The Importance of Web Maintenance
Website maintenance is the process of monitoring and testing a website to ensure it is fully functional and that end-users can interact with it as intended. It refers to the practices of monitoring a website’s overall health and performance over time. Keeping a website up-to-date is crucial to ensuring it’s working at full capacity, and engaging and retaining site visitors.
A website is the focal point of a brand’s online presence, a unique digital space where you can connect with potential customers, build an audience, and sell your products or services. While it presents a fantastic opportunity to express your brand and communicate your message, owning a website also presents risks and challenges that you should do all you can to manage. If you own a website, it’s essential that you understand the importance of regular site maintenance. Website maintenance is critically important to protect your site from security risks, safeguard your website performance, and a host of other issues that can arise over time.
In this article, we will outline the importance of website maintenance and explain how it plays a vital role in ensuring a website is secure and running efficiently. We will discuss the benefits of these practices, as well as the potential consequences of neglecting them. We will explain how ongoing website maintenance is essential if you want to ensure a website is healthy and functioning fully as intended.
Website Maintenance and Website Performance
In 2020, Google launched Core Web Vitals, an initiative to provide guidance for delivering great user experiences on the web. The initiative identifies the key metrics that influence how a user experiences a website.
It highlights what matters most to website users – page loading performance, browsing safety and security, and ease of interaction. If you want your website to be successful, creating great user experiences, you should focus attention on ensuring the site delivers on these key metrics. This is where website maintenance comes in.
Website maintenance is about monitoring and preserving website performance and security so that a site continues to generate positive user experiences. Common website maintenance practices include updating plugins and software, testing page loading speeds, testing pages and functions for errors or broken links, making regular backups of the site, and adding new content and visuals. Regular maintenance is important to prevent exposing a site to poor performance, slower loading times, and security risks. Some security risks may even cause the site to crash and become inaccessible. If a website is running slowly or is inaccessible, the business is missing out on new customers and new opportunities.
A recent survey found that only 11% of internet users would come back to a website later and try again if they couldn’t access it on their first attempt. Visitors may form a poor impression of your business if your website isn’t available, takes too long to load, or isn’t up to date.
Website performance makes a big difference for users. 47% of internet users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Deloitte Consulting recently published a study, ‘Milliseconds Make Millions,’ showing how improvements in site speed positively affect a brand’s success. Analysis showed that a mere 0.1 second improvement in site speed led to consumers spending almost 10% more online. Website maintenance is necessary to ensure the website provides a great user experience and that the site develops successfully. Providing a great user experience is an effective way to drive more users to your website, and the best way to keep them coming back.
The Benefits of Website Maintenance
Now that we have a good understanding of what website maintenance is and why it is important, let’s now examine the key benefits of website maintenance in a bit more detail.
- Security – Regular Security Scans and Updates
Cyber attacks like denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), malware and ransomware are very common threats for a website. The UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 found that in the last 12 months, 31% of UK businesses estimated that they experienced a cyber attack at least once a week.
For medium and large businesses, the average cost of a cyber attack was estimated at £19,400. Security breaches can damage website functionality and user experience. Attacks can compromise data, leaving important and sensitive information vulnerable to theft or damage, and cause the site to run much more slowly, or crash altogether.
Security is one of the key benefits of website maintenance. Security maintenance includes conducting regular security scans and updating software and security plugins. Security breaches can damage your brand and discourage visitors from returning to your site. Maintenance ensures website security is up to date and reliable, protecting the site from damaging and costly cyberattacks.
2. Optimal Website Performance
Website performance is critically important and is one of the key aspects that will determine if a website is effective. Website maintenance includes monitoring website performance over time, testing page load speeds, and testing links and functionality. The objective is to ensure the best possible website performance, maximising page load speeds and minimizing downtime. Regular maintenance also allows for the identification and correction of errors and poor site performance.
A website that loads slowly will struggle to impress visitors. A recent study by Portent found that a site that loads in 1 second has a conversion rate 3 times higher than a site that loads in 5 seconds.
Website conversion rates drop by 2.11% with each additional second of page load time. As this study showed, there is a strong link between website performance and positive user experience. Website maintenance includes the process of monitoring and optimizing a site for best performance.
3. Regular Backups
Website maintenance also includes the practice of implementing a backup strategy to protect valuable information in the event of a cyber security breach. The process stores a regular backup of all website data on a separate medium to protect against data loss or data corruption, to minimize losses as a result of human error, and to build a secure archive of important information like customer databases.
Website data is potentially at risk from cyber threats. Norton Security estimates that 1 in 10 computers are infected by a virus each month.
If a website has been affected, regular backups allow the data to be recovered from an earlier point, uncorrupted, and the website to be restored quickly to an earlier, healthy state, minimising downtime and any damage to a website’s reputation.
4. Regular Content Updates
Website maintenance enables adding regular new content to a website, giving the opportunity to keep the website fresh, add new keywords and images, engage with users, and keep them up to date with the latest special offers and news about the business or organisation.
Uploading new content regularly, like new blogs, videos, and case studies, contributes to positive user experience, and boosts the website’s SEO score and ranking on search engines. Improved search ranking and SEO contribute significantly to increasing traffic to a website.
As these benefits show, website maintenance is the process of monitoring and maintenance of the key aspects of a website that contribute to security, performance, and functionality. Maintenance gives you the opportunity to optimise your site to deliver the best possible performance and security necessary to providing positive user experiences to the site’s visitors.
As we have discussed, website maintenance is critical to ensuring your website is secure and delivering positive user experiences. The objective of website maintenance is to optimise a website’s performance and security, protecting it from harm and guaranteeing the best possible user experience for the website visitors.
Some website owners may see maintenance as an unnecessary expense. Neglecting to maintain a website leaves the site vulnerable to a host of potential problems, from security threats to poor performance. These problems will cost a lot more in website downtime, poor user experiences, and poor impressions of your business. If you do not currently conduct regular maintenance on your website, we strongly recommend that you begin doing so. Website maintenance is a necessary investment that will ensure your website will continue to be an important asset for your business long into the future.
At Grinning Graphics, we offer a comprehensive website maintenance service, where we manage and conduct regular maintenance, updates, and security checks, guaranteeing super-fast website performance and enhanced security features. Visit our website maintenance service page for more information about our website maintenance service.
Contact us today to book a FREE website maintenance consultation where we will discuss your maintenance needs.