We get a lot of clients ask us about our website maintenance plan options and why they are needed, particularly if we have just built a brand new site for them or they have a website where they feel things are already working fine.
The question is a valid one, but as we delve into the primary reasons behind our recommendation for an ongoing website maintenance plan, hopefully you’ll start to understand the benefits of having regular maintenance and support in place for your website.
Website security and Health
One of the top reasons for having a website maintenance plan, if not the most important reason, is website security and health. Your business website is the cornerstone of your online presence and if anything malicious were to happen to it how would this look to your customers and the outside world? Wordpress is a very secure and stable software these days, but like any software it can be vulnernable to security issues and threats if not kept properly maintained, secure and up to date. Add to this most Wordpress sites run multiple plugins by third party authors to add additional code and functionality, there can be a lot of moving parts in a typical Wordpress site.
Wordpress and most good theme and plugin authors regularly update their software to patch security issues, fix bugs and add new features. Sometimes Wordpress, themes and plugins can receive multiple updates in a single month. If these are not kept up-to-date on a regular basis you can quickly find your site is running out of date versions, which could be opening you up to vulnerabilities and threats that allow malicious attackers access to your website.
Typically many businesses don’t have the time or staff resources to regularly keep on top of these frequent updates. Whilst Wordpress is a very stable platform, updating lots of plugins and Wordpress’ core software in one go can occassionally introduce technical issues too. These are usually very easily resolved by experienced Wordpress professionals, but for business users they can be a real headache to solve.
This is why having a website maintenance plan in place with an expert like us can remove all the stress and inconvenience, so you can let the expert worry about your website security and health, whilst you focus on your business knowing your website is in good hands.
Even if a website was designed and built with performance in mind from the outset, a Wordpress website’s performance and health can eventually degrade over time as new content is added, structural changes are made, or new plugins get intorduced.
Keeping on top of a website’s overall performance can be a technical process too, as the likes of Google are constantly evolving the metrics they use to grade a website’s performance. Plus the recommendations and optimisations they advise are often related to the more technical aspects of a website’s build, which can be duanting for business users who don’t have the technical know-how.
Google also introduced new, more stringent, metrics for websites which it calls Web Core Vitals that are intended to grade website performance for both mobile and desktop and which are said to link to ranking factors in their algorithm. So, from everything we understand about these new metrics, better performing websites which have higher Web Core Vital scores are much more likely to rank higher in their search results going forward.
As keeping on top of a website’s performance is a constantly evolving area and can sometimes be a technical process, so this is where having a regular website maintenance plan in place with an expert can pay dividends. Most good support plans should include monitoring of site performance at the very least. Also, being on a quality support plan that includes hosting and performance monitoring, means the provider will often have additional tools available via their hosting and plugin tool stack that provide additional benefits and optimisations to the website that greatly improve performance over a standard hosting install if the website were not on a support plan. This means you can get a lot of additional benefit just by using the expert’s hosting and tool stack as part of your plan.
Ongoing website support
There’s a saying in the web design industry that ‘a website is never truly finished’ and we find that this statement is very true for most businesses. This is because the business itself and the web medium in general is constantly evolving, as a result, things can rarely remain static on a business website like they would in a traditional printed brochure, particulartly if the business wants their website to work for them by ranking well and providing new leads and sales.
Ongoing improvements are a necessary process for any modern website. As we’ve already covered in the previous points, making changes over time can impact a website’s performance and health and this can often be compounded if the person(s) responsible for managing the site are not experienced in website design and general good practice for the web, which is often the case with small to medium businesses who manage their own sites.
Over time a business will often need to add new pages or features and if the current theme and plugin stack does not facilitate these changes, they’ll often turn to adding additional plugins to compensate for the shortcomings of the theme or try to cobble something together within the limitations. If care is not taken a website can quickly get lots of things bolted on by separate plugins or different elements created by different members of staff that can all add up to additional bloat and a more cluttered and less cohesive experience than when the website was originally created.
Most providers with good maintenance and support options will offer ongoing support in addition to the regular maintence and perfomance mentioned above. This usually comes in the form of offering an amount of support time that is included each month. This is highly beneficial as you can then use this time wisely to get content udpates and new features completed by leveraging the expertise of the provider which should take them much less time and completed in an efficient manner.
So there we have it. Hopefully having considered our points above and the main benefits maintenance and support plans provide, you can now see how beneficial these can be in ensuring the original investment you made into your website is maximised and continues to add value by having a professional keep on top of all the technicalities that come with running and maintaing a website, whilst also offering support for future growth.
If you currently need help with the maintenace and support of an existing Wordpress / Woocommerce based site we offer a range of afforable monthly website maintenance plans to suit all business sizes and which include high quality hosting for great loading performance. Visit our website care plans page for more information.