Website Maintenance – What Does it Mean?
Launching a website can feel like the culmination of a long journey! You have likely spent months working with a team on strategy, user experience, development and testing before you launch. It is tempting to think this is the end of the journey and that you can step back and let your customers/clients/audience use the […]
Launching a website can feel like the culmination of a long journey! You have likely spent months working with a team on strategy, user experience, development and testing before you launch. It is tempting to think this is the end of the journey and that you can step back and let your customers/clients/audience use the site without any additional work. This is a common mistake.
Websites, even the simplest ones, require continued care like almost anything else worthwhile. This includes consistent monitoring for issues, security updates, accessibility issues and site performance challenges. Each of these impact the way your users, partners and even search engines interact with your site. How do you prevent a negative user experience? The answer is website maintenance.
What is Involved in Website Maintenance?
Every time someone comes to your website (including a search engine) it is an opportunity for you to present them with the experience they deserve. Website maintenance is the process of ensuring that your website is doing exactly that on every visit.
- Maintaining a Delightful Consumer Experience
The consumer experience starts the moment they land on your homepage and continues until the user hopefully finds what they are looking for. Over time, as you update the content on your website and as technology changes, it can be easy for links to stop working, pages to slow down and functionality to completely break. A good maintenance plan covers continual checks for these types of problems and allows them to be resolved proactively. If you let small issues pile up, they can become difficult and costly to repair, but if they are handled on a week-by-week, month-by-month basis, they are typically quick and simple to find and fix.
2. Maintaining Security
Some of the most common issues that poorly maintained sites will experience are security vulnerabilities. While your site may start its life using the most state-of-the-art systems and technology, the web is constantly evolving and your digital experience needs to keep up to remain safe. Out-of-date webservers, content management systems and development frameworks are constantly being targeted by hackers and other malicious actors. Even if you are not the subject of a direct attack, using out-of-date software can cause other tools (browsers, search engines, firewalls) to flag your website as a security vulnerability. Like everything else, the best solution is also the simplest: weekly and monthly maintenance can keep your website up-to-date and ensure the security vulnerabilities are addressed promptly to minimize risks to your brand and your clients.
3. Maintaining an American with Disabilities Act (ADA)-Compliant Website
Maintaining ADA compliance is not just a regulatory requirement, but also a large part of presenting a quality experience to your consumers. Designing and developing for accessibility ensures all users of your website have a delightful experience regardless of how they consume your content. It also ensures that tools like screen readers and search engines are able to consume all of your content.
Unfortunately, most people think ADA compliance is as simple as running a couple of checks after they launch their website. However, every time your website is updated it is important to ensure the content and functionality continue to be in compliance with accessibility best practices. The best way to achieve this is through regular audits and site reviews focused on frequently changing parts of your website. Accessibility fixes, if done regularly, are typically quick and inexpensive, however if you let them pile up they can be costly both from a resolution perspective but also from a regulatory perspective.
Get Elite Results From Your Website
Most people treat website maintenance as an afterthought, something you can revisit sometime in the future, after you have been able to enjoy your new website for a few months. Instead, it is better to think about maintenance like the food a high-performing athlete consumes. If you want elite results from your website, it needs to be kept in tip-top shape with the best food/maintenance available.
Full Capacity Marketing offers full service maintenance solutions for all of our clients. Whether we’re building a new website for you or you have an existing website that needs better maintenance to achieve peak performance, we can help you get it there. Contact us for a consultation.
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I think this work cannot be over-stated. Maintenance on websites is a commonly missed step and in the era of ransomware and bitcoin miners it is a hazard on every website.