Websites Take Work
Websites are wonderful. Whether it’s selling your inventory online or expanding into new territories, well-designed websites are game changers, but they’re also an investment. While we wish it was as simple as drafting some designs, writing some code, writing a check and everybody is all set, there are a few more pieces properly maintain your website.
Owning a website is much like owning a house.
We want to make sure you get the most out of your investment and stay safe by keeping your website in tip top shape. Imagine buying a house and not taking care of or maintaining it. Letting it deteriorate can cause so many issues with all aspects of the house, from structure, functionality, safety, appearance, and more. The same is true with websites. The longer small concerns are put off or unnoticed, the more likely you are to run into larger problems down the road.
What happens when you don’t properly maintain your website?
When your website is not maintained properly and kept up-to-date, you run a much higher chance of developing security risks and loopholes, especially if your website is accepting payments online. These risks come from many different issues and can negatively impact your site at all angles.
Without solid security and monitoring you have an increased likelihood of:
- High spam volume being sent through the forms on your website
- Security breaches that result in compromised information
- Outdated plugins that rely on 3rd party connections may fail when support for them is dropped
- Lower ranking in search results because of missing security patches
- Increased time and cost fixing outages caused by outdated technology
Let’s Break This Down
Properly maintain your website overtime to prevent overhauling
It is no secret that it takes time and money to keep a website in good condition. In order to minimize these costs it is crucial to keep up with the maintenance of your website.
Going back to the house example, if you were to find a leak from an upstairs bathroom that had caused a water stain on the ceiling of the floor below, what would be the best approach? Would you ignore it until it worsens and you are forced to pay for the extensive repairs because the initial small issue grew into a devastating problem? Or, would you fix the leak right and patch the ceiling?
The best and least costly way to prevent large devastating problems on a website is to have the ability to monitor and catch small issues before they grow out of control.
Increase spending with high spam volume
The cost of high spam volume goes beyond money. It’s true that your business likely spends money on filtering out spam. But the real cost comes when this fails and you’re left to deal with the repercussions of an employee clicking into an infected attachment, exposing your network.
In addition to security risks, high spam volume can lead to added bandwidth and storage expenses when spam emails are pushed to rarely emptied junk folders just sitting there taking up space. It can also result in loss of productivity. Time spent sifting through emails compromised by spam adds up, and emails of actual importance may be lost in the mess.
The best way to avoid increased spending and repercussions due to high spam volume is to be proactive and prevent it before it becomes a problem with continual monitoring and management.
User experience degrades when plugins not up-to-date
User experience is extremely high on the list of things your business needs to do right. Providing users with an enjoyable experience is crucial for your website to achieve your business goals.
Letting your site diminish has a huge impact on every angle of user experience, which we talk more about in a later section. For now, let’s talk about the technical aspect of user experience.
Plugins are extremely useful tools that can help your site run smoothly and effectively, but if left unattended to can wreak havoc on your site. A great example of this are form building plugins. They can be a great asset to allow your audience to contact and interact with your business. However, an out-of-date form plugin can diminish user experience.
An out-of-date form is likely not going to look or function properly. This can deter users from accessing, filling out, and submitting the form. In turn, there is going to be a huge decrease in communication and contact between the user and the business, which is more than likely to lose that user as a customer.
There is a pretty easy fix to this. Consistent maintenance of plugins ensures that they are up-to-date, functioning properly on your site, and appealing to the user.
Overall site performance and speed
It’s no secret that the better site speeds and performance lead to a better user experience. Even further, sites that have better speed and performance see higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates. Not only is site performance important to reach business goals, it’s also a ranking factor for Google and can impact your SEO.
There are many factors that can negatively impact your site’s speed and performance. Some of which include, poor server/ hosting, poor coding standards, too many plugins, poor file compressions, redirect chains, and unoptimized images.
Testing, monitoring, and tweaking will prevent and combat these issues before they have a negative impact on your user experience, SEO ranking, and overall website.
Issues can harm business image
When a user clicks onto your site, you have about 5 seconds (or less) to make a good impression and peak their interest. Think about the last time you clicked onto a site and it looked outdated, poorly maintained, or took forever to load. My guess is that you didn’t stick around very long.
Users need to feel they can trust your company before they will give you their business. Logging on to a site that is not presented well, or doesn’t seem technically sound is definitely not going to help your case. In an instant, these users are questioning your business, the quality of your products and services, your credibility, and if your business is even still in business.
When searching on the internet, there are an overwhelming amount of options for anything you are looking for. This means that the smallest shred of doubt a user has for your company may send them looking elsewhere.
The best way to prevent this is very simple; properly maintain your website and keep it cleaned up.
Blacklisting occurs when Google and/or other search engines deem your site as not secure or safe for users to visit. The most common cause for this is the presence of malware on your site. The result can be devastating. When a website is blacklisted it is basically expelled from search engine lists, and the consequence of this is losing about 95% of your organic traffic
Some of the best ways to prevent a malware infection are to properly maintain your website, keep information secure, and regularly monitor your site.
Summing All That Up…
The common theme here is that issues WILL arise on an out-of-date website. Furthermore, so many of these issues can be completely prevented or easily resolved by keeping your website properly maintained and frequently monitored. Spending a small amount of extra money for regular maintenance will save you more than just money in the long run.