You may feel an ongoing maintenance package for your website is an unnecessary extra cost, however there are some very good reasons to consider them.
1. Changes in Search Engine SEO Criteria
You may or may not be aware that Google and Yahoo/Bing are continually trying to improve their search results for their users. This means that they change the way their algorithms search your website and this can effect your search ranking. Google recently changed its criteria to promote mobile friendly sites and demote those that are not. If your website is not mobile friendly then you are going to see your website slip from page one of search results to page 7 or worse! And who looks past page 3 or search results?
Paying for a professional website designer to maintain your site will take care of these changes for you. They will ensure that your website is optimised for all search engines, is mobile friendly and complies with any new criteria Google or Yahoo/Bing introduce.
2. Changes to your website
Once your website is up and running you should think of it like a house plant. If you do not add new content Google etal will know and eventually your site will start slipping down the search rankings, rather like failing to feed your plant. Your website won’t die but it will fade away down the search engine rankings. Adding content can be time consuming and frustrating if you are not familiar with coding or with the platform your website is based on. It is much easier to to fire off an email or pick up the phone to your website maintenance provider and ask them to add it in for you.
3. Things go wrong
A good website includes social media feeds, contact forms, a blog and many more complex pieces of code. They can and do go wrong on occasion. Feeds stop populating, blogs can disappear and contact forms can start pinging back with unknown address messages. Fixing such issues can be a headache for someone familiar with website coding and nigh on impossible to sort out for an amateur.
Paying for someone to come in and firefight your issues can be expensive, very expensive! Your website could be down for a week and you could end up forking out well over £1,000.
Retaining the services of a professional website designer can ensure that issues are kept to a minimum. They will be proactive and ensure that all your feeds, forms and blogs use the latest coding and prevent errors before they occur. If on the rare occasion they do occur, it is your providers headache not yours! It is their responsibility to get you up and running again and it should not cost you a bean!
4. Taking care of the mundane
Websites need to be hosted, they also need to have the domain name registered. Failing to look after these will mean your website will go offline. Even if it goes offline for a day it can have a significant effect on your search ranking. If Google’s bots try and search your site content when it is down your site will be demoted significantly and very quickly will disappear from all search engine results.
Engaging with a website maintenance provider will mean that they will monitor your hosting and your domain renewal dates. They will renewal your domain in good time to ensure continuity of service. They can switch your hosting provider if they fail to maintain a reasonable uptime (99.99%) which is a real headache for the uninitiated. This will be one less thing for you to remember and enable you to focus your efforts on your core business.
If your website does not take payments or collect client data (emails etc) this would not be much of an issue for you. Using third party providers to process payments and organise your client data can minimise the risks to you but you need to be vigilant. Website Security and Hackers are in an arms race. Your website should use the latest in security measures but they become outdated very quickly. Hackers work long and hard to find ways past current security systems looking for the little gaps in existing software which they will then exploit once they find them.
With new software updates and threats appearing all the time, the challenge for any website owner is how to stay on top of the risk. This is what your website maintenance provider is there for – they will already be watching for changes within the industry to ensure you get the most out of your website, prolonging its life, whilst reducing the level of risk. With a maintenance package, they will take the burden off you which will save you a lot of time, as well as ensuring you’re safe.
Hopefully you have found this article useful and informative. If you have any additional questions please feel free to get in touch.
See my article on choosing the best hosting provider HERE. My overall choices for the best hosting providers are –
Best Budget UK Based Shared Hosting Provider
Best Overall Hosting Support & Platform Shared & VPS Hosting
Best Cloud, VPS & Dedicated Server Hosting Provider
*A relatively new type of hosting, ‘Cloud Hosting’ has emerged in recent years. I will write another article on this subject and or amend this article when I have firmed up my thoughts on this development.