Why A Website Maintenance Plan Is So Important

You have a website, now what? In this guide I want to teach you more on the importance of having a website maintenance plan for your website. Your website is like the online home for your business. It is important that you do the proper upkeeps to keep it running smoothly. However, maintaining a website on your own can be a learning curve and sometimes a lot of extra work. This is where website maintenance plans come to be important, especially after development. 

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What is Website Maintenance?

Doing website maintenance is the process of maintaining a website up-to-date, secured, and running at optimal speeds for the best overall performance. Performing basic website maintenance includes doing updates to plugins and core updates, making sure the website is secured with a good firewall and security in place, as well as doing regular backups, checking links on the site, and overall performance checks and fixes. 

Why is Website Maintenance Important?

Website maintenance is important because it continues to provide a good user experience for your website visitors. Having a website working at optimal conditions is crucial. A website that is slow performing or not optimized can cause issues with search engine optimization and overall website traffic. 

After having invested time and money into your website development, having a good website maintenance plan in place helps keep that website running smoothly. The best way to think about it is buying property and building a home (your hosting and website) and then doing regular updates and maintenance to your home like mowing the yard, watering the garden, paying your electric bill, etc. (website maintenance). The website maintenance will also ensure that your web design continues to run smoothly after each update. 

Why You Should Signup for a Website Maintenance Plan?

When you signup for a professional website maintenance plan you are ensuring that all software updates, core updates, and plugin updates are safely made. Knowing you are paying for website maintenance services you will be stress free knowing that you site will always be up to date, secured, and provide your business a good online presence. A good and reliable maintenance team will also monitor your site 24/7 with uptime monitoring in place. This means that when your site is offline for whatever reason, they will be on it and figuring out why it’s online and doing all they can to bring it back online. 

You will also get continued security checks, performance checks, and continues support to help keep your website safe, secured, and performing well at all times. 

How Often Should You Do Website Maintenance? 

It is best to do website maintenance on a regular basis. Weekly updates, security and performance checks, etc. is my best advice for you. However, if you can’t do it weekly, you can also try to do it at least once a month. Regardless, my best advice is to do frequent backups always. I schedule my clients on daily backups to give them the best and most up to date restore incase anything happens to their site. 

A woman working on website maintenance plans from her laptop.

What is Included in a Website Maintenance Plan

There are many things included in a web maintenance plan. However, every business does different things for each of their packages. I’m going to showcase a brief overview of what I personally include in my own website maintenance plans for my client websites. 

Full Website Security

There are many important parts to a website but having a good security in place is crucial. You want to make sure that your website is always secured so you can provide your visitors a good experience. It is also important to prevent hackers and other security issues from occurring on your website in the backend. 

Website Page Content and Link Error Reports

Website maintenance plans also do routine checks on the content on your pages to make sure they are optimized. This means images that may be slowing down your overall performance. Blog posts that may have way too many images making that post load very slow. Or it can be many other things as well. 

Along with checking the content on your website, checking the links on your site is also important. Broken links can hurt your overall SEO and rankings on web engines but it also creates a bad user experience. Can you imagine reading a post about this awesome travel bag all to find that the link doesn’t work! It can be so frustrating at times. 

When you’re on my website maintenance plan you will receive routine checks for broken links. If any broken links are found on your website you will then receive an excel sheet noting all of the broken links, their placements, the page or post that it’s found on, and where it is linked so you can go back and update those links. 

Website Backup Plans and Recovery

When choosing a good website maintenance plan you have to make sure that backups and recovery is a part of your plan. I find this to be so crucial. Having a full backup of your website at all times can help get your website back online quickly when things take a turn. You never know when an update or a new plugin can make your website crash. 

Your website plan should also have a recovery option. Many companies charge to recover your site when it crashes or things take a turn. Having a recovery option on your plan is important cause you know it would be included in your plan. Many companies such as myself do offer recovery but only a certain amount per year. If you at least have one recovery on your website per year I think that will be more than good enough. It’s not often that your site crashes, if it even does. Having at least one will help you have that peace of mind that things will be back up and running smoothly.

WordPress Core Updates

Updates are constant in the online world. Just like with your mobile phone or laptop, it is important to do routine updates. Sometimes these core updates can be major updates so making sure you signup with a website maintenance manager that knows what they are doing is important. The last thing you want is to lose your site it have it crash because of a major update. I do safe updates for my clients which means I do a backup of the entire website right before I do any major core updates. 

