Website maintenance can often feel like an afterthought. That is until something goes terribly and unexpectedly wrong. We’ve had new clients approach us in a panic because their sites were down or the design went sideways, which can happen for various reasons. For example, one former client had a new marketing team member who switched their site’s WordPress theme on the live site and didn’t know how to restore a backup. Other clients have had issues configuring SSL certificates, keeping domains or web hosting accounts active, or updating WordPress, thus creating site errors to appear to their visitors.
The time when your site is offline is money down the drain. We’ve also seen people play the blame game — pointing fingers at others in the office or creating an even more stressful, toxic environment than necessary. All of this can be avoided by outsourcing website maintenance to the experts.
Why Website Maintenance Matters
Your website is a window into the world for your business. Whether you use it as a brochure to show potential customers what you can do or if you use it to generate leads and sales, it’s a vehicle that helps potential customers learn more about you. And, just like your car, your website needs regular maintenance.
If you don’t maintain your car, eventually, it will break down. You may get lucky for a while, but nothing lasts forever. Maybe this time, the “check engine” light wasn’t just something you could ignore.
You invested in setting up your business, building your brand, and creating a website that showcases the products or services that you offer. Protecting your investment is an important part of being a business owner.
How do you protect your investment?
The best option for most business owners is to hand over maintenance tasks to a trusted company that will look after their website on an ongoing basis. This is often referred to as a “Website Maintenance Plan” or a “Website Care Plan.”
A website maintenance plan provides you with peace of mind. It lets you stay focused on growing your business and serving your customers while experienced professionals look after your website and keep it safe.
Avoid these 5 website maintenance mistakes
So, you’ve launched a shiny new website. Great! But your job’s not done yet. Now that you have a key new marketing asset, keeping it up-to-date and performing well is important. To keep your website in tippy-top shape, avoid making these five common website maintenance mistakes:
Mistake 1: Doing nothing. This is the most common mistake that business owners make. Perhaps they’re choosing to do nothing because they don’t “see the value” in a maintenance plan or think it’s something they can manage themselves.
Mistake 2: Relying on their hosting company for backups. Don’t solely rely on hosting companies. Sure, they may be able to help you restore your system, but they won’t help you with the underlying issue — which could be outdated or incompatible themes, malware, etc. These problems will keep recurring until you fix the root cause, so it’s best to avoid worst-case scenarios and partner with specialists who stress the importance of storing backups in multiple locations.
Mistake 3: No disaster recovery plan. This ties in with backups. It’s all about what the business owner should be doing when something goes wrong. Having a disaster recovery plan in place gives them a simple process to follow to get their website back online. Ensure that any key stakeholders monitoring or working on the website know what to do and who to contact if something goes awry.
Mistake 4: Trying to do everything themselves. It’s a common trait for business owners to try and do everything themselves. Many business owners feel like they might “have a go” at it, but do they really know what the buttons they’re pressing mean? It’s a dangerous game of digital Buckaroo. Life is much easier for business owners who can let go. Letting someone else carry out the maintenance work will save you time so you can focus on your business.
Mistake 5: Delegating to the wrong person. Many companies may delegate website maintenance to a staff member or marketing intern. Their areas of expertise may be in design — maybe even web design — but the skills needed to keep the nuts and bolts of your marketing engine performing well are different. Knowledge of servers, troubleshooting, and the guts of a website is necessary to keep a website performing well.
Huckleberry Branding offers affordable monthly WordPress website maintenance plans for your peace of mind. These plans include regular maintenance checks and updates, backups that can be easily restored, and a support team who is available to make updates as needed to your existing site. Don’t leave your website maintenance to chance! There is a better way that provides you with peace of mind and reassurance, allowing you to focus on your business.