Website Maintenance and Why it’s Important
Website Maintenance is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Ensuring your website is properly maintained, updated and backed up will reduce downtime, virtually eliminate your site getting compromised and enable it to work faster. Faster more secure websites typically rank higher on Google. Especially with Google’s new page experience measurement which will be included in the ranking algorithm, summer 2021.
Why WordPress Website Maintenance?
WordPress, like any other software, depends on a multitude of other software to operate. This includes the software your web server runs on, the language that WordPress is written in (PHP) as well as web languages like HTML and JS. These all change and get updated over time to work faster, better and to close security gaps. In turn, WordPress, your Theme and your Plugins must be updated as well, not only to operate better but to deal with the changes in other technology they depend on.
Plus, having a current backup is a good idea. If your site gets compromised, it’s much easier to restore to a backup than try and find any malware or corrupt files in your installation.
Speed is also a factor. Cleaning and optimizing your database is a key website maintenance task. An optimized database will make your website run faster as database query time is reduced. In addition, the latest version of PHP is always faster. Your Plugins, themes and WordPress itself need to be updated to the latest versions as PHP evolves. At the time of this writing PHP 7.4 is the latest with PHP 8.0 coming soon for wider adoption. Each version of PHP is either significantly faster or incrementally faster than the previous version. Keeping your web server PHP version up to date along with other software is key in keeping your website running fast.
Website Maintenance Cost
Clients always ask, how much does website maintenance cost. The answer is: it kind of depends. It depends on the size of your website (number of pages/products/posts), it also depends on the complexity of your website. For example, a website that has many custom features will have a higher maintenance cost because all these features will need to be tested and possibly trouble-shot each time upgrades are done. In addition, ecommerce websites typically incur a higher maintenance cost for this reason as well. They are more complex and require greater testing, plus there are more things that can go wrong when software is updated.
The amount of support is also a cost factor. Website maintenance plans can include supporting users to answer questions, provide training or do small changes and upgrades. This also significantly influences the website maintenance cost.
Website Maintenance Checklist
Here are some items that your website maintenance plans should include. This is a great website maintenance checklist to either do yourself or review with someone you are hiring to care for your website.
- File Backups – Monthly, Weekly or Daily depending on how much your website changes.
- Database Backups – Weekly or Daily depending on how much your website changes.
- Database Optimization – An optimized database is faster.
- Security Monitoring – The ability to monitor for security problems is a must.
- WordPress Updates – Updating the core WordPress files for security and speed.
- Spam Removal – Removing and monitoring spam comments is important for speed.
- Speed Optimizations – caching and compressing JS and CSS files and HTML pages.
- Broken Links Review – Broken links in your site cause 404 errors and are frowned upon by Google
- Site Restore – restoring your website to a previous version if crash or hack.
- Plugin Updates – All the Plugins that are used in your website need to be regularly updated for security and speed.
- Theme Updates – The theme or style that your website is built on, also requires regular updates for speed and security.
- Newsletter List maintenance – Maintaining a valid list of subscribers is important to promote your business.
iGo Sales and Marketing can help you with Website Maintenance.
iGo Sales and Marketing offers website care plans and website maintenance services to suit your unique needs. You can get a custom quote for website maintenance from iGo Sales and Marketing on our website. If you’re just interested in general website maintenance pricing, we also have various standard website maintenance packages if you prefer a more general service. Contact us for more details.