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Website maintenance is akin to oiling your jet engine. Nobody is going to want to fly on a plane that makes them feel unsafe. That goes for your website as well. Many aspiring businesses and bloggers open up these grand, well-executed, and planned out sites. It takes effort and time to build.
We don’t want you to let all that work go to waste. So, let’s dig into the importance of website maintenance and the factors you should be on the lookout for.
First, let’s remember the goal of a website is to satisfy its users. The more you can fulfill your users’ needs, the more traction and traffic your site will receive.
The age of technology we are in and the sheer number of content that is available online both make it hard to catch a user’s attention and even harder to sustain it. So, it’s imperative to listen to your users.
What users want is a fast loading, easy to navigate, and smoothly working website. Say, for example, a backlog of updates has relegated your site to slow down over time.
People tend to click out of a page if it does not load within a few seconds. So, imagine how many potential customers, in case of a business website, and readers, in case of blogging sites, you are losing.
A good website gives you all the information in an efficient and obvious manner. When looking up a restaurant, we expect to see a menu tab. But it could happen that due to an error, this tab is not displaying properly.
An office worker during their lunch break could be looking at it and get confused and frustrated when they cannot locate the menu.
They will most likely decide on a different restaurant and that means the first restaurant will have just lost a customer. These issues can easily be resolved if your website undergoes regular checkups and updates.
This way, you can also earn the trust of your user. Well-performing sites build credibility and showcase the quality of your business.
If we were to use the restaurant example again, nobody will enter a restaurant that has peeling walls and moldy tables, and likewise, they won’t enter if they heard about a thief break-in on the news about that establishment.
People want to feel safe and comfortable when visiting places. The same goes for when they are visiting websites.
Malicious software and viruses circulate around the web, becoming more and more intricate with each passing hour. Hackers are hard at work coming up with new ways to outdo your site’s safety protocols which is why you must be hard at work as well as building defenses.
Frequently saving backups for your website is the easiest way to work against this. Not only will it do that but it will prevent the doom that you would have suffered in case of accidental deletions or mistakes.
Updating the code so it adapts to the newest regulations is also necessary in this aspect because the older your site, the more viruses there are capable of infiltrating it.
Take for example, the popular website platform, WordPress. The downside to its popularity is that it is one of the frequent targets for hackers.
Outdated software is the major reason a lot of WordPress sites get hacked. Third-party plugins also make sites vulnerable. So, make sure to minimize plug-ins and only install ones from trusted developers.
Remember to always backup before updating as updates often require some further tweaks and adjustments after the initial release. So, at times your data can get lost in the mix. Backing up and updating go hand in hand.
As a web developer, achieving top website rankings in the search engine is the ultimate goal. The largest and most used search engine in the world, Google, does not simply want well-maintained sites, it demands it.
If you do not adhere to its rules, your rankings will dip so low that nobody will click on your site.
When is the last time you have scrolled to the second page in Google searches? I doubt most of us have ever even gone past the fifth page. The higher your website ranking, the more visitors you get.
Google is smart— they want to give the best results to its users, and they know which factors make for a good click.
The best results have fast loading speeds because Google doesn’t want its users to wait. The sites are void of spam and errors. They are up to date with the latest trends and specifications.
These factors will lead people to stay longer on the website and Google records that because it takes it to mean it is a site worth your time. The sites should have the utmost security.
If Google detects viruses on your page, it will immediately get flagged and removed from the searches. Hence, to reach the top and keep your reputation within the algorithm, your site must provide the necessary security and efficiency. The upkeep of your website is a nonnegotiable factor here.
We’ve talked a lot about the basic factors that go into website performance- updates, backups, security measures, and efficiency- and how it all relates to optimizing your content for the search engine.
To dive in further, we must address some common problems sites often forget to account for.
Firstly, what does the user do if something is out of order? Is there an option for them to report this to the site managers? If not, I urge you to create an avenue for them to reach you as sites can go haywire at a moment’s notice. It could be because of an unnoticed faulty code or a blip in an update.
Visitors who need something from your site should be reassured in that case. So, having options such as support tickets or AI chat boxes will let the user know you value their time.
This would help you as well because you cannot fix an error if you aren’t even aware of it. It is beneficial to both parties.
Then, there is the issue of compatibility. Nowadays, people mostly visit websites through their smartphones and tablets. All these platforms are updated frequently.
So you should be checking on all of them to make sure your site is keeping up. Especially for shopping websites and blogs, it is important because people almost exclusively use phones for them.
Believe it or not, investing money into the upkeep of your website will save your money down the line. How? Well, the answer is simple. It is like insurance for your website.
If things go wrong, and things tend to go wrong when it has anything to do with coding, then it serves as the precautionary measure.
Frequent backups, for instance, can save the day if a new employee clicks a button he should not have and deletes all your logs and data. Imagine the worst outcome, you lose everything and you cannot restore it because you did not back up your files.
In that case, all the work and money you put into your website just goes down the drain. But if you have it set in place to back up every day, if a hacker does manage to break through the site defenses, you do not have to worry because everything is already saved within your grasp.
The future of your site is dependent on how well it is running currently. Proper website maintenance can help you earn more. More traffic equals more sales and more readers. But the requirements of your target users will always be changing.
So, it is important to keep up with them by regularly adding improvements and updating the structure of the site. Dilly-dallying will simply lead to more headaches in the future because a lot more work will need to be done at once to catch up.
You may even need to hire a more qualified professional if the process gets too complicated. By making sure your site is holding up to a standard, you will save your time, money, and effort. In turn, it will also essentially future-proof it.
In conclusion, the work does not end at publishing a site. It needs to be updated regularly, checked for malware, and restructured for the needs of users and search engines. Users trust websites that give them a good experience. Likewise, search engines prioritize displaying sites that can deliver that to the users.
Fast loading speeds, efficiency in reporting and dealing with errors plus security are all factors that affect your ranking within search engines. You can drive down costs by working against possible blunders.
Website maintenance shapes the future of your site. There are only benefits to keeping your site clean and welcoming by offering a solid optimal experience for your visitors. Your business will thank you for it.