7 Great Reasons Why Website Maintenance is Important for your Business Growth.
Last week, approx. 14 months after we built and handed over her website a former client called in agitation. At first, I couldn’t make out what her problem was. She kept asking; “where is it Julie, what happened?” I kind of guessed she was talking about her website, but I wasn’t sure. Until she said: “Julie, my website has disappeared, your agency built it, so please help me find it!” This telephone conversation begs the question: is website maintenance important? And if so, why do you need website maintenance?
By the way, this is not an isolated case. While we have an over 80% retention rate, sometimes, a former client calls with a problem they think we can fix at no cost! That person chose not to take out professional website care as they thought they could handle the website maintenance themselves. Or a friend, family, or church member, someone they know will help them keep on top of things.
These people are usually professionals in their own right and wouldn’t dream of going to a non-professional for their personal health, or taking their car for maintenance to any old someone just because that person knows about cars, have their teeth maintained by a non-dentist, etc.
Yet, when it comes to their business websites, many times these wonderful ex-clients do the opposite. Then something goes wrong and they call and say:
Well, you guys built my website and something is wrong, so I thought you could find what’s wrong, and fix the problem, or recover the awol website! Or a year later having failed to renew their domain or hosting subscription their website disappears from the interwebs, and they hope we can recover it.
My answer is always simple:
If you hired a contractor to build your house, they completed the job to your satisfaction and handed you the keys. All snagging is done and they leave site. At that point, they recommend aftercare that includes repair of your house at an agreed rate. And you think — errm NOPE, this is a brand new house, it doesn’t need any maintenance. So I am good. Then, sadly something does happen. Is it the contractor’s job to repair your house?
The same goes for a website, is it the web designer’s job to recover your website, or god forbid rebuild it for free if sooner or later something needs fixing just because they built it?
Well, the answer is NOT unless you pay them to:
- Diagnose the problem
- Fix the problem at an agreed fee
- Ensure the problem doesn’t happen again by taking out a website care plan… But I jump the gun!
Is Website Maintenance Important – really?
Here’s the thing, since the pandemic and lockdowns, every Jill and their pet realized or decided they need a website and became website designers. So, there are a lot of badly designed websites that are also not being shown any post-unveiling love.
You see, websites have a lot of moving parts that need constant and, in most cases, even weekly upkeep. We are talking:
- Routine content update
- Development tools and templates
- Tech Support
- Security patches and scans
- Regular Uptime Checks
- Planned website backups
- CMS support and updates
- Payment Processor updates
- Fixing Broken Links or Removal
- Simple Bug fixes
- Essential subscription renewal and much more.
When a person visits your website, that first impression can make or break your brand’s next sale, donor, stakeholder, or sponsor based on the visitor’s experience.
That’s why for a business/brand today, website maintenance must be a top priority.
Plus, with so many people online and Google making demands on webmasters all the time, having a website maintenance or website care plan is essential. But the question is…
Do You Believe you Need Website Maintenance?
Well, I oftentimes compare a website to a boiler! Or just a banged-up appliance in over 80% of websites.
“Imagine you wake up to freezing cold house in the middle of a freezing winter. You go to check your boiler and find a puddle of water on your breand new wooden floor around the boiler. You open the panel and start tinkering with the mechanics, disconnecting bits n bobs. In all 5 years you had it installed, you have never had a professional check and maintain the boiler. Anyway, you realize that you just messed it up even more with no idea how to put it all back together!! You call your friend Bob to have a go at fixing it, he seems to know more about boilers —
Not! He makes things worse, now you both have no clue what to do! Also your floor is ruined, it needs to be replaced. There is no hot water from you taps. Your children and wife are crying and shivering from the cold. In desperation you finally call a gas/boiler engineer.”
FACT: it’s going to cost you WAY more to fix the problem than if you’d hired the professional to maintain it from the start.
Consider that boiler as your WEBSITE.
If you do not take care of and maintain your website performance, the same could happen to it. And after what happened to the world in 2020/21 with the lockdowns, your online presence is truly essential.
Your website brings your brand to life in the digital space, which translates into your physical life. Whatever the aim of your website, could be:
- Brand Awareness
- List Building
- Making sales or getting donations
- Building community etc.
Your website tells people more about you, your message, mission, and why/how they benefit from engaging with your business, ministry, service, or products. Your website can have the ability to turn browsers into buyers if treated well.
Therefore, just like a boiler, or even a car, you can’t just build a website and leave it to its devices and expect it to perform efficiently. Your website requires and deserves proper professional care and maintenance.Your website requires and deserves proper professional care and maintenance.
By the way, unlike a boiler or a car MOT or service, your website care is not just once a year event. A website demands daily up-time monitoring, daily-weekly security sweeps, content backup, and website SEO is an ongoing business. Do you get the picture?
You may be thinking, so what if I don’t get a pro to maintain my website, can’t I DIY it? Well, let’s see…
|RELATED: WHY SMALL BUSINESSES NEED A WEBSITE|
What could happen if you neglect your website care?
Let me put it out there that DIYng your website maintenance without the know-how is neglect too. And neglecting your website can lead to any one or all of these below…
1. Your website will start to load very slowly, usually because of back-end resources not being updated and/or uploading unoptimized large visual files, too many plugins, etc. Whatever the reason, a slow website attracts Google’s wrath as website load speed is one of Google’s ranking factors. A drop in website ranking can be the difference between making money, achieving desired end goals or ending up in the middle of the Sahara, with no rescuer – i.e. No website traffic, no results.
