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What to Expect from Website Maintenance

Website Maintenance Illustration

As a business owner your website most likely represents a significant investment of time and money. The initial cost of the website design, not to mention the time, effort, and cost associated with updates, blog posts and content creation all add up. Yet, if you’re not taking the time to focus on monthly website maintenance, that investment could be at risk. Out of date websites are prime targets for exploitation and a host of other problems.

Why Website Maintenance Matters

Let’s face it. There are less than reputable people out there who would love nothing more than to gain access to a website and cause issues. Many times it’s just to say they did it, but there are others that use the opportunity to cause serious, permanent damage to a website. At the very least, they can leave malicious code on your web server designed to re-route unsuspecting clients and customers to locations other than your website.

Because websites many times rely on software from different vendors for certain functionality, they require periodic updates to stay current.

Most of these attacks of opportunity are possibile due to out of date software used to run and manage your site. Perhaps your web design studio showed you the value of having your website built on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or another framework. Because these CMS’ many times rely on software from different vendors for certain functionality, they require periodic updates to stay current. A lot of the time, CMS updates happen because a software vendor learns of a new way that hackers can exploit a website using their plug-in / software and the vendor releases an update to remove the vulnerability. That’s a good thing.

Moving away from the most obvious concern of exploitation, website maintenance can also provide protection through regular, whole site backups, uptime monitoring, and a variety of other small services that provide stability to your website.

What Type of Maintenance Services Are Available?

There are a variety of maintenance services that can be offered. Here are a few of the core services you can expect from a website maintenance program:

  • Regular website updates
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly website backups
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Website security scanning
  • Regular website audits

Other services that can be provided but may not be part of a standard maintenance package (or are more infrequent package services) are:

  • SSL setup / maintenance
  • Audit and fix of broken links on site
  • Page speed assessment and optimization
  • Audit and fix broken images on site
  • Meta data and schema data audits and fixes

How Much do Website Maintenance Services Cost?

That depends on the level of support services you’re looking to use on your website. Most companies will offer a series of services bundled in a few monthly packages that you can subscribe to. You pick the package that fits your budget and move forward accordingly.

Most companies will offer a series of services bundled in a few monthly packages that you can subscribe to.

Many studios and agencies have also started to include additional hours of service work that can be applied to helping in other areas beyond just the maintenance program. This is perfect for small businesses who need monthly changes to their website content. That can take the form of new website pages that need to be created, content edits, or other small monthly tasks. That is the type of monthly website maintenance / retainer package that we offer here at Shop. We’ve found that most companies have a variety of little tasks that they need help with in addition to monthly maintenance. By bundling a few hours or work time in with the maintenance duties, we are able to better serve our client’s website needs and the client feels like they are not receiving a bunch of hourly bills for a few monthly changes across their site.

Is the Money Worth What You Get?

As mentioned earlier, your website most likely represents one of your more dollar intensive business investments. If you think about it, you’re website is your frontline sales resource. It’s out there working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. What would you normally spend for an employee who could do that same level of service for you on a monthly basis?

Taking good care of your website through a regular series of maintenance services helps to keep your site up to date, operating smoothly, and selling your services. And if there is an issue, regular website maintenance puts in place the tools to quickly identify issues and get them resolved in a timely manner.

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by Erin Lynch // Clients, Web Design, Website Maintenance

About shop

We are Shop, a web design and graphic design studio based in Vancouver, WA. We’re a small group of designers, developers, writers, and makers who have banded together with the goal of creating beautiful design.