Website maintenance is exactly what it sounds like. No matter what a particular website is about or where it’s hosted, it requires a certain level of maintaining. This is especially true for the websites of small business owners. Just because your website is published online doesn’t mean it is reaching all of the potential customers it should be.
As a small business owner, you should have a set of business goals that you want your website to accomplish. It doesn’t really matter if that goal is to generate leads or to convert visitors into customers, if your website is not following the best practices, you’ll always be missing out on some level.
So the question we’re typically asked is, what does website maintenance actually include? Lets go over some of the main things included.
There might be some confusion around content, but in short, we consider content to be anything on your website. From text on the various pages, to blog posts, images and videos. We also like to include updating product information, calendar events & more. Pretty much, anytime you need something added, edited, or removed from your website, we take care of it.
AND on an UNLIMITED basis. No time limits, no hourly block to purchase. Whenever you need something done on your website, just reach out to us and we handle it. Simple as that.
Search Engine Optimization is a term you’ve likely heard over and over again.
You might even receive emails from various companies claiming they can get your business to page one of Google search results in a short time….
Don’t believe those companies!
Fact is, SEO takes time. A true SEO professional will make sure your website is in the BEST position to be seen on the major search engines. It could take months for a brand new website to rank at a certain level, especially if the content available to market is limited. This is why creating content for your website is so important (but we’ll get into that topic another time).
A webmaster will make sure the HTML, meta-tags & descriptions, alt-text, links and targeted keywords are added, configured and more importantly, optimized for search engines so potential customers can find your business.
This one here is specific to websites built on the WordPress platform. In addition to WordPress regularly releasing new version of their software, the themes and plugins you have running on your website need to be updated as well. Why? Well, reasons vary. Sometimes a developer is simply adding new functionality to a plugin. Other times there a security breach has been identified and needs to be patched quickly. With themes generally the developers will release updates in order to make sure plugins are updated as well.
Your webmaster will need to keep an eye on any plugins that need to be updated on a regular basis, but more importantly will go through the details of each WordPress update available. Fact is, some WordPress updates can actually break certain aspects of your website, depending on the theme or plugin compatibility. It’s easy to just click the “update” button, but you should hold off until you are certain there are zero compatibility issues. Remember, downtime could mean lost revenue!
This might be the most important job of a webmaster. There are many ways a hacker can breach a website. You know those spam comments that seem to appear constantly on your website? A lot of the time the so called “interested readers” are wrapping lines of code into the comments. Something as simple as approving a comment like this could set your website up for an SQL-Injection attack. This means the code that was added to the comment allows the hacker access to your website’s database, and once they are in there, it is HARD to get them out. We’ve had to rebuild databases completely because of attacks like this.
The best way to avoid this is to prevent scripts from running in your comments, make sure each comment must be individually approved before it is posted, and if you’re running on WordPress, setting up a few plugins that protect your website from spam and do regular malware checks. It’s better to be extra safe, than sorry. Because no downtime is good downtime when you’re running a business!
There is nothing more unappealing than broken code on a website. Seeing HTML tags in between content will send a visitor packing. The same goes for having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly! In 2019 most people will visit your website on a mobile device, so you have to make sure your website is prepared for that. Your webmaster should be able to handle these items for you.