If you’re working with a professional web developer, they may have advised you that you will require ongoing website maintenance even after your new site has launched. Perhaps you don’t quite understand what that means or doubt that you’ll really benefit from this service. Well, think again.
Website maintenance is as important as the process of building the website itself. Without it, your new, shiny site will quickly lose traction. Bugs may emerge, and you may even expose your clients to significant security issues. In short, if your web development services team says you need web development maintenance, it’s best to listen to them!
What is web development maintenance?
Website maintenance involves regularly checking your site for issues and keeping content up-to-date. Both of these tasks are important. Any website, no matter how well constructed, is likely to develop functionality problems. If you let these problems pile up, customers are going to become very frustrated with your slow, broken website.
Website content, including photos, videos, and blogs, also tend to age quickly. Unless you’re updating content on a regular basis, potential clients may get the impression that your company is not particularly switched on or concerned with digital engagement. Even worse, if your assets are really outdated — for example, your blog hasn’t been updated in ten years — they may assume you’ve closed down completely.
Website maintenance is a strategy designed to circumvent these two problems.
What does web development maintenance involve?
Website maintenance can include any number of tasks that are usually carried out on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly basis. If you’ve hired a professional web development company in Melbourne, it’s a good idea to talk about your maintenance needs and what types of packages the company offers. They are likely to suggest any number of the following tasks:
Check that all pages load without errors.
Run a website backup to secure your data.
Update CMS software and plugins.
Check that forms (eg. email sign-up) are running seamlessly.
Remove spam comments.
Check for broken links.
Upload fresh content. This can be a written blog, a new video, a testimonial from a satisfied customer — be creative! Ideally this content will also be optimised for SEO purposes.
Test website speed. If it has slowed, investigate and fix the root cause.
Conduct a security review. Patch any holes.
Study your website analytics. If there are certain pages visitors are avoiding or spending limited
time on, it could be a sign that something is wrong from a development perspective.
Review your entire site for areas of improvement.
Ensure your website is displaying correctly across all device types.
Conduct an on-page and technical SEO review.
Some of these maintenance tasks you may be able to carry out yourself. Uploading new content to your blog, for example, should be a fairly straightforward job, particularly if your website has been built using a user-friendly CMS. Others are likely to require the assistance of a professional web development services team.
In addition to these regular tasks, having a maintenance team on-hand means you’ll be able to deal with any emergency situations in a quick and efficient manner. If your website load time has suddenly doubled or all of your images are coming up with error messages, the last thing you want is to have to figure out what’s gone wrong on your own. It’s times like these that having a responsive development and maintenance team really pays off.
What to look for in a maintenance team
Now we understand what maintenance involves: what types of services and qualities should you be looking for in a maintenance team?
Well, to start with, it’s best if they have a local presence. While the beauty of web development is that it can be conducted anywhere in the world, an urgent problem is not going to be efficiently fixed if you’re waiting for your developer to wake up halfway around the world. At the very least, make sure the web development company you’re working with has some development team members within your time zone.
You should also partner with a team that’s explicit about what types of maintenance services they offer and what the ongoing cost will be. If a company is vague about what happens once your website launches or unable to articulate how they will respond to errors, avoid working with them at all costs.
Finally, choose a professional, talented web development company in Melbourne from the get-go. They might come at a slightly higher cost but they’re likely to build a solid, secure website that can cope with traffic numbers and doesn’t develop unexpected problems along the way.
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