owner, quite often, you’re not on it regularly, so if it happens to go down, you might only find out by accident or if a website visitor is nice enough to message you.
This is why we added uptime monitoring to our website maintenance plans.
I get a text message as soon as a client’s site goes down for whatever reason, and I’m notified when it comes back up. If it’s down for too long, then I can take the initiative and start investigating why.
So, check if this is something that’s included in the website care plan you’re looking at.
Keeping your database optimised helps to keep your site running lean and running in tip top shape.
We also want to be the first to know if any internal or external links become broken. Broken links don’t provide the best user experience, and Google doesn’t like it either, and we want to keep Google happy.
A maintenance plan may give you priority support, too, should something ever happen, which is a great bonus. Take my client Jo for example.
What did Jo decide to do one Sunday morning? Make some changes to her website. And what do you think happened? She managed to crash it.
What did she do? Message me with some begging and promises of vodka to fix it (she knows me well, or there may have been a few suggestions given).
What did Jo learn? Not to touch her website again.
What did Ruth do? Fix it, of course, and enjoy the vodka, which arrived later that week.
Some website maintenance plans may also include:
- Access to premium plugins. These may be for the contact form, backups, or security, to name a few plugin options.
- Small updates to your website. This comes in handy if you want to make minor changes but aren’t comfortable or confident in doing it yourself.
The importance of website backups
I can’t stress how important a website backup is.
It’s when you don’t have a backup that the worst will happen.
Or you think I’ll do this quick one update, and it screws it all up, to put it mildly, and your site has gone down.
The Rule of Ruth – if you don’t have time to take a backup. Then you don’t have time to do what you want to do.
What’s next for your website?
When it comes to your website’s maintenance, you need to make some decisions:
- Are you going to undertake the maintenance and updates yourself?
- Do you have time
- Do you know what you’re doing
- Or are you going to engage an experience website business to look after it for you?
If you’re going to look after it yourself, consider and be honest with yourself – will you do it? And will you do it regularly?
We all have good intentions, but life gets busy, a business can get even busier. So will you really do it?
And if you’ve taken the time and money to have a website designed and set up for you. Why would you not look after it properly to are my thoughts?
Want to know more or have a chat about keeping your website fit and healthy? Send me an email now.