Website maintenance: a measure of stability in uncertain times

By Mike Turner | July 31, 2020

Companies planning for the post-COVID era are doing so with less data and less certainty than they’d like. Ensuring website visitors enjoy a smooth experience is a low-cost, low-risk element of a smart recovery plan.

Sites that sputter drive visitors away. And they all sputter, eventually, if they don’t get regular attention. The site could have been a Lamborghini the day it launched, but even Lamborghinis need to be tuned. Your website’s performance is a signal to visitors. If it works well, they trust you.

A well-tuned website signifies a well-run company. Site visitors notice (perhaps unconsciously) that your website’s performance is smooth and swift. A smooth experience enhances respect for your brand.

An ounce of digital prevention is worth a pound of digital cure. Basic website maintenance is the champion of ROI. Regular, expert inspection and maintenance of your site helps protect you from the costly disaster of a crash or security breach. This ongoing (but crucial) care comes at a modest monthly cost.

Spare your customers the living hell of a microsecond of delay. You can’t say to site visitors “Hey, can you just chill?” Because the answer is “No.” Your pages need to load fast. One study found that increasing speed by just one second increased conversions by 7%. A good maintenance team boosts site speed by optimizing images, trimming unused links, and more.

Average number of updates per month: 10. It sounds like a hassle to update 10 times a month. Because it is. And yet—regular updates are way, way worth the trouble. When you install new WordPress plugins, CMS updates, or security patches—you’re decreasing the chance of trouble and increasing the likelihood your customers will have a pleasant experience.

Do your forms work? Hope so. Forms can stop functioning through no fault of anybody except Mr. Time (if that’s a phrase). The web changes, and it’s quite possible that the code that made your form work has been relegated to the dustbin of digital history. That can cost you new business and you’ll never know about it.

Holding off on an overhaul? That makes maintenance even more important. Even companies that know they need or want a brand new website might be cautious until we’re on the other side of the pandemic. But just like an older car, an aging website demands ever more careful attention. You’re saving money by hanging on, but only if you keep it running smoothly.

These days everybody says “stay well.” Same goes for your site. There are all kinds of maintenance programs out there, and it behooves anybody with a website to take a look at them. Pay attention, though, since the level of service varies widely. Find out what, exactly, you’re getting before you sign on.