9 Types of Website Support and Maintenance Services
Your business website is like a car, if it’s not regularly maintained and serviced, it will eventually break down. Now that nearly everyone is taking their business online, there is a lot of competition out there. Your competitors are all scrambling to ensure their website ranks highly on search engines. So how do you expect to stay ahead of your competition if you aren’t maximizing your return on investment and getting the most out of your website?
You need to perform regular website maintenance. Most website maintenance can be self-service but it’s better to hire a website maintenance service to help you with it. This way, you can focus on growing your business and worry less about maintaining your website.
These are the tasks you should expect to be done on a regular basis when you hire website support services:
1. Updating Website Software
If you are using any kind of content management system like WordPress or any kind of script like PHP, it needs to always be up to date. WordPress usually updates itself automatically but there are instances where it might need to be updated manually.
Additionally, if you are using a website host, a web service maintenance provider will ensure that they are updating their core server software on a regular basis. For instance, they will check if things like FTP service running on the server is up to date. If however, you run your own web server, they will manually test and apply updates.
2. Improving Website Speed
Did you know that twenty five percent of users navigate out of a website if it takes more than three seconds to load? Page loading is obviously an important part of the user experience. However, we tend to let it slide in order to accommodate new nifty functionality or esthetic website design.
In reality, web visitors do not care about all the bells and whistles. They care about accessing the information they want as fast as possible. Another important factor to consider is how page load speed affects your search engine rankings. A slow website increases bounce rate and if people are navigating out of your web page as fast as they got there, then Google will think your website isn’t important so they will push it further down the rankings.
A website support service will always check your website’s speed by constantly using the insights that they get from speed-checking tools to continually improve how it loads.
3. Fixing HTML Errors
HTML Code isn’t easy especially if you know nothing about website coding. You need to pay attention to detail to ensure that it’s working well. What might seem like a minor error could lead to a number of problems such as funky looking pages, missing multimedia, etc. Reliable website support should be able to inspect, find and fix issues related to HTML.
4. Backing up Files
Imagine how frustrating it would be if you were to lose all your website’s essential files. This incudes images, pages, blog posts, plugins, etc. If you run your website on WordPress, you might have a few automated backup options. Website maintenance services ensure that file and database backups are automatically performed at least on a weekly basis.
5. Developing New Content
Your content strategy might be on point but it’s always a good idea to improve it by creating new types of content. Your web content also needs to be up to date. If you wrote a post that was published years ago, it might not be relevant right now and some of the information might need to be updated.
6. Search Engine Optimization
Regularly checking your website for areas where searchability can be improved can go a long way to improving search engine optimization. Your blog posts can be altered to include popular and competitive keywords. Your landing pages can also be updated to include more relevant and timely keywords. Even your “About Us” page can be updated regularly to take advantage of popular keywords in your industry. Keyword research is also important when creating new content for your website.
As part of the SEO strategy, it’s also important to identify structural issues within your website that may affect how search engines view your site.
7. Ensuring Design Consistency across All Pages
Your website should function properly in all the latest versions of major website browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. These browsers update frequently and if your website doesn’t adapt to the updates it might not show up or it might not look the way you want it to. This could negatively affect your business and your branding. It’s also important to ensure that you have a responsive website design that looks good on mobile devices.
Another factor to consider about your website’s design is uniformity. If you have a lot of branding elements that represent your company, they should be included uniformly across all your pages.
8. Fixing Broken Links
Every link on your website should lead exactly to the right place but sometimes links can go bad. A site or resource you linked to earlier might disappear, a page on your website might become unavailable or you might move a post and forget to update others that link to it.
Broken links can be detrimental to your website. They could give visitors the impression that:
a) Your website is not user friendly
b) You don’t regularly update your website
c) You are not credible
Ideally, a website maintenance service will routinely check your website to identify any broken links. As soon as they find them, they will either modify or remove them.
9. Reviewing Your Website Analytics
Your website’s performance needs to be monitored to ensure that everything is working as it should. An experienced website support specialist will examine high-level metrics like how many new and returning visitors your website has received for the past week or which blog posts are the most read. They will then make adjustments your website accordingly to ensure all the metrics are at their peak.
This is just a minimum starting point of what website maintenance is all about. Some of these tasks can be overly time consuming. Additionally, if you do not know what you are doing, you could end up doing more damage. The better option is to hire professional website maintenance services.