Our Blog

Articles about Web Design & Development, Search Engine Optimization, website Analytics, and more…

Website Maintenance Plans

What they are and why you need one

Websites are like buildings: they require periodic maintenance and upgrades to continue operating efficiently.

website maintenanceA lot of time, money, and effort went into your website, so neglecting maintenance can end up costing a lot.

A good website maintenance plan is a set of tasks that keep your site updated, secure, and running smoothly.

In this article, we'll explain what a maintenance plan includes, how often it should be used, and why you need one.

Do You Need a Website Maintenance Plan?

With the prevalence of hackers and ransomware, a solid website maintenance plan can help keep your site, its data, and your customer information secure.

It can boost customer engagement by streamlining the user experience. It can help the site appear higher in search engine results. And it can prevent common problems before they occur.

How Often Should Maintenance Be Done?

We'll describe common maintenance plan tasks below.

calendarSome should be run weekly, others monthly, and some on a quarterly basis.

Many tasks can be spread out evenly throughout the year, so you only need to do some of them each month.

Maintenance Plan Categories

The tasks in a website maintenance plan fall into a few categories which we'll explain here…

  Security

We probably don't have to tell you about the growing cybersecurity threats these days!

website security iconIt's more important than ever to keep your website as secure as possible.

The tasks in this critical category can help avoid data breaches, ransomware, and other problems.

Maintaining website security reduces your liability risk, builds customer confidence, and boosts your online reputation.

A secure website also helps improve site performance which, in turn, helps your site appear higher in Google search results.

Did You Know?

• In 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 Million (source)

• 43% of data breach victims were small and medium sized businesses

  Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When did Google last visit your website? Is it showing up high in search results for your primary products or services?

Google (and other search engines) periodically pulls in your entire website, analyzes it, and determines how high up to show your pages.

search engine resultsYour existing visitors and customers might know about your website, but you're invisible to everyone else unless you're showing up in search results.

Sites that don't keep their content fresh and up-to-date get “stale” in Google and tend to fall further and further from the top results.

And technical problems, like broken links, missing images, improper code, and slow performance also hurt search engine optimization.

So an important part of a website maintenance plan is to make sure your SEO strategy is working well. If it's not, you can update content and do some other things to get back on track.

  User Experience (UX)

A user's online experience is more important than it is in a physical stores since website visitors can click away so easily (and never come back).

Web page load speed and performance are critical - people are impatient and don't have a long attention span online.

website userHaving difficulty finding things, seeing broken links or missing images, or having to read too much text can cause people to leave your site.

A website's visual appeal goes a long way.

So checking and maintaining a good user experience on multiple screen sizes (desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile) is another part of a website maintenance plan.

  Visitor Engagement

A major goal of most websites is to have visitors engage with the site whether that's buying something, clicking to other pages, requesting more info, getting in touch, or something else.

Keeping your site up to date improves customer engagement and increases your reputation. An unprofessional site can turn people away.

To keep your site professional (and visitors engaged) your maintenance plan should include freshening your content, making sure it loads quickly, keeping your navigation simple and intuitive, and using high-quality images.

  Want more details about website maintenance plans?
See the strategies web professionals use to keep sites running smoothly.

How Much Does a Website Maintenance Plan Cost?

The cost depends on a few factors like the size of the website, its complexity, and its function.

On the low end, a simple “informational” site can be inexpensive to maintain and run $0-$30 per month.

calculatorOn the high end, large company and corporate sites are complex, so their maintenance costs can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

And, of course, in the middle of this range are small to medium size business sites, with maintenance costs typically around $100-$200 per month.

Besides regular maintenance tasks, there are recurring website costs like domain name and web hosting renewals, SSL/TLS security certificate renewals, and updates to themes and plugins.

Can I Handle the Maintenance Myself?

website maintenanceMaybe. You can do at least some things yourself if you're comfortable with the tasks and technology (and have the discipline to do it regularly).

Sometimes it's better to hire the pros, who have the expertise and can do things more efficiently.

Other benefits of hiring someone are that it's easier to budget with a known monthly fee rather than ad hoc support requests, you have a team on hand familiar with your site that can keep up with maintenance and handle emergencies, and you get priority treatment as regular customer.

Summary

It can take a lot of time, money, and effort to build a good website.

And just like with a car or house, if you don't maintain it, it loses its value and that initial investment becomes worthless.

Some simple checks and maintenance tasks can go a long way to keeping your site updated, keeping your visitors happy, and getting the optimal results that your website should be providing.

  Website Maintenance Tasks Details and Checklist
We created a detailed list of website maintenance tasks and a scheduling checklist. You can get them for free here.

Do you run regular maintenance tasks on your website? Let us know!