The team here at Inclind tends to compare the process of building a website to building a house. Our crew has been building website “homes” for businesses and nonprofits for 20 years now and similar to the expectations of a modern house, websites today look a lot different from the those of 20 years ago. Another similarity — websites require ongoing support and maintenance to keep them looking good and functioning properly.
In the early days of the Internet as we know it, websites were usually just HTML, maybe a little Flash for flair but not a whole lot of complexity. People only ever accessed them from a computer not watches or tablets. What could go wrong?
Fast forward 20 years and you have websites processing, delivering and securing large volumes of data along with functionality that enables the user to carry out all sorts of tasks, while needing to work on all types of screens and devices. Way more room for things to break and way more impact on a business’ bottom line when they do break.
This is where a Drupal maintenance and support plan or WordPress support plans becomes your organization’s insurance against bugs, security issues, new Google standards or mysterious mishaps. Here are 5 good reasons to get into a maintenance plan.
1. Security Updates
Most website content management systems have regular updates that address bugs or security threats. Falling behind on these updates can mean more potential for issues and more costs down the road. A hacked site, a data breach or an undetected bug can wreak havoc on your website while creating distrust in your user. Routine security updates can prevent these issues and protect your company and your users.
Reviewing the checkout process, testing signups and registrations and other forms routinely ensures that the tasks your user is performing are producing expected results. You don’t want to accidentally lose sales because you didn’t know a form wasn’t working. A maintenance plan will include scheduling regular reviews of forms and functionality.
Your website’s analytics can reveal areas that need improvement as well as areas that are working well. But reviewing this data on your own can be daunting. Making this a part of a maintenance plan helps you keep tabs on where users are coming from, what is engaging them or where they are exiting your website. All really valuable data to guide decisions on positioning content to drive more conversions.
<Your website’s analytics can reveal areas that need improvement as well as areas that are working well. But reviewing this data on your own can be daunting. Making this a part of a maintenance plan helps you keep tabs on where users are coming from, what is engaging them or where they are exiting your website. All really valuable data to guide decisions on positioning content to drive more conversions.
Yes, we talk about this all the time because an optimized site performs optimally, right? And Google puts a lot of weight on page speed and accessibility. Things like broken links, excessively large files to download or skipping out on populating an alt tag can add up to jeopardize your website’s ranking in search results . Routine audits help pinpoint problem areas that can be fixed easily to keep your website tip top.
5. CMS Support
Many websites have multiple content editors with varying degrees of savvy when it comes to getting content formatted properly and optimized. This is where having CMS support on standby is valuable. If content management is changing hands or content managers need refreshers on how to use the CMS, maintenance plans can build in time to support content managers.
So back to the house metaphor, building the house is only the beginning. Decorating it, maintaining it and adding to it are all part of homeownership. This is also true for a website. To get real value out of it, you have to keep it well-maintained, populate it with quality content and evolve it to meet your organization’s business goals.