2. The most obvious outcome will be that your website can start to look neglected, old-fashioned or outdated. You also won’t be keeping an eye on current and changing trends which will reduce your business competitiveness in your niche/market.
An outdated website implies to an observer that nobody cares about their business and client experience. That in turn could negatively impact you, your business/brand credibility. #NotGood
3. You don’t know what you don’t know. An unmaintained website can definitely fall foul to serious security gaps that will expose your website to hackers, viruses, malware, etc. It’s like leaving a window or back door open while you are away long term, and hoping your home is safe. Sooner or later, that opportunistic and not so nice person will get in… Virus and malware creators are getting smarter every day, and your website is their target. Keep those openings safely closed.
You can only know how if you know what you are doing.
4. You Lose – With time, your uncared-for website will be less and less popular with your target audience. If you are paying attention to your metrics, you’ll notice a drop in traffic and user engagement. The result of this is, that your results/sales will drop. All these cannot be good for business.
5. Keeping up with the brand – As your brand or business grows, it goes without saying your offer prices will change too. For that, you will require a consistent process for updating products, removing outdated or old ones, changing service plans/ prices, and much more.
Now, unless you are a whizz at website build and maintenance, you need the front end of your website or online store to function smoothly for your clients/customers. If people keep finding out of stock inventory or old stock still showing when sold out, they will bounce to a website with inventory that is available.
Streamlining user experience is an advantage that comes with a great website maintenance service.
6. More is More – let’s talk Sales – is yours an online site supporting an offline store? Then you can drive a lot more customers to your store with your promos. You can provide special promo codes; discount codes and you keep your business competitive. Whatever programs you run, short or long-term you would need updates to your site. Website maintenance services enable you to strengthen your sales with unique offers for shoppers.
7. Disuse leads to missed opportunities – Is that why you had it built? A website that’s not maintained and cared for is a sad thing. We can say hand on heart that website maintenance is the most important step right next to designing your website.
I imagine you built that website for a reason, right? Well, then you owe it to yourself to give it the chance to get to your reason, and without maintenance, I can tell you it will not.
So, for the reasons listed above, it’s critical that once your new website is unveiled to Joe Public, you must keep it up-to-date, well-oiled, and secure.
Okay, I get it, So What’s Involved in a Website Care Plan?
Just as the name suggests, a website care plan and website maintenance is meant to be an ongoing service that supports the overall wellbeing, optimization, and performance of your website.
It is not something that should be left to an amateur or your friend Joe who seems to know about websites because they have a free WordPress site!
Website care plans can also vary, depending on the provider, some offer:
- Hourly Care
- Out of Hours Care
- Monthly Care
We prefer the latter because it is scalable, leveraged and we do it at scale.
To me, offering hourly care means, you can only split yourself into so many parts in the 12hrs awake time you have.
It can also be super stressful when you have no clients for days!
While out of hours is mostly about website uptime and security for when you are asleep and need customer care and your website running smoothly. It could be more cost-effective to pay for a monthly website care plan, than hourly out of hours.
Monthly care plans allow you to get any issues on your website fixed without worrying about hourly rates, out-of-hours, etc.
Best of all, monthly care plans give you peace of mind and save you money.
You’re able to eliminate the worry that comes with constant monitoring, micro-managing, and maintaining your website, oftentimes without the expertise to do so. And save on in-house employees who would cost you a ton more in salary plus pension, insurance, and tax costs.
Definitely, our K-Web Social monthly care plans were created for the smart business owner who appreciated the expertise, and wants the best for their business but hasn’t yet got to the stage of hiring in-house staff.
Believe me, you want to run your business like a business, not a hobby. You do have a business, and it is thriving, right?
Good, you want to keep it that way. You want to make sure that your website is always online, secure, and up-to-date. Also, you want to have some development time available to you to fix things as they come up and make small improvements here and there and that’s where we excel so you can sleep easy.
What doesn’t come with standard Website Maintenance Plans?
If this is your first website or first website maintenance or care plan, you might be confused as to what is included. So allow me to lay out what is not usually included in website maintenance services:
- Media creation and edits
- Content development and writing
- Redesign of theme or navigation
- Site redesign
- Interactive Features
Each of the above is a service on its own that is usually offered separately or at a much higher rate inside a website maintenance package. Either way, now you know what not to ask your website maintenance guy/gal, or why they didn’t do it as standard.
There are many more reasons why you need website maintenance for your beautiful premium online real estate aka website.
And if you are still here, then you might be looking for website maintenance with people who are in the trenches and offer website care for the life of your business, so you can focus on running your business. K-Web Social Designs also has an 87% client retention, so we must be doing something right. Do contact K-Web Social Designs for your website wellness and care plans and website marketing that works.
Julie Syl Kalungi
Is a Business Transformational Strategist. The International Best Selling Author of Six+ books, including The Art of Pinterest Profits and The Winning Planner. Each week, she holds Free Live Sessions on her best tips on Digital Marketing, Content Development, Personal Branding, and a Leadership mindset to help your business or enterprise succeed.
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