Website maintenance. It’s a service that often gets overlooked because, to be honest, the cost is usually more visible than the benefits. The thing is though, having someone to coordinate all of your digital assets and work with you on your website and digital marketing can make a massive difference to your web presence.
What happens when you don’t maintain your website correctly?
Without regular maintenance and ongoing software updates, your website becomes vulnerable to attacks, things break, customer data can be compromised, content gets old, and if it’s not being monitored, your domain name may even expire and suddenly your site is gone! There are a number of businesses I’ve encountered that realised their domain had expired after someone else had already bought it. While that is a worst case scenario, there are lots of little things that add up over time. Web browsers are always changing, web server software is continuously evolving, other websites come and go, and it doesn’t take long before page elements don’t look quite right, links are broken, images disappear, content isn’t relevant, and your search engine rankings are non-existant.
It’s like forgetting to service your car regularly. If you let it go for too long, you can have all sorts of problems that become expensive to repair, can’t you? Your website is the same. When you choose TerraMedia to be your digital partner, I want you to have a remarkable digital experience. That means ensuring your site is always working at it’s best so that you can get the most out of it. I want your website online all the time. I want your site to be open for business, ready for customers and showcasing you at your best.
What do we do?
At TerraMedia, when you engage us for your regular website maintenance, our team takes great care to back up your website regularly, check it for relevant maintenance work, update any plugins or code that needs changing, recheck the site for any changes, and fix anything that isn’t quite right. We keep a record of plugins we update and the work we’ve done on your website, so if there is ever an issue, it’s easy to revert to the previous version of a plugin or code change. At the same time, we regularly check for malware infections or hacks and clean them. Then we ensure that the vulnerability is secured so that you know your website and sensitive customer data is safe.
“Like your car, it is more expensive to fix a broken website than to maintain it regularly. Regular servicing keeps your car running smoothly, in the same way, regular site maintenance keeps your web site running properly and securely.”
Is it cheaper to do it yourself?
It’s not uncommon to try and save some money by updating and maintaining your website yourself. Depending on your background, it could be something you can do. Sometimes it works out, but it does not always end up cheaper. Doing website maintenance yourself can cost a lot more than you might expect. To give you a quick comparison, if you do your WordPress updates through the WordPress admin yourself, that may be sufficient most of the time, but we don’t have any record of what has changed. That means if there is a problem and you need our help to fix it, we have to spend a lot of time troubleshooting to find the problem. The extra time involved can add up quickly and become costly.
When we maintain and update your website, we back up everything and take the time to check it over thoroughly. This process gives us the opportunity to note anything unusual, including potential malware activity. We generate regular reports that detail the results of our maintenance work as well as the current status of your website following our performance, security and SEO scans. Doing so means you can see what is going on with your site, and we have a record of work done. If we do find an issue with a plugin update or detect malware, we can deal with it before you even know there is a problem. If there is anything custom or particularly significant like WooCommerce, we take extra time to review it and ensure that everything is working correctly. If we are assisting with your maintenance on a larger scale, then we may also be able to build your landing pages and help with your marketing campaigns faster and more cost-effectively than doing these tasks yourself.
If you don’t have a maintenance agreement in place, it’s entirely possible that you are throwing money out the window by not having your website maintained correctly. Think about it. If you visit a site and find that things are broken or don’t seem to work right, do you keep trying? I don’t. There is a lot of competition for every business and your competitors will be ready to take advantage of any opportunity they can. Chances are, they will pick up the customers you lost because your website was not working correctly.
It’s more expensive to fix a website than maintain it
Neglect and a lack of experience can hurt your business. The look or functionality of a site can be damaged unintentionally when an update doesn’t go as planned. The WordPress updater is not fool proof and it is possible for plugin or core updates to fail part way through, leaving your website showing nothing more than an error message. When this kind of thing happens, you have a choice. Do you let it run as is, perhaps trying to fix it yourself? That might be ok if it’s a minor issue, or you might do more damage. Alternatively, you can pay to have someone with knowledge and experience working with WordPress to fix it. Like your car, it is more expensive to repair a broken website than to maintain it regularly. Regular servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly, in the same way, routine site maintenance keeps your web site running correctly and securely.
Experience can be cheaper
You know what’s best for your business and you know your product inside out. One of our jobs as your digital partner is to help you do what’s best for your website, the product that we know inside out. Your website reflects on your business, just like your store or office does. My suggestion is that you let my team and I deal with the aspect of your business that we know best, so you can focus on the rest. After all, you wouldn’t fight a court battle without a lawyer, or manage all of your accounts without an accountant, so why add headaches and the potential costs of trying to maintain your website if it isn’t your area of expertise?
When you engage us to handle your ongoing website maintenance, you aren’t just saving money in potential repair costs later. You are also saving money from lost visitors and sales. While it is most common to hear the cliche “you have to spend money to make money” in the marketing space, the same is true of your website. Your site is part of your digital marketing and is probably right at the centre of it. You want your customers to be impressed and coming back, purchasing again and again. To do this, you have to keep your website updated and adequately maintained, or you are giving your customers to your competitors.
I remember a few months ago that I was trying to place an order for an item we regularly use around the house. We’ve bought it many times from the same business, but this time their check out would not work. I reported the error to them via email and their social media channels but didn’t get a response until the next day. By that time I’d already bought it elsewhere. I wasn’t in a rush, it’s just what I had planned to do that day, and it was easier for me to move on and buy it elsewhere than to come back later. Don’t throw away your customers.
The Choice is Yours
If you’re interested in keeping your website in good working order, contact us about our WordPress Site Care maintenance packages to learn how we can keep your site running smoothly as the heart of your digital marketing machine. It’s not as expensive as you may think! You don’t want to end up like this: