Maintenance is a critical part of website ownership. Much like a house or car, your website needs regular attention to prevent larger issues from occurring in the future. Without regular attention, your site will gradually become less stable and likely be more expensive and time consuming in the future when something inevitably malfunctions. To ensure your website remains at peak performance we recommend you consider the following elements on a monthly or weekly basis:
It’s critical that you backup your website(s) regularly. Websites live on a computer, much like the computer you use every day for work or pleasure. You’ve likely encountered issues with your computer before. Well, the same sort of issues can happen to the computer that hosts your website. Hard drives can fail, data can be lost, or computers could get hacked. Having regular backups ensures you’re able to get your site back up and running quickly without having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a data recovery service–not to mention the stress that comes along with the process.
New versions of the software that power your website are released routinely. These updates improve performance, add features, and most importantly fix potential security issues. Failing to update your software regularly leaves you exposed to hackers. Cleaning up after a site’s been hacked is difficult and expensive, as hackers often install “back doors” which make it easy to rehack even after you’ve restored it.
Because software developers on occasion make drastic changes to their code, it’s critical you backup your website before an update and test the entire site afterward. On rare occasion an update can cause your site to look or behave differently.
Most website hacks go undiscovered for days, weeks or even months. Most hackers don’t want to deface your website, they want to secretly sell pharmaceuticals and other illegal products. They will create pages that are hidden to everyone but search engines. Those that search for pharmaceuticals will find them but you’ll never know they exist. A regular malware scan ensures that your site hasn’t been hacked or that the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible.
Sometimes websites go down. Most hosts claim a 99.9% uptime. While this sounds very high, it still is 45 minutes of downtime per month. Being alerted of a website outage ensures you can take action to get the site online as quickly as possible.
Development and Support
Your website is a sophisticated piece of software. Over time you’ll likely have questions about how to do things, need to do something the site doesn’t currently support, or need to update the functionality to accommodate changing best practices (for example, Google making new recommendations). Regularly investing in development and support time allows us to allocate time to your needs which allows you to jump to the front of the queue. Getting help faster for a lower cost is always a good thing.
NOTE: Depending on immediacy, rush rates and availability conditions may apply.
If you have the resources and expertise to manage these needs yourself, we encourage you to do so. If you need assistance managing the maintenance of your site we offer customized monthly service plans.