If you have any retail store, you know all about the amount of work it takes to maintain it. You know that the floors need to be cleaned, your windows washed, light bulb replaced, leaks patched, desks and chairs fixed or replaced, etc. What happens if you don’t take care of the issues right away? The problems get bigger, your employees become unhappy, and the customers. So you know that maintaining your place of business, whether it’s a restaurant or an office, needs to be kept clean, organized, updated and free of clutters.
Now, your online presence does not have physical storage area, but it too needs just as much attention and maintenance as your retail store.
Here are few reasons for creating a website maintenance plan for your business website:
- Fresh Content
Why do big retail stores have different specials each week? They want to keep people interested and coming back week after week. For your online business presence, make sure you’re giving your readers a reason to come back too. No one wants to read the same content week after week or be looking at outdated information about an event that happened 6 months ago. If you’re not updating your website, you are essentially telling your potential customers that you are not paying attention to your business. You may even be giving them an impression that you may be going out of business soon.
- Website Speed
If your business website is loading slowly you may be losing customers. Your business website is usually the first point of customer interaction, so you need to leave the visitors with a positive impression. How many customer’s are you potentially loosing as a result of your turtle speed load time?
There may be a whole host of reasons why your pages may not be loading fast. Slow server, improperly optimized pages or images, broken links, old HTML and CSS etc. Slow pages can happen at any time and the only way you’d know there is an issue is if you’ve got a regularly planned maintenance on your site.
- Website Backup
You must keep in mind that your website resides on a remote server. Hopefully, you are with a good hosting company that has many fail-proof systems and backup options. However, even if you are with the best hosting service out there, sometimes their systems can fail. When your data is gone you have no recourse, unless of course you have been backing everything up on regular basis yourself. Backing up your website is just smart and easy way to protect yourself and your business. It doesn’t take too much time, it doesn’t cost much and it’s easy to do. It should be part of your maintenance plan.
- CMS and Plug-in Updates
Website software, just like computer hardware is constantly being updated and improved, and if your website is not keeping up with the updates you’re falling behind. Software update frequently to keep up with the new coding requirements. Also the plugin you downloaded in the past may have had a bug or two and if you don’t install the new update, it may mess with your entire site. In some cases your entire site may cease to work properly unless you update the platform. In addition, search giants, such as Google, who detects software version, may not allow your site to be ranked high unless it conforms to the latest programming requirements.
When was the last time you’ve run a system check or an update? You may be doing yourself and your business an injustice if you’re not checking it on regular basis. Include this in your website maintenance plan.
- Tweak and Improve
Search engines give your websites and your web pages scores (marks), which determine your search position. A good ranking is rewarded to those who not only work at it consistently but also to those who do the right things. And to make things a little more complicated, search engines like Google, are constantly changing their requirements of what it takes to be at the top. Believe me, the websites that show up at the top of the organic searches didn’t get there by accident. It takes a lot of work and dedication. The result is increased sales and revenue.
The first step is knowing where your website stands and try to improve each area little by little. Once you’re at the top, the work doesn’t stop. If anything it gets harder to stay there, since there are millions of similar websites clambering and trying everything in their power to be #1 as well.
If you just look at the above list, it’s really not that hard to do. Consider getting a technical consultant to get you started. Alternatively you could always outsource that part of your responsibilities. If your business resides in the greater Toronto area, be sure to call up the Toronto Website Managers to have the peace of mind that your website will not fall apart ever.