Monday, April 22, 2013

The Basics of Website Maintenance and Management

Marketing your website and trying to make sales while gaining audience members is not all there is to owning and operating a website. You also have to do all the website maintenance. Website management is like many other maintenance duties. It gets overlooked until something goes wrong or when an owner wonders why no one visits it.  The same effort and mentality of owning a physical location needs to be involved in an online presence. Then the webmaster is wishing they were more on top of the ball with their maintenance tasks.

What is involved in Website Maintenance?

Website maintenance service includes things like domain re-registration, backing up files, scanning for security breaches, monitoring spam comments, managing contacts and questions, changing information and photos, updating plugins and software, as well as creating high quality content for your readers. 

This may seem like something that is integrated into your normal activities for your website but the stats don’t lie. Most people brush these tasks under the carpet and then bad things can happen. One common example even for tech savvy web masters is when they need to update their CMS version and do not back up their files.

Before you know it you have hit the ‘Automatic Update’ button and their site crashes because it is not compatible with the new version of the CMS. The last time you did a backup was last month and you lose a ton of good content. This is all too common and only a tiny mishap compared to what could go wrong if you don’t keep up with basic website management.

What Happens When Website Maintenance Doesn't get done?

When website maintenance tasks go undone you are putting it all at risk. You need to provide a good user experience with relevant and rewarding information to your website visitors.  Continual updates, great design, ease of use, and other areas should not be overlooked.

If you do not maintain your site properly your main source of income can be quickly lost. When a website has substantial down time or lacks quality it gets affected in several ways. First people cannot interact with it so you will lose out on sales and potential customers. The relations between new and existing customers will become negative as will your relationship with search engines like Google.

Website down time is the most obvious reason to lose rankings because if a website is offline the user will have a poor experience. If your site is ranking in the top five for a keyword and a user clicks on your link only to find a down site, that is considered a bad experience. Google does not want their customers (internet users) to have bad experiences. All the sites Google refers people to they want to be the best.  If this happens enough you will lose rank, thus you will lose traffic and this could impact your sales not only for the time your site is down but for the future as well.

What Can You Do to Make Life Easier?

One thing some professionals do is outsource their website management tasks to an outside agency. This might seem over kill but it is a small fee compared to the amount of time you spend doing these duties. If something goes wrong you would be willing to pay triple to go back in time and have that security.
An outside agency will make sure you do not have any tasks swept under the rug. Your backups will be taken care of every time you schedule them. When you allow an outside agency to take over your management duties you will have peace of mind that things will go smoothly. If things do go wrong you will also have support from a qualified team to guide you through the process of getting back to where you need to be.

Basic website management is all about taking care of your website. You need to make sure your site is getting backed up, versions are being updated and security is being held in check and that your website is a breadth of knowledge on your offerings and looks active. If you are not absolutely sure you can keep up with the duties you should consider hiring an outside agency to give you peace of mind.

Think of what downtime will mean to your website and your business. If your site does go down or you have a security risk it could damage your reputation and your ability to earn an income. E-commerce sites are especially at risk since they rely on the web to directly generate their income. The cost to hire an agency will be far less than having to start your website over again from scratch.

1 comment:

  1. This really help full for beginners like me...Thanks Brad!