How hard is it to maintain a website?
I often get asked this question from clients--
The answer is....a piece of cake!
If regularly maintained you should have little to no issues updating plugins, third-party extensions, checking for bad links, browser testing, updating keywords & phrases, properly labeling images, checking load rates, just to name a few backend tasks related to website maintenance.
Here are some examples of website maintenance and what it might look like for you to maintain your own website.
UPDATING PLUGINS & WORDPRESS
For example, let’s look at a WordPress website. Once logged into the main website dashboard we see our favorite “red dot notifications”!!!
Those notifications mean a plugin or WordPress itself needs to be updated.
STOP Before you go and update any of these, do you have a backup of your website?
If you answered YES...Please proceed in updating your plugins.
BUT if you answered No? There are some things you need to do or at least consider first...
What if the updates are not compatible with your theme version?
What if you update a plugin and it now requires the shortcode to be updated?
What if a plugin is not compatible with a new version of WordPress?
Plugins and third-party extensions that are not being maintained or keeping up with WordPress updates can cause security issues, making sure you are using a dependable plugin can save you headaches down the road. Checking to make sure plugins will still be compatible with new releases of WordPress. Reading the update notes for plugins, and how they might affect your website.
It is always a good idea to check that links are working properly, the link takes users to the correct location and not a 404 page or the wrong page/website in general.
A good place to start looking..
any outgoing link on your website
Pull up your website in Safari, Firefox, and even the dreaded Internet Explorer...
WHY? Because someone somewhere is using a different browser than you and your website might have a different look or missing certain functionality because of the way the browser renders the website code.
For Example, you might have a light gray background and white font on a contact form, when viewed in chrome. But when rendered in a safari browser the background and font color appear to look the same. Knowing these issues allows you to fix and enhance your website no matter what browser the user is using.
KEYWORDS & PHRASES
Your business may not change but the way you get clients or the specific clients you want (your ideal client) may change. Your website needs to be an amoeba adapting and changing with business and client growth.
For example, you cannot just rely on “Window treatments in Denver, Colorado” you must expand your keywords and phrases to what customers are truly looking for.
“Can I install blinds myself”
“What is the cost of professional blinds”
The list does not stop! The list is also ever-changing based on season, sales, goals, etc.
So you decide to DIY your maintenance-- you are auto-enabling plugins, you are making sure to name image files before uploading. But then you get a rush of clients, and your website is forgotten about for a short 3 months. When you log in you might have 20+ updates, WordPress has released 2 versions since your last update, you have every plugin that was set to auto-updated was paused because of the WordPress update. Then you learned your website form is not sending you notifications because the plugin is no longer compatible with the WordPress update. So if you are going to DIY, just remember to set time aside to check in on the front and backend of your website updating and modifying new content.
This is why the question clients ask is hard for me to answer. If you have the time and knowledge to maintain your website then yes please do! No one knows your small business like you. BUT if you want to focus your energy elsewhere in your business these tasks cannot be left unmanaged.
I offer custom maintenance packages allowing you to focus on your time elsewhere while knowing your online presence matches your business goals!
Let's chat more about what your website maintenance needs.