11 Reasons Why Website Maintenance is Important

Alliance  ·  April 04

For many companies your website is the very first and sometimes last impression that anyone will get of your business. In this article, we will discuss frequently asked questions that will help evaluate the right website maintenance company for your business needs.

1. What happens when you don’t update your website?

Regularly updating your website is critical for maintaining a great user experience and ensuring that everything is running smoothly.

Outdated Software– Is your site running on outdated CMS version or old modules or plugins? Old software leaves your site open to crashes, bugs, incompatibility with new the newest features and exposes your business to expensive updates to fix broken code.

Website Security – Every day hackers are scanning websites to fine on websites. Failure to update your website’s CMS or plugins and modules makes your site vulnerable to hacking. 

A Slow Website – Website speed not only helps improve the users experience on a website – its now a Google ranking factor, known as Core Web Vitals, affects how your site will be ranked on search engines. 

Website Downtime – A website outage, even infrequent can create significant damage to the site, affect website rankings or cost your organization sales, loss of reputation and lack of confidence in your brand.

Websites require maintenance on an ongoing basis in order to function properly. A lack of regular maintenance can lead to security and performance issues, problems with functionality, and a lack of business growth due to a decrease in website traffic and visitor abandonment.

2. What is website maintenance?

Website maintenance refers to the tasks required to keep a website up to date and relevant. Routine website maintenance will also ensure that your website performs optimally and is a safe and secure space for your visitors.

website maintenance

Website maintenance involves regular audits to check for any issues and correcting them in a timely manner. Website maintenance also includes making new updates to your website to improve functionality and visitor experience through new features and updates to the current design.

3. Why should I hire a third party for my website maintenance?

It might seem like an additional expense, but hiring a website maintenance expert will ensure that your website stays up to date while allowing you to focus on other areas of your business.  Website maintenance requires frequent evaluation to identify any issues or opportunities for improvements. If any issues are to arise, they also need to be addressed immediately or your website can potentially be at risk for data loss, which can be even more expensive to correct if it goes unnoticed.  

Now that we have addressed why website maintenance is important, below are some frequently asked questions that you should consider when hiring a website maintenance expert.

4. How much is this going to cost?

You will want to be very diligent when communicating with a website maintenance company to understand what their costs are to make sure it fits within your budget. First, have the company outline the different packages available for purchase. Then, inquire about additional costs for update hours that might be necessary for improvements to your website. Make sure to have them present a full contract outlining all these details before buying a website maintenance package.  

5. Do I need to be on a maintenance retainer?

A maintenance retainer is an ongoing agreement between a digital agency and their client to work in partnership over an extended period of time. While there might be some hesitation to commit to a long-term contract, it will actually save you money over time. The extended contract will allow the agency to familiarize themselves with your website and business needs, and provide you with the necessary monitoring and updates to keep things running smoothly. Establishing this type of relationship will also help the agency fix any issues that require immediate attention before they can turn into a more serious issue that can be even more costly to resolve (such as problems with data theft or loss). Having routine website maintenance will ensure that you can maintain a great online experience for your visitors, which will help grow your business by keeping them engaged through a website that is secure and performs well.

6. Who owns my website files?

You want to make sure that when choosing a website maintenance company that there is a clause in the contract that transfers ownership of your website’s files to you after all payments have ended and the contract is completed. You want to make sure that you will be the owner or your website’s content should you choose to make any updates in the future or change maintenance companys. Some cheap website maintenance companys might provide great rates, but might trap you with a huge fee for file ownership once your contract has ended. When you are making payments to a website maintenance company you may not technically own the files during this time, but after your written commitment has ended, these files will need to belong to you.

7. How do you keep confidential information private?

Before signing a contract with a website maintenance company, you will want to ensure that confidential information for your business is kept private, and that the agency will not sell or steal any of your business or clients personal information. You will want to double check that there is a clause included in your website maintenance contract stating that all confidential information regarding your website remains private.

8. Should my hosting company do website maintenance?

Website hosting and website maintenance might sound similar, but it is important not to confuse the two. Managed hosting provides the server for your website, ensuring that your website performs great for your visitors. Your hosting company should take care of any troubleshooting, perform routine back ups and installation of any security software, as well as 24/7 monitoring to prevent downtime and potential issues with data loss. 

Website maintenance is a bit more complex, and includes all the elements that need to be updated, designed, or fixed on your website. This includes elements such as content management, coding updates, changes in functionality, or updates to your website design. A good website maintenance company will take the hassle out of trying to update the design or change certain features on your website.

Finding a hosting company that also does website maintenance is the most ideal partnership. Your hosting company will already have a basic understanding of your website due to ongoing monitoring and experience resolving issues on your website, and by offering website maintenance they will be able to make further updates to improve the functionality or design to create an overall better user experience. Having a digital agency that does both will also make communication much easier and ensure that the necessary updates and changes are made in the easiest way possible.

Having a good hosting company is necessary if you want to reduce the amount of maintenance required for your website. Good hosting ensures that your website provides a great user experience through a well-performing and secure website. Search engines such as Google also look at overall user experience when determining search rankings, so hosting is the easiest place to start when making improvements to your website.

Website Hosting

  • Routine backups
  • 24/7 monitoring 
  • Security patches and updates

Website Maintenance

  • Content development
  • Search engine optimization
  • Design improvements
  • Development updates
  • Improvements in functionality
  • Analytics review

9. What is the difference between website support and website maintenance?

Website support can be defined as fixing or identifying specific or potential issues with a website, such as debugging, broken software, backups, and ongoing monitoring. Website maintenance is defined as making proactive changes that help potential issues from occurring. Website maintenance updates could include development updates, changes to content, installation of security software, improvements to functionality, or changes to a website’s design. When evaluating a digital agency, you will want to check if they offer both support and maintenance. This will ensure that issues are not only identified and resolved quickly, but also that improvements are made proactively for a better user experience.

Website Support

  • Software updates
  • Performance enhancements
  • Fixing html coding errors or broken links
  • File backups

Website Maintenance

  • Content development
  • Search engine optimization
  • Design improvements
  • Development updates
  • Improvements in functionality
  • Analytics review

10. Can website maintenance company work with designers or other creatives?

Yes, a qualified website maintenance company will work in tandem with other designers and creatives depending on the needs of your business. When selecting a website maintenance company, you will want to ask what communication methods and tools they offer for making website improvements. This will ensure consistent communication needs are met across a team and any necessary changes and updates are made in a timely manner. 

11. What is a typical response time?

Most website maintenance support tickets requests are reviewed  the same business day and are resolved by next business day.  Make sure you have a good understanding between your partner company on what the expectations are for service.  Always define the service level agreement (SLA) in your website maintenance paperwork that defines the expected level of service for your website. If you’re finding that your website company has lost interest in your fixes or updates or simply that your requests are taking too long, its clearly time for a change.

Alliance is a top website maintenance services company based in Washington, DC. We help organizations with security, updates, and website performance improvements. We are a full service agency, and offer both website maintenance and hosting services. You can connect with a website hosting and maintenance expert here.