Do you remember buying your very first car? There is a real sense of pride that comes from making such a “grown-up” purchase. It’s shiny, new, and YOURS. It feels the same way when you purchase your first house. It’s your home, with all of the responsibilities, maintenance, and benefits that come with it.
For many small business owners, there is a similar feeling when you get your first professionally-designed website. It looks incredible, acting as your own little corner of the internet. Your branding is impeccable, the content is compelling, and your graphics simply “pop.”
But here is the big difference between a house/car and a website. It would never occur to you not to maintain your vehicle. If something breaks, then you take it into the auto shop. You even do periodic checks to make sure that it’s safe and functional. I’ve always been surprised by how many people don’t do the same for their website.
Like all things, websites break down. Plugins get out of date, links break, security can be compromised. If you aren’t taking care of your website, your little corner of the internet could be on that no one wants to visit. So, what can you do? Easy, get monthly website maintenance!
The #1 worry for most small business owners about their website is that they will get hacked. Security is key because if visitors can’t trust your website, they can’t trust your business.
Some small business owners think that their business isn’t large enough to be targeted by hackers. It’s only the big corporations who have to worry about that, right? 100% wrong. Hackers target small businesses much more often than big companies because they are much easier targets.
Big businesses spend big bucks on security. They put tons of resources into making their websites and other web services impregnable. You, as a small business owner, have limited resources. Hackers could target your website to steal bandwidth, put up spyware in the form of ads, or take all of your web content hostage.
To protect yourself, you need to make sure that your website is entirely up to date. If it uses old coding and outdated security, it’s going to be a much more attractive target for hackers. This is often what makes the difference between a DIY and professional website. By doing monthly website maintenance, you keep you and your web content much more secure.
Of course, something that you can do immediately is to make sure that you’re using a secure password. You want a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. If you are worried about remembering it, I would highly suggest signing up with a service like LastPass to secure all of your passwords.
Improve the User Experience
If you’re on a platform like WordPress or Squarespace, then you know they are continually updating their services with new features, integrations, functionality. That’s fantastic, but you will only benefit from taking advantage of these features by integrating them into your website.
Think of these web platforms like your phone. Every week, new apps are available, others are updated, and occasionally, a significant OS update is released. If you aren’t taking steps to keep up to date, your website is going to slow down, and you’re going to be offering your customers a dated user experience. By putting a monthly website maintenance plan into action, you can make sure that your digital space is always on the cutting edge (though that doesn’t mean you might not need a website facelift every few years).
Things Break Down
One of the reasons why many people put off website maintenance until it is too late is because they feel they’ve already spent enough money on designing the site. That’s understandable, but if you don’t protect your investment, you’re going to lose it.
We aren’t even necessarily saying it will be as catastrophic as your entire site going down. It might be as minor as your “Contact Us” page not working. Or a broken link in your “Blog” section. Maybe your customers can’t put items into their cart in your e-commerce store. Heck, it could be just a misspelling in your webcopy. Over time, these things can add up until your website isn’t doing the job you designed it to do.
With monthly website maintenance, your website and features will be much less likely to go down due to technical reasons. The absolute last thing you want when a potential client is searching for your website is for them to see a page that says, “404 Website Not Found.”
If you haven’t updated your website in months (or even years), there is a good chance that problems might have cropped that you don’t even know about. This is one of the reasons why I recommend my clients do a full website audit. Here, you go through your site, taking note of everything that’s working and everything that isn’t on the front and backends of the site. I offer my free Ultimate Step-by-Step Website Audit Workbook to help you get started, but if you feel that you don’t have the expertise or the time, you can also simply hire me to do it for you!
Monthly website maintenance is one of those services that should constantly be running in the background, ensuring that nothing goes wrong. Over the last few years, I’ve saved my clients time, month, and massive headaches by taking care of their website issues the second they crop up. Contact me today, and we can put a website maintenance schedule in place that will make sure that you’re offering your customers the best possible online experience!