Websites don’t stay in tip-top shape on account of their natural fortitude—they’re not like fine wines that get better as they age. But if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already caught on and are ready to take the necessary steps to make sure your beautiful website stays secure and functioning well into the future.
In other words, you’re ready to figure out this whole website support thing.
Give yourself a pat on the back—you’ve come to the right place.
Intuitive Digital doesn’t just provide website support services, we also provide digital marketing services. This helps our team truly understand the complexities of website support and the ways it impacts other areas of your business. We’ve built a proven process that keeps even our oldest websites running as though they’d just come off the press.
But before we soar into the complexities of website support, performance tuning, SEO, and other items that impact your organization, we should start with our feet on the ground and answer this question properly: what is website support?
What is Website Support?
Website maintenance or support is the ongoing process of managing and updating your website to ensure it functions optimally. This involves a wide spectrum of tasks, from updating plugins and fixing bugs to optimizing server performance. The role of website maintenance is to ensure that your website remains a reliable and effective staple for your business goals, whether it’s generating leads, providing information to potential customers or clients, or servicing existing customers.
A crucial aspect of website support is website security. In an era where cyber threats are innovating rapidly, maintaining your website’s security is non-negotiable. At its most basic, this involves implementing measures such as SSL certificates and regularly installing updates to your themes and plugins. Having old versions of these leaves cracks for cyber threats to crawl through. More robust measures involve firewalls and other protections to prevent data breaches, DDoS attacks, and other cyber threats.
Website Security Protects Your Brand And Users
Website maintenance does not just protect your business, it also protects your users’ information. Should you find yourself in a situation where users’ information is stolen or leaked, trust in your brand could be severely compromised for years and you’ll have your work cut out for you as you and your teams endeavor to rebuild that trust.
Cyber attacks also carry the risk of creating downtime for your site.
To some, downtime might not mean very much, especially if your website functions mostly as a digital brochure. But if your website is a major step in the sales process, you may want to strap in.
Based on the 2023 article by SolarWinds, downtime could cost your business an average of $137 to $427 per minute if you’re a smaller business, and upwards of $1,000 per minute if you’re a larger business. If you have a large enterprise business that relies on your site for sales, the cost could go much higher.
So remember: website security isn’t a one-and-done deal; it’s an ongoing commitment that involves staying ahead of the latest cyber threats and checking to make sure your website complies with industry standards and best practices.
Enhancing Digital Marketing With Website Support
To say that website support impacts your digital marketing would be a gross understatement.
Your website is the foundation of your digital presence. It’s where users are sent when they find your business in the search engine results pages and it often serves as a landing page for users who click on your digital advertising. If there are cracks in your foundation, your online presence could suffer in fundamental ways.
The attitude of your team when it comes to website maintenance should be proactive, not reactive. Regularly updating and maintaining your website will help it rank higher in search engines, leading to increased brand visibility and traffic.
Again, it’s not just about fixing the site when it breaks; it’s about continually improving and aligning the website to meet evolving marketing objectives. Consider how website speed, a critical factor in user experience, impacts SEO rankings and user engagement. One independent study found that for every second they shaved off of their websites’ page load times, their conversion rates improved by 17%.
Keeping your website load times nimble involves more than just making your image files smaller and using fewer videos—your website host and server configuration also have an impact.
Regular maintenance ensures that all elements of the website, from files to functionality, work together seamlessly to support your business and digital marketing objectives.
Website Maintenance Services: What To Look For
There are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered when providing support for your website, and they can range from technical aspects like optimizing load speeds to keeping up with modern-day standards like mobile responsiveness.
But if you’re like most business and marketing leaders, you almost certainly do not have the time or bandwidth to implement these things. This is why you go online to try and find a professional who gets this technical mumbo-jumbo and is poised to deliver straightforward service at a reasonable price.
But if you don’t have the technical know-how to work on these items, how do you know what items need to be addressed and what to expect from a good website maintenance service provider?
Easy. You keep on reading as we go through the essentials you need to look for.
Website Support Essentials
Your website maintenance services should encompass:
- Website security: The service should approach website security with multi-layered and comprehensive measures for protection, implementing security measures such as regular vulnerability scans, SSL certificate management, and robust firewalls. This proactive stance ensures your website is safeguarded against the latest cyber threats, from malware to hacking attempts.
- Enhanced Performance: This refers to optimizing your website’s speed and responsiveness, crucial for both user experience and SEO. When users are able to quickly and easily navigate the site, they are more likely to take desired actions like filling out a form, adding an item to the cart, or simply exploring your blog articles.
- Uptime Monitoring: Your service should come with uptime monitoring to ensure maximum availability and quickly address any issues that might lead to downtime. Should downtime occur, getting the site back up should be considered an urgent priority.
- WordPress Core and Plugin Updates: Regular updates are vital for security and functionality. Regular evaluation should also be done of your site’s plugins to make sure there are no outdated or redundant plugins taking up valuable space on the site.
- Daily Backups: This precaution ensures that, in the event of any issue, data recovery is swift and comprehensive such that your website can be reverted back to the state it was in before the issue occurred.
- Priority Support: Should any miscellaneous issues arise, your provider should dedicate space in their capacity to troubleshoot said issues.
Although technically separate from website maintenance, it is important to have a partner who can optimize your website hosting as well, as it does have an impact on site performance and security.
Website Maintenance: Decoding the Costs
To some, investing in website maintenance might seem like an unnecessary additional expense.
That assumption is a mistake.
Website maintenance and support is a crucial investment that helps future-proof your website as an asset to your business.
Prices vary depending on the extent of your services and what solutions are being used to maintain the website. There are a variety of tools that can handle firewalls and backups, but not all tools are created equal.
The most basic forms of website maintenance can go anywhere from $50 to $100 per month, whereas more advanced forms of support can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand per month.
Other items that impact cost include:
- The size of the website
- Whether or not the industry comes with unique compliance requirements for users’ privacy
- The level of traffic the website receives regularly
- Whether or not the business requires basic or more advanced tools for security
The Risks of Neglecting Website Maintenance
In case this point hasn’t hit home yet, we want to make it clear that neglecting website support can lead to a myriad of issues—from minor inconveniences to major disruptions.
Slow loading times, broken links, or outdated content can frustrate users, while more severe issues like security breaches can impact your business’s reputation and bottom line.
Staying on top of maintenance is not just about avoiding problems; it’s about ensuring the ongoing success and growth of your online presence.
Choosing The Right Website Support Partner
Choosing the right website maintenance partner is crucial, and it’s about far more than just finding someone who understands website security. Someone who’s spent their entire career just in the IT Security industry won’t necessarily understand your business or the role it plays in your sales and marketing.
You should assess potential partners based on their experience, range of services, social proof, and capacity to provide personalized support.
How could we not throw our hat into the ring?
Intuitive Digital stands out from the crowd because of our commitment to understanding and meeting the specific needs of SMBs.
We don’t consider ourselves vendors. We provide solutions that are built from collaboration with your team and are tailored to help your business grow.
As a full-service digital marketing agency, we understand from over a decade of experience that website support is a crucial component necessary for successful digital marketing.If you are ready to have a conversation about addressing your website maintenance needs, get in touch with us today and one of our experts will reach out to have a conversation with you.