Companies spend thousands of dollars in building a website, but spend little thought or money to maintain it. Their commitment towards online investment ideally ends once the website is designed, developed and live. Not much attention is paid to the site, unless, it’s time for a redesign or revamp. In fact, it’s easier to convince clients to opt for a redesign than to make them understand the need for ongoing website maintenance.
Regular maintenance often features as a prominent agenda for web owners when the site is new. But as time proceeds, this soon drops off their priority list. A static website would neither attract new customers, nor would it tempt current users to keep coming back. Regular maintenance helps to;
a) Keep the site updated as per Google’s algorithmic changes:
Panda, penguin and now the hummingbird! We’ve lost track of the number of algorithmic changes introduced by Google. What was considered essential a few years ago is taboo today! To maintain your higher rankings or to ensure that you don’t lose out because of Google’s updated algorithms, website maintenance is essential. Similarly, you may need to add software updates or add plugins to keep up with new coding requirements on a site. Installing plugins aren’t always easy; some might have a bug and may stop the site from working. To get rid of this, you may have to update the platform. Search engines often give preference to sites that confirm to the latest programming standards.
b) Keep visitors interested:
The internet has managed to shorten our ‘interest span’, and to sustain consumer interest websites find it increasingly important to refresh their look and feel. While it took around 20 years for Starbucks to unveil a new logo, social media giant Facebook felt the need to redesign their logo in just 6 years since inception. To keep users motivated to visit your site, fresh content and design is necessary.
c) Fix Issues:
Poorly maintained websites with obvious typographical and grammatical errors, dead links, irrelevant pages and outdated information paints a clumsy picture of a company. Website maintenance can fix all of these problems and help to polish your corporate image.
d) Add new products and services:
Companies have to constantly evolve to keep up with the changing environment by adding new services or scraping/modifying existing ones. As a business you will have to inform your customers about these changes. Websites have to be constantly updated to include new products and services.
e) Staying one step ahead of spammers and hackers:
Spammers and hackers are going to continue to hit you with malicious codes, unless you fill the holes in your design and make it foolproof.
What do we do whilst undertaking website maintenance for your site
To keep your website error free and update fresh content, we check for;
a) Check for coding errors and broken links: We run your website pages through an HTML validator to look for errors. Similarly, we also check for broken links. Such dead ends irritate customers and may even distract them away from your site.
b) Check for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes: Throughout its updates, Google has been consistent about one aspect- user experience. There have been several studies to prove that poor grammar and spelling errors often cause users to distrust a website. We check your web content for obvious typographical and grammatical errors.
c) Check for the quality of backlinks: Although backlink inventory management is a separate program in itself, we offer to perform a basic backlink analysis to ensure that your website does not contain dubious and questionable incoming links. We perform a general assessment of your backlinks and discard those that aren’t related to your niche. Obtaining backlinks without assessing their quality may have been the trend a few years ago, but today, such a practice can be suicidal and even attract an unnatural link penalty.
d) Check your web copy: Sales copies that do not compel the audience to buy your product are a waste of space and money. We analyse your sales content and edit if required. The content is made informative, subtly convincing the audience about the benefits and emphasising how it differs from other similar products in the market.
e) Check website rankings: We constantly monitor your website ranking and ensure that you stay updated with all search engine changes. This includes analysing your keywords, checking their relevance, adjusting the meta content, etc.
f) Monitor web visits and analyse reports: As a part of the website maintenance plan, we check the number of people who visit your site, analyse visitor profile, monitor visits per page, understand bounce rates, etc.
g) Monitor web security: Without adequate security, your website could be under threat from hackers or confidential information could be stolen. We protect financial transactions and ensure that all information remains secure and safe.
These are just some of the many aspects covered under website maintenance by companies like ours. But how does one select the right website company? Here are some of the aspects to be considered whilst hiring a website maintenance company;
a) Services offered: The company that you choose should offer solutions to your entire website related queries and potential problems. From content management to looking after web security, the service offerings should be comprehensive and all inclusive. For instance, at CMather, we do everything for you, right from script installation to even custom coding, so that updates and other aspects can be handled by a novice without a hassle. Thus, you get to devote more time to your business rather than your website.
b) Monthly backups: How often does the service provider offer to do backup. How soon are patches and updates installed? What happens when you need new add on services like web pages, blogs, etc, to be added? A commitment by the service provider regarding this aspect would be highly appreciated. Even with the best web hosting company, it is possible that your website may crash and you might end up losing all precious data. But with proper backup services, this problem can be tackled.
c) Pricing: Website maintenance charges often depend on the extent of coverage required. Depending on the service provider chosen and the service plan required, you can either enter a contractual obligation or opt for a no contract service. As for the pricing, you can be charged on an hourly basis or on the basis of the plan chosen.
d) Experience: Make sure that you choose a company with experience in providing timely and regular service. Not just the company, but the experts chosen for your website should possess adequate experience and must be seasoned professionals.