The Most Popular Website Maintenance Services
Website maintenance services are often underrated. The reason is simple – a good maintenance team will do the work silently, seamlessly and will always remain behind the scenes. They will prevent any possible issues, rather than letting the server crash first. Therefore, website support isn’t something end users hear about often. Only a limited group of website owners understand the real importance of proper website maintenance.
Modern websites face a number of threats. Those include malware, hackers, bugs, plug-in compatibility issues and much more. While some popular platforms like Wordpress offer one-click website installation service, that’s definitely not enough for serious sites.
The reason is simple -- The freshly-made website might be fully functional at first, yet that doesn’t usually last long. Over the time, its plug-ins tend to get out of date, bugs begin to appear and accumulate, and so on. This leaves a footprint on the site’s performance and speed. That’s even more noticeable if the website is active and has important amounts of daily traffic.
What’s wrong with a slow website, though? While one or two seconds of additional delay might not seem to be a big deal, statistics tell the opposite. Studies show that “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load” (Sources: Gomez.com, Akamai.com (1). Therefore, having a smoothly-running website is rather important.
What Exactly is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance comprises a set of different service tasks that aim to protect the website from the mentioned threats. While every website is different, the service tasks usually fall into one of the seven common categories. Let’s detail them below.
Website Firewall and Real Time Security
Statistics show that about 30,000 WordPress sites are hacked every single day (2). When a website is hacked, its data bases become compromised. The hacker(s) gain access to the administrator panel, from which they are able to do any modifications to the website.
If the website has personal data of the company’s customers, hackers can steal it as well. Therefore, website real time security is crucial for any serious corporative site.
Hackers usually don’t appear from nowhere. What happens first is that the website gets infected by malware. The malicious scripts then open a breach in the website defense, allowing the hacker to get access.
The most popular way to prevent that from happening is by protecting the website with a Web Application Firewall (WAF). As a company, dedicated to website maintenance services, we install the Security Proxy and route all the traffic through it first. This way it filters any malicious traffic and grant access only to harmless one.
Malware and Hack Detection
Not every malware infection will result in an immediate hacker attack. Some sophisticated viruses tend to show no symptoms at all, especially at first. All they do is remain silent in the website and infect visitors’ PCs.
In fact, thousands of websites around the web are “unwillingly” spreading the viruses they’re infected with. Just like in the animal world, some parasites and bacteria use carriers to reach other beings.
A firewall might prevent hackers and many malware from infecting the website, yet there’s no perfect proxy yet. In addition to a WAF, it’s important to scan and clean up the website regularly.
All of the above explains why malware and hack detection is one of the most demanded website maintenance services nowadays. This is done in real time, and it’s recommended to do it at least every 12 hours.
Malware detection is important, yet it’s also important to wipe it out in real time, without compromising the website integrity or functionality. Sometimes, there’s a possibility to roll back the whole site to the latest back up copy and thus erase the virus. That is possible only for sites that don’t have an active forum or other kind of constantly updating pages, though.
Google and other search engines constantly scan websites for malware presence. If they detect a virus, the website loses a big chunk of its SERP (Search Engine Result Page position). That’s another reason why we offer a constant monitoring and periodical scans of the website, along with clean up services.
Back Up Creation and Storage
There are many reasons why a website might crash and lose part of its data overnight. It’s crucial to create and keep back-ups of the website and its databases.
Part of the website maintenance services includes the creation and storage of back ups. Those are made every day or more often. If something happens to the website, we provide an almost instant roll back to the latest saved version. Depending on the plan and the site weight, back ups are usually stored for a month.
Keeping WordPress (and other systems) Up to Date
WordPress is one of the most used modern website platforms. Its popularity is partially due to the huge amount of third-party plug-ins and themes it supports. While that’s definitely a pro, it might easily become a downside as well.
WordPress core, plug-ins and themes are periodically updated. While some of those updates aren’t crucial, others include performance and security enhancements, and bug fixes. Owning a website with obsolete plug-ins is dangerous. At best, it will result in poor performance. At worst, it might allow hackers to find their way into the control panel.
There are more than 46,000 plug-ins in Wordpress. A serious website might have dozens installed and running. Since most of those plug-ins are developed by third-party companies, it’s not an easy task to keep them properly installed and up to date. Therefore, many website owners opt for hiring a professional maintenance support team in order to have their WordPress core, themes and plug-ins up to date.
Website Performance and Uptime Monitoring
Any serious website needs to be constantly monitored by a maintenance team. We have specialized teams that are checking the website 24/7. If the website collapses, slows down or exhibits presence of malware, the team will fix the issue before it affects the visitors as well. Otherwise, performance issues might remain for months, until the website owner notices them.
Reverting to the last back up is one of the quick fixes our website maintenance team might do. Other tasks include the diagnosis and analysis of the failure. It’s important to determine the causes as soon as possible. Some of them might be malware infections, hack attacks, plug-in failures, server problems, and the list goes on and on. On the other hand, websites that don’t have proper maintenance might remain non-functional for days.
Mentoring and Support
Our website maintenance team is always there to answer any tech-related questions. We can also recommend the best plug-ins for a specific task or need. That’s important because not all third-party plug-ins are safe, compatible or optimized.
The Bottom Line
While modern hosting platforms offer one click website creation, the real issue is to keep the website running properly. Bugs, hackers and malware are one of the numerous threats that might compromise the website security, SERP and performance. Keeping a website safe and optimized requires time, dedication and a set of tools. That’s the reason why most website owners delegate the task to a team of website maintenance professionals.
1. How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line. Kissmetrics. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/
2. 30,000 websites are hacked every day. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jameslyne/2013/09/06/30000-web-sites-hacked-a-day-how-do-you-host-yours/#c631043a8ce4