Like your physical business premises, and as your WordPress website has many features, your website needs maintenance. But it isn’t unblocking the plumbing, clearing the gutters or changing the light bulb that needs to be carried out. It’s something just as vital, but a little different.
Scheduled maintenance is critical to the smooth running of your website. It ensures that all information and customer data remains secure and that users can continue to enjoy their experience of your brand online. It also assists your business in building a reputation for reliability and progression. A website that is looked after will run efficiently, enhance SEO and attract positive customer experiences. Put simply, a consistently reviewed and updated website is good for business. Here’s why website maintenance should be a top priority for all companies:
Website maintenance maintains security
One of the main reasons why WordPress updates are so important is for security. WordPress will release an update if they have detected and rectified any potential security breaches, so it’s vital to stay on top of these. Failing to run a WordPress update can cause leakages in sensitive customer and business information. This is especially concerning if you take payment details for purchased products. You certainly don’t want your business associated with credit card fraud.
Running updates on your WordPress plugins is also critical to maintaining security across your website. Think of your outdated plugins as a jarringly obvious bright light, and hackers as the moths drawn to it. If your plugins have not been updated since you installed them, it might be time to give them the boot. Plugins that aren’t revised to offer better efficiency and improved functionality for your website will bog it down and create serious security risks. Constantly reviewing the effectiveness of your plugins is vital to the overall operability of your website.
Website maintenance makes your website user-friendly & enhances SEO
Nobody has the time of day for slow loading pages. Or links that lead to that dreaded ‘Page Not Found’ announcement. Broken or slow loading links are the kryptonite of your website. And if we want to continue with the Superman reference, website maintenance is your anti-kryptonite suit (yes, it’s a thing!). Website maintenance will weed out broken links, and identify and rectify any issues that are resulting in excessive slowness. One of the reasons customers tend to abandon shopping carts is because of ‘glitchy’ or slow webpage behaviour. Furthermore, these issues can also negatively impact your SEO, deterring people from learning about your brand, seeking your services or buying your products. So it’s important to address any issues with website functionality ASAP.
Scheduled WordPress maintenance also gives you the chance to review the content on your website to assess whether it is still reflective of your brand identity. In a world where SEO is King, it pays to stay on top of your branding and keyword usage site-wide. Getting rid of irrelevant information, pages or blog posts will also free up space on your website and keep everything neat and tidy. You don’t want your audience stumbling across outdated information, which leads us to our next point.
Website maintenance prevents the display of misleading or incorrect information
Have you changed your opening times lately? Or perhaps you’ve marked up the prices on a few of your regular products? This all needs to be reflected on your website. Step into your customer’s shoes for a moment.
It’s 7 AM on a Monday morning, and you need to duck to the chemist before dropping the kids to school and getting to the office. The chemist’s website says that it opens at 7.45 AM. Perfect. But you get there at 7.45 AM on the dot and the doors aren’t open. You wait for ten minutes, agitated. There is no movement inside, and no one comes to let you in. You wait for another five minutes. The kids are going to be late for school, and you late for work; you can’t afford to wait any longer. You get back into the car, muttering to yourself, “what on earth is the point of having opening times displayed on a website if the company doesn’t follow them?” You mentally compose a disappointed (and slightly angry) review in your head. You intend to post it on Google Reviews on your lunch break.
Displaying incorrect information on your website can completely overhaul a customer’s day in a negative way that they aren’t soon to forget. And we all know how damaging a one-star review on Google can be for our businesses. This is why paying attention to small tweaks in information on your website is paramount. Gaining a reputation for having a consistently up-to-date website will reduce the number of enquiries you receive concerning details that can be found on your web pages, such as opening times, product availability and appointment slots. It will assist you to establish a sense of trust with your customers, and save you precious time. Something as simple as staying on top of your opening hours can protect your business from a whole variety of setbacks!
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Website Maintenance backs up your information for better peace of mind
It is a truth universally acknowledged that regular website backups allow you to sleep easy at night. Site crashes happen for many reasons, and some can be completely out of yours, and your provider’s control. Having all of your hard work, customer data and business information stored in a separate, secure location will allow you to get your website up and running again in a jiffy, should you experience a crash or loss. You should have regular backups scheduled so that if everything goes south, you’ll be able to handle the situation swiftly to experience minimal downtime.