You worked on your website for months - maybe longer - and now your site is live for the world to see. Your work is done, right?
Your web presence is a living masterpiece of HTML code that needs regular attention and monitoring in order for your return on investment (ROI) to be worthwhile. Here's what a website maintenance plan is and why having a strategy can help you.
What is a Maintenance Plan?
A website maintenance plan or agreement is essential for every business with a web presence. Its' a comprehensive list of actionable tasks to maintain and improve a site's performance.
This plan might include optimizing:
- Content quality and relevance
- Page loading speed and server response time
- Video and image embeds
- Security measures and vulnerability scans
- Sitemaps and indexing
- User-friendly navigation
By investing in a web maintenance agreement, you can ensure that your website remains an effective tool for engaging users and growing your business.
Why Do You Need a Maintenance Plan?
Here's why monthly or annual maintenance plans for business websites are becoming a part of overall strategies:
Consistency and Reliability
A web maintenance agreement establishes a consistent schedule for maintaining and updating your website. Without regular maintenance, your site is susceptible to malware injections and data theft. It also makes for a poor user experience.
This all negatively impacts your technical search engine optimization (SEO). This means your site falls lower in organic search rankings, leading to low traffic - or worse - being considered a spammy website. Website maintenance helps prevent:
- Slow page loading times
- Outdated plugins and themes
- Broken internal and external links
- Unoptimized or uncompressed videos and images
- Glitchy form fills, workflows, and checkout processes
- Lack of site security
Updating your website regularly ensures that it remains functional across all devices and compatible across web browsers. Both of which make for a positive user experience, higher organic rankings, a low bounce rate, and more traffic.
A web maintenance agreement often includes priority support for any technical issues that arise with your website.
This means that if something goes wrong, you have a dedicated point of contact that will prioritize and quickly resolve any issues that arise.
A web maintenance agreement can save you money in the long run.
By proactively maintaining and updating your website, you can prevent major issues that could require costly repairs or downtime.
Additionally, web maintenance agreements often offer discounted rates compared to ad-hoc maintenance services.
Security and Compliance
A web maintenance agreement includes regular security updates and compliance checks. This reduces data breach or cyberattack opportunities, and it keeps your site up-to-date with the latest regulations.
The website maintenance plan for security could include adjusting user permissions and login credentials, running security audits, reviewing CMS and SSL, and more.
Peace of Mind
Savvy business owners might update their site's copy or design, but few have the technical expertise or coding knowledge to fix backend site issues.
A web maintenance agreement allows you to focus on your core business activities without worrying about your website's functionality or security.
Should anything go wrong, like a security breach or unresponsive server, you have peace of mind knowing a qualified someone is handling it ASAP.
The Essential Parts of a Maintenance Plan
When you're ready to invest in a website maintenance plan, it's important to understand what's included and what your website actually needs.
Typically, maintenance plans can be tailored to your site's specificities, meaning it can include as many or as few services as you want. Here are the most common elements of a website maintenance plan:
Your website is a living document and needs to be updated regularly, but what does that mean for your business? Smaller websites can handle monthly updates. Larger websites, including ecommerce sites, should be maintained weekly.
Regular updates can include more than backend technical improvements. It could mean content changes, image swaps, promo code updates, and more. Negotiate the agreement based on your comfortability with your site.
If you're used to updating the basics (copy and design), hire someone to take care of the technical expertise.
If you're not tech-savvy at all, ask for the full package of updates.
If something goes wrong on your site, like an unresponsive server, cyberattack, or data breach, be prepared with a dedicated point person who understands your website and its functionality.
A qualified contact should be able to resolve these issues for you quickly and effectively. Be sure emergency care is included in your agreement.
Gathering and understanding the right data takes time.
Yet . . .
You still might not know how your website is affecting your overall business operations.
Some maintenance agreements include data analytics to help guide you into enhancing your site for better performance - or deleting unnecessary parts.
There are generally two types of payment structures for website maintenance plans.
The first type is a-la-carte, while the other is a retainer payment plan.
Pay-as-you-go maintenance plans provide a list of items, and you pay for the hours it takes to complete. Typically, this type of payment plan involves a higher hourly rate and potentially longer wait times.
Retainer payment plans agree upon a certain number of hours, usually on a monthly basis. You pay for the hours upfront, and they're yours to use however you want. Committing to a retainer maintenance agreement typically reduces your hourly rate and can help you get assistance faster. Retainer agreements tend to have priority.
TIP: Ensure you check if unused hours are rolled over into the next month if they go unused.
For a free quote and more information about how Key City Web can update or create a custom website for your needs, please contact us.