When offering this service, we often answer questions like; what is website maintenance and do I need it?
Well, put it this way – a website should be an investment in the future of your business/charity/organisation etc. So once you’ve invested in creating your brand new website, there are other ongoing services to consider.
For example, website maintenance can cover updating it as technologies update and as search engines update. Google makes on average 8 updates per day at the moment..!
If you don’t have the in-house capability to look after your website month to month, your web agency should offer to help you.
Side note: as you may know from reading our other blogs, we’re pretty honest and direct so... PLEASE be warned. If your website designer and developer/agency are NOT offering you website maintenance as a service or training. This is a flag as it slightly calls into question their technical understanding and capabilities.
So firstly, do I even need website maintenance?
The honest answer is no, but depending on the platform your website is built on, it is highly recommended.
Out-of-date software or plugins can create security vulnerabilities, software conflicts or performance issues.
Not only can this impact your website functionality, but also your user experience. ALSO, it can put you in the bad books of search engines (i.e. Bing, Google etc). A bad user experience means they will give your website a lower credibility score. It can be hard to gain points with search engines and you can’t risk losing some over tiny technological oversights.
Websites built on the popular CMS WordPress do need regular maintenance. This is to make sure the most recent versions of the software, themes and plugins are on the latest versions. This protects your site from both a security and performance point of view. Take a look at our WordPress website maintenance packages here.
It’s also a good idea to run a regular malware scan in case the site has been compromised. You should also run a website database backup. Other activities such as clearing out form submissions and checking blog comments can keep your database lean and secure.
What is website maintenance going to cost?
Some agencies may package up maintenance with hosting. A package could include things such as allocating time to make general website updates, running reports or doing simple optimisation tasks.
Basic maintenance on a small site could start from £50 per month. It might vary up to £300/400. It all depends on the agreement and the work to be carried out.
Website maintenance is usually performed as a monthly activity. Website maintenance is a good idea if you want the peace of mind that your website is being looked after. This frees you up to focus on your business.
What will happen if I don’t maintain my site?
If you don’t maintain your website, there are risks and consequences. After time you may find that any out-of-date software installed could slow your site down. This makes it susceptible to hacking, even breaking and becoming inaccessible. How quickly this starts to happen depends on how your website is originally built, where it’s hosted etc.
Our recommended WordPress maintenance tasks
- Keep the WordPress core up to date
- Update any plugins used, and regularly audit them to make sure they are needed and compatible with your WordPress version
- Make sure the template/theme framework is up to date
- Run a malware scan (we usually use Wordfence security plugin)
- Visually check the main pages for any obvious issues
- Make sure the hosting platform is using the latest version of PHP
- Run a database backup
If you can action these once a month, you can keep your website running smoothly. Here is a more in-depth look at our recommended maintenance activities.
Looking to update your website, or feel it just needs a little maintenance and TLC? Please do get in contact, we’re happy to help.