WordPress Plugins Updates 

Just like we have to update our apps on our phone, we also have to do updates to the plugins to our WordPress websites. Just like with major core updates, you have to make sure that making the updates to your plugin will not cause issues on your website. I would make sure that the maintenance plan you sign up for will provide safe updates for plugins as well.

The best time to do safe updates when updating your plugins is after every major core update. This usually happens because the core update has done some very major changes to WordPress so now all of the plugins have had to do major changes to their plugins so it can work properly alongside with the new version of WordPress.

Performance Checks

Want to stay in the loop on how your website is performing? Being on a website maintenance plan will provide routine performance checks. This will help point out any problem areas in your website that may be slowing it down or causing an issue. By knowing these problem areas we can work together to fix the issue and get your performance speeds back up. 

Uptime Monitoring

Let’s face it, we have a lot on our plates as it is. We don’t have the time to watch our website waiting for something to go wrong. However, being on a website maintenance package will provide uptime monitoring on your website 24/7. This means that I will immediately get an email when your website is no longer online. 

Once I receive the email I will check and see to make sure that it is nothing major. Sometimes it can be the host provider doing a quick update and it’s back online in less than 2 minutes or sometimes it can be that a client didn’t pay their host or maybe an update was done outside of the maintenance plan causing the site to crash. Either way, I will be the first to find out about it and help you get it back online. This is when having those backups and recovery comes to play. 

Website Optimization

Keeping your website optimized will greatly help your performance speeds. Keeping your website running quickly and smoothly is very important but you have to keep it optimized. This can be compressing your images, deleting spam comments, and optimizing files so they work better on your website. 

Website Hosting Add-On 

Now not all companies provide hosting for their clients. Many would just recommend a website host that they trust to their clients. However, some clients are just not tech savvy at all. I have added as an extra add-on for my website packages the option to add hosting. Having a good host is important. The host that you choose has to be one that you trust with your business. Think of it as buying a piece of land to build your house on. You don’t want land that is in a flood zone or is unsafe. You want to pick the best piece of land to build your new home on. 

I highly recommend SiteGround. I have been with them for almost 7 years now. I love that they are a reliable company with excellent customer service. My websites have never had an issue while being hosted through them. I made the switch 7 years ago and haven’t looked back since. You can learn more about SiteGround here.

Monthly Website Maintenance Reports 

Well you are paying monthly for this service, you would want to get a report on everything that is going on with your website too, right?! Making sure to be receiving a monthly website maintenance report provides you the opportunity to have important conversations about your website with your web designer or web developer. These conversations can consist of doing small updates or changes to images or files so your website can perform better, being in the loop on changes that were made during that previous month, or maybe even fixing broken links on your website. 

Remember that being on a website maintenance plan provides constant maintenance. The best way to think of it is like cleaning your home and doing updates around your house. Sweeping, mopping, mowing the yard, putting up a new fence and gate, new lightbulbs, etc. It provides you the opportunity to now just maintain your website but to also grow your website over time and your overall presence. 

A woman working on website maintenance plans from her laptop.

How do I know if My Website Requires Maintenance? 

There’s a few ways to know if your website needs maintenance. For starters, you may have a lot of rising issues on your website. Here’s a list of things to look for. 

  • Your website is loading very slowly. 
  • The traffic  to your website and online rankings are tanking. 
  • You have a lot of plugins that need to be updated but scared that it may cause your website to crash. 
  • Or maybe you did updates and now your website is not working right. 
  • You’re not sure how to make backups of your website or even restore a backup if your website crashed. 
  • You don’t have a secure website. 
  • You continue to get a lot of spam / bot comments on your site or unwanted users and viewers. 

Website Maintenance Packages 

One of the easiest ways to handle website maintenance is by letting a professional handle your site. I offer several packages that help fit your business’ needs. From monthly, weekly, to even a one that offers hosting as well. Feel free to click below to learn more about my website maintenance packages and to see which one fits you best. 

Summary of Why Website Maintenance Plans are Important

Well I hope that this guide has helped you further understand the importance of a website maintenance plan. There are many areas of a website that need constant maintenance and sometimes that can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with everything that goes into maintaining a website. However, that stress and overwhelm can be gone when you invest into a plan which also provides you with more time to focus on the things you thrive at doing in your business. 

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Jessica is the owner and designer at Coffee, Pin, Design Studio. Her journey started about 5 years ago when she started freelancing her services to bloggers she has met along the way through her own blog. Over the years she has designed numerous websites, created templates, managed Pinterest accounts, designed landing pages, brand guides, and so much more. It’s good to say that she has found her love for web design and graphic design.

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