Website maintenance refers to the tasks required to keep your website functioning properly and up to date. It involves regularly checking your website for issues, correcting problems, and updating it.
Here are some of the top reasons why website maintenance is critical.
1. Most customers conduct online research, and your website forms users' first impressions. Before making a purchase online, 87% of people conduct online research. Customers often click away if your website doesn't work correctly or looks outdated. It will set a negative first impression of your business. If your website looks unprofessional, customers may also think that your business is.
2. Your website helps grow your sales. Your website plays a crucial role in guiding users toward making a purchase. In the case of e-commerce sites, your site facilitates purchases. However, you'll miss out on potential sales if your site doesn't work correctly.
3. Site visitors value user experience. Among consumers with a poor user experience on a site, 89% will shop with a competitor instead. Regular maintenance prevents these poor user experiences and encourages potential customers to stay on your site.
4. A website maintenance plan improves security. Cyberattacks cost U.S. companies $15.4 million per year. Repairing the damage caused by cyberattacks is often costly, plus you may lose customers who no longer trust your company with their personal information. Regular maintenance helps protect your site from cyber threats by keeping your security systems up to date.
5. Website maintenance supports your SEO strategy. If users frequently leave your website shortly after arriving at it, Google may view this as a sign that your site isn't relevant. This increase in bounce rate can lead to lower rankings in search results, which means you'll drive less traffic to your site.
Maintaining your website can be a big job!
Here are some of the most critical tasks involved in website maintenance.
Testing your whole website annually: Test your entire website at least once a year after making updates. Check that all features work, look for broken links, and watch for outdated or incorrect information. Bring in someone not associated with your company to get a fresh perspective on your site's usability.
Testing browser compatibility: Test whether your website works correctly in several versions of mainstream browsers at least once a year.
Testing your forms and checkout process quarterly: At least once a quarter, ensure all your forms and checkout process are working correctly.
Checking for monthly software updates: Check for monthly software updates from your hosting provider, security provider, and third parties.
These updates help ensure proper functionality and security. Even better, install patches as they're released, if possible.
Backing up your website: Backing up your website can save you from losing a considerable amount of time and money if something goes wrong with your site. It is best to have an automatic backup feature. However, if you don't, complete a manual backup at least once a month.