That was a step of progress for your business – the website you just built. Does it mean you can relax now and the website would take care of itself? Well if you think so then you’re mistaken. As the owner of the site, you need to understand the cost of maintaining it also the cost if you don’t.
Website maintenance is of two major types.
One, maintaining the integrity of your website code – code that lets your website serve the purpose.
Two, the regular updates to the website content.
A website is topped with various elements such as plugins, extensions, and the framework it is built on, which when not updated on a regular basis can become the host for parasites like bugs and hackers.
Don’t feel the need for website framework upgrades?
Let’s consider WhatsApp. WhatsApp has become cooler with every update ever since its launch to the most recent one on smileys. A website is more or less similar to WhatsApp in this case. With each upgrade, the security fixes are enhanced, blocking the backdoor for hackers and lets you take advantage of the new features. If your website is built on a DIY website service like SquareSpace, Wix or Shopify, etc., then the upgrades are taken care of by the host as you are only a renter for them. On the other hand, if you have a regular website, the task of upgrading is on you. The upgrade depends on the type of framework your website is built on, ranging from every few months to few years.
So, yes! You do need the framework upgrade.
Now, what about plugins and extensions?
Plugins and extensions are the features that let you add a slideshow, video or gallery to your website. In short plugins and extensions help you make your website engaging. These applications, if not upgraded can expire which becomes a platform welcome for hackers. Keep an eye, for most of the website frameworks pass an alert when there is a new plugin version available for you.
‘I have an in-house IT. Should I be bothered?’
Well then, your in-house IT staff should be on track with upgrades and expirations and monitor the website on a regular basis.
If you don’t have an IT resource, you have a few options:
Hire a consultant or an agency who can monitor and update the website for you. With access to your hosting account, and add-ons, plugins and extension licenses, the consultant should be able to take care of your site needs.
- Strike a deal.
Engage with an automatic updating service and get the updates on your website automated. For a website without too many customizations, automatic updating service can prove to be effective. But, in case you do, then even a simple update can cause a wake that might bring your website down.
- Pay the price.
Sure, you can skip the above and pay the price of it. If you do not have a digital presence, then make no mistake, you are losing business.
What else falls under website maintenance?
Hosting is one of the fundamental and recurring cost. Based on the convolution of the website and the bandwidth used, you hosting could cost you from $10 to $100 and above a month for a small to a mid-sized business. The second of the list would be the domain name, also called the URL address and can cost you $15 dollar onwards per year. The SSL licenses are gaining popularity, as Google is now giving preferential ranking to business that has SSL licenses. This starts at $50 a year. Backup services begin at $5 a month and can rise with reference to the size, frequency, and type of the backup preferred. Backups are cheap insurance for your website, for if you get hacked or malware infected, you might have to completely rebuild your website otherwise.
Some examples of website maintenance services.
At Zweezle, we render the maintenance services where we monitor your current website and keep it updated. Simple updates should take around a couple of hours for a developer but complex websites may take hours of effort.
Here is a sample of an overview of the process we follow for upgrades:
- Website backup for you to revert.
- A working duplicate of the website on another server.
- Upgrade the duplicate site.
- Test to make sure nothing crashes.
- Move the upgraded site to the live website’s server and replace the older version, keeping the backup.
- Test again because we prefer to be double sure.
What about content and SEO maintenance?
Businesses have a constant need to renew the website content. Modern website frameworks have an inbuilt content management system where the user can update the content as per the requirement. As the business can get busy consuming all the time, it has fallen in our notice that the content on the website is stagnant and not moving forward at the pace of business. A web agency with an adequate understanding of your business can schedule the content and put forth a communication that facilitates quick responses to client requests. Costs for this service depend on the number of hours your business requires.
SEO keywords and meta tags are not as crucial as they were with emphasis on PPC ads like Google AdWords these days. Hence, the content should be suitably tagged with current best SEO practices. The rest rests on your web agency to keep a look out for analytics and to determine if any further SEO optimization work needs to be done.
Website maintenance is mandatory of your online budgeting. Have a talk with your web agency or internal team to make sure your website maintenance is being optimally managed. If you are on the look for an agency to maintain your site or if you have any queries, contact us.