December 13, 2017 Laura Freeman

Why you absolutely need a maintenance plan for your website.

So, you finally invested into a website for your growing company. Congrats! After all, a solid web presence

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Why you absolutely need a maintenance plan for your website.

So, you finally invested into a website for your growing company. Congrats! After all, a solid web presence can make or break you (or so you’ve been told). What will really break you is when your beautiful new website crashes on Saturday and you don’t find out until Monday when you read a customer’s email informing you about the big 404 error when they click the link in the newsletter you sent out on Friday COB. Yikes! What now?

The look on your face might be as blank as your website...but there’s no time to waste! Your site needs to be back online NOW. You’re losing customers and money by the minute. But, what now?

Chances are you hired someone to build your website because that’s what you do when you want something done professionally. If you need a new car, you go to the dealership, right? Now that it’s up and running, it’ll be easy enough to maintain…like how putting gas in your car, adding wiper fluid, and air to your tires are all things you can do yourself. You make a backup of your website which wasn’t too hard, the equivalent of changing your car’s oil if you do some research and go slowly. It kind of made you nervous though so you put off doing it for a while, especially since you mostly drive around town. Then one day, you jump on the highway for that weekend getaway and your car breaks down. What now? One tow truck and huge bill later… You’re probably thinking, I should have just kept up with the regular maintenance and this never would have happened! Yes! You’re right. Do you see why this car analogy works so well?

Point blank, it’s easy to think you can and will keep up with enough of your website’s maintenance but there’s small things that fall through the cracks (because you’re busy running your company) that can lead to bigger problems later on.

Here’s 5 reasons why outsourcing regular maintenance to a web development company will save you in the long run.

1. Relevant Content

The most obvious reason a website needs to be maintained! If your home page is showing a promotion for Black Friday, and it’s the New Year, your customers will click exit faster than flat screen TV’s sell out on Black Friday. Images, contact information, links, and calendars are examples of content that should be checked and updated regularly. A maintenance plan will regularly prompt you for these changes and make sure you stay active and present for your customers. You could pump your own gas or change your air filter…but it’s nicer when someone else does it for you (if you catch my drift).

2. Site Speed & Uptime Monitoring

40% of customers will abandon any site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. {Source: Forrester/Akamai} Similar to those people who honk as soon as the light turns green… In a world where access to information is available 24/7/365 and nearly instantaneously, so should be your website. Even the best hosting company can’t guarantee 100% uptime though, so having a independent maintenance plan that monitors your website for the rare few minutes that it may go down could save you in sales and customer experience.

3. Crucial Updates

The biggest door to your website isn’t that number one spot on Google results. It’s the back door left wide open to hackers from the outdated plugins, extensions, and security bugs you’ve been neglecting. Or maybe you’ve stayed on top of them but you go to update a plugin one day and it glitches, destroying the whole frontend of your website. Another “what now” moment. Installing and troubleshooting updates can be a pain that’s best left to that maintenance plan that’s sounding better and better. In our car analogy, it’s the equivalent of the bigger maintenance items like getting your tires balanced or changing the fluids.

4. Disaster Recovery & Backups

If only you could restore a backup of your brand new car after someone backs into you. Luckily, websites have that functionality and if you ever do see that White Screen of Death, you could easily restore that backup you took last month. If you took a backup last month. Otherwise, you might have to restore all the way back to that one backup you took at the very beginning all by yourself…remember? A regular maintenance plan will make sure the most recent copy or your website is protected and stored remotely for additional safeguarding. This is the insurance plan of your website. No uninsured motorist coverage here, sorry! No backup = no website = $$$. Speaking of money...

5. Protect Your Investment

While a car isn’t really an investment (you won’t make your money back), a website is (you can make lots of money back). The point is to give your customers, current and potential, a home base for all things your company. It’s why you had a website made in the first place! You already know that 97% of consumers search online for products and services, eyeroll. And you know that you are not a part of the 63% of small businesses without a website, scoff. {Source: 2014 Small Business Customer-Friendly Websites} Your website is as much a part of your identity as your logo, your mission, and your physical presence. Arguably, the most valuable asset to your company, however, is your time. Time that could be better spent than on maintaining your website. You’d rather leave your car at the mechanic while you go run errands, than watch fifty Youtube videos to figure out how to fix the check engine light…(ok that’s the last one, I promise).

If it’s been a while since you’ve updated or monitored or backed-up or all those other things you should be doing… it’s time to set up a plan before disaster strikes. WoW! Graphic Designs will help you choose a maintenance plan that fits your needs and gives you more time to be worrying about running your company.

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