Do I Need a Website Support and Maintenance Program?
Imagine this – you just purchased a brand new car and you’re driving it proudly off the lot. There are so many attractive and usable features you can’t wait to use. With so many moving pieces in this expensive mechanical organism, assuming your car will last a long time without maintenance by someone who really knows what to look for is unheard of. A website works the same way.
What Should I look For in A Support and Maintenance Program?
Most companies offer both proactive and reactive services to ensure the ongoing health of your website. Having a support system for your website provides you with:
- The ability to keep technology and software up to date.
The world of technology is constantly evolving and new versions of plugins are always becoming available. Outdated plugins and Content Management Systems like WordPress are targets for hackers if they are weak and out of date. 83% of the WordPress blogs that were hacked in 2012 had not been upgraded. That number is a little too big to be coincidental.
- Off-site backups so that you can restore the website if something goes wrong.
Anyone who has ever experienced a house fire or burglary knows the value of keeping copies away from originals. Your site can suddenly disappear or be damaged beyond speedy repair due to any number of reasons. Having automatic backups scheduled and stored non-locally can make a restore possible in no time.
- Warnings about when the website has crashed or is loading too slowly.
You may not need to visit your website everyday. But hopefully, lots of people will. Knowing when your site has crashed or been hacked the moment it happens can save you precious time and money. Studies with Google show that loading times increasing by a mere half a second can decrease traffic by 20%.
- Regular website checkups and walkthroughs.
Have you ever been driving and heard the weirdest noises coming from the car next to you? You silently judge the old jalopy, seemingly held together with duct tape and rubber bands that rattles and squeaks every time it moves. Would you get into that car? Don’t let your website turn into a jalopy. Start early by having someone regularly walk through, test the site, find mistakes, update outdated information, repair broken links and images and more, all on different devices and browsers.
- Training on the maintenance and changes you can perform yourself.
While having someone on hand to cover the large issues, you should be able to add a photo or new contact info yourself. Being able to ask questions freely whenever you have them and getting a cohesive answer is priceless. Keeping your site updated can mean the difference between making and losing a sale. People are less likely to call in if the last blog post was from 2009 or if the phone number is wrong.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Have Website Support?
You visit your website one day and all of your text is awkwardly squished to the left. You’re scrambling to figure out the problem and clients are leaving as soon as they arrive. This is every web developers nightmare and should be yours, too.
80% of consumers say that if a site isn’t functioning well, they assume the business isn’t either. In June of 2007, Amazon’s website went down for a mere 2 hours. While that doesn’t sound like a long time, an estimated $3.48 million was lost. Imagine someone visiting your businesses website for the first time. If it’s down as soon as they arrive, they won’t be likely to try again tomorrow.
Having a preventative system in place gives you the peace of mind that there is a dedicated team member whose job it is to prepare for the worst case scenario. Having your website monitored regularly can save you quite a bit of hassle and embarrassment. Say a disgruntled ex-employee hacks the site and posts unsavory content. Wouldn’t you rather hear about it from a member of your support team after it was removed rather than from a now ex-potential customer?
Thankfully, finding a dedicated team to ensure the well-being of your website is easier than ever. Copilot exists to work with you on a regular basis to keep your website secure, provide you with on-demand support and react if things go wrong. All you need is WordPress and Copilot will provide you with free hosting, training and consistent monitoring so your website never runs out of gas.