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Small Business
Content Management System

Website Maintenance for Small Business

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Our Guide to Website Maintenance for Small Business has essential tasks, planning tips, and cost-effective services to keep your site secure and updated.

So you got a shiny new website for your small business. What happens next?

Building a website is the first step in creating an online storefront for your business. And just like a physical store, as your business evolves and grows, your website must evolve with it. Not to mention maintenance, bug fixing, and all the other things that accompany a website.

The purpose of this guide is to explain the essential maintenance and improvements you’ll need to do for your website, as well as how to plan for and find cost-effective maintenance services to help you maintain your small business website.

The Importance of Ongoing Website Maintenance

Keeping your website content fresh and relevant is critical to informing visitors about your services and giving them confidence in your business. It’s also essential to search engine optimization (SEO). Old and out-of-date websites are ranked below more current counterparts, so adding and updating content, whether new blog posts, news items, service pages, or whatever other content you can add to your site, is essential. Often, when businesses start, their products or services evolve early on. Your website needs to grow with it, and ongoing maintenance and support are critical to ensure your site reflects your latest services.

Security is another critical element of website maintenance. Regular maintenance helps prevent security breaches by ensuring that all software and plugins are up-to-date. Additionally, monitoring your website's speed and performance can enhance user experience, reduce bounce rates, and increase visitors' time on your site. If you remember the Panama Papers fiasco, where papers were leaked exposing how a global network of influential individuals and corporations used offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca to hide wealth, evade taxes, and launder money, leading to widespread scrutiny and legal actions worldwide. Those papers leaked because Mossack Fonseca’s website had an outdated Wordpress plugin that allowed hackers to access sensitive information stored on their site.

Planning for Maintenance During the Initial Development

Read our article on finding Affordable Web Design

If you’re still in the market for a new website, planning for your maintenance needs can save you significant headaches. A few things to consider are:

  • Does the developer offer ongoing maintenance as part of the package?
  • Is this website platform a common one that will be easy to find developers to work on in the future?
  • Will the developer provide documentation for future developers to make it easy to hand to them?
  • Related to the above, are they developing the site using industry or platform standard methods, such as responsive design for mobile compatibility or clean code for easy debugging, to make future handoffs easy?

On the last point - something we always see when we take on project maintenance is a messy website that makes maintenance much trickier and more expensive for the client.

Read our article important questions when hiring a web developer

Benefits of Subscription-Based Maintenance Services

We strongly recommend utilizing a retainer service to maintain your website. These services ensure your site is always up to date, and you won’t wake up one day to your site being down or worse (i.e., hacked).

We offer this at Peak Digital Studio as part of all our website packages, so you get complete website design and development and ongoing maintenance for a set monthly price. We also offer standalone maintenance packages. 

Convenience and Reliability

Subscription-based maintenance services offer the convenience of a dedicated team handling regular updates and monitoring. This can be as effective as having an in-house staff member dedicated to website maintenance, providing you with security and reliability without additional hires.

Cost-Effective

Comparing the costs of subscription services to hiring dedicated staff, you'll find subscription services more cost-effective. They provide predictable monthly expenses, allowing you to budget more accurately and avoid unexpected repair costs from neglecting regular maintenance. This financial control is a crucial benefit for small business owners.

Comprehensive Coverage

Good subscription services typically offer comprehensive maintenance tasks, including routine backups, security checks, software updates, and performance monitoring. This ensures your website remains secure and runs smoothly, providing a positive experience for your visitors.

DIY Maintenance Tips for Small Business Owners

Basic Updates

There are simple maintenance tasks that small business owners can handle internally. Regularly updating content and images and checking for broken links and outdated information can keep your site looking professional and relevant.

Using CMS Tools

Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress offer built-in tools and plugins that make maintenance easier. Leveraging these tools can help you perform essential updates without extensive technical knowledge.

Monitoring and Analytics

Keeping track of your website's performance and user behavior is crucial for making informed decisions. Tools like Google Analytics and Search Console provide valuable insights into how visitors interact with your site, allowing you to promptly identify and address any issues.

Conclusion

Maintaining your small business website is a continuous journey that ensures your online presence stays relevant, secure, and efficient. As we’ve discussed, regular updates to your content and services, robust security measures, and performance monitoring are essential aspects of this ongoing process. By planning for maintenance during your website's development and considering subscription-based services, you can achieve a reliable and cost-effective solution. Whether you handle basic tasks or enlist professional services, keeping your website in top shape will help your business thrive online. Happy maintaining!

Matthew Johnson

Founder
Published on

June 28, 2024