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The Importance of Website Maintenance

By Heshy Friedman

An Ounce of Prevention

Earlier this month, my wife went to give my youngest child a bath, but there was no hot water. I then noticed the heat wasn’t working either. After resetting my boiler several times and attempting to unsuccessfully resolve the problem on my own, I was forced to wait for a plumber to diagnose whatever went wrong. When all was said and done, the plumber told me, “this expensive repair could have been avoided, if only you had done some basic maintenance. Make sure the unit gets cleaned and serviced periodically.”

I certainly gained a newfound appreciation for how complex my home boiler system actually is.

Web design is no different. It’s easy to forget how intricate the back end of a good website can be, but ensuring your online presence is fine-tuned and fully functional requires diligence.

In 2020, Americans spent an average of nearly $3200 on home projects, and over $1600 in emergency home spending.

As we spend more time at home due to COVID, our living spaces see more wear and tear and we’re more likely to notice problems sooner. Since your website doesn’t have to heat water or keep your home warm, you might not notice any problems immediately. This is why regular maintenance is an absolute necessity.

Know what to watch for

Broken links, plugins that go bad, and poor mobile compatibility are some common issues, but there’s more to monitor behind the scenes.

Is your site loading slowly? Is your website giving a security warning that no SSL certificate is in place? Are strange things loading on your website, indicating a possible malware attack? Did your site go down because of a missed hosting or domain registrar payment?

Small issues can easily escalate into greater difficulties. If you identify any of these issues on your site, it’s time to get into the nuts and bolts to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. After all, the purpose of a business website is to increase sales. It needs more than just a visual update as tastes change.

Keep your site safe

Messy code and outdated graphics aren’t the only reason to regularly optimize your site. Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving issue. Leaving your information vulnerable–or that of your customers—could expose you to massive costs. Regular patching is far cheaper and easier than navigating the aftermath of a sophisticated hack.

Threats to your website’s function don’t have to be malicious. At Radial Marketing Group, we build almost all of our sites using the WordPress platform, and there are other popular site creation tools that many users depend on. The core software, SSL certificates, and the many plug-ins that users rely upon all require constant attention to keep them updated and secure. Bugs can pop up unexpectedly, a third-party extension provider may change their compatibility, or a scheduled system update that impacts your unique site configuration—all may have unexpected side effects.

Don’t be caught off-guard—every minute you’re down represents potential revenue lost.

You wouldn’t let some odd sound or strange smell linger in your house without investigating, and the same keen eye should be trained on your website. If you notice something “off” about the way your site is responding, or a sudden change in traffic, don’t let it go unaddressed. Web maintenance isn’t the most glamorous part of digital property ownership, but attention to the inner workings—not just the facade—separates a weak web presence from great web design.

Bottom line:
If this sounds like too much of a chore or too overwhelming, don’t ignore it—we can help. Reach out, and let’s talk.

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