Machines with moving parts such as automobiles, water heaters, and elevators require periodic maintenance. They have fluids that need to be changed and parts that need to be tested and replaced for health and safety reasons and to operate optimally. A website doesn’t have moving parts but it does require maintenance for many reasons.
Reason #1: Internet Security
According to a University of Maryland study, hackers attack every 39 seconds. The unscrupulous are always finding security holes in software and new features that have not been well tested. It seems on a monthly basis there are security alerts sent out requesting software be updated.
Maintenance contracts includes a backup the website, installation of security patches and a review of logs to identify attempted attacks.
Reason #2: Reputation
When a successful attack does occur, hackers could alter the content on the website, which search engines start displaying in search results negatively affecting your business. Alternately, hackers could start using your website to attack other sites which could lead to your website being taken down or blacklisted.
A maintenance contract includes reviewing content on the most viewed pages, a review of access logs, and ensure the company’s domain does not appear on any blacklists.
Reason #3: Functionality
Some websites are automatically updated but there is no one available to verify it still functioning as expected or looks good on all devices (mobile, desktop, and tablet). Without verifying the site functions and looks good on all devices could leave customers frustrated and unable to self-service or unable to leave a message on a contact form. Potential customers might not be able to find product information or find incorrect products.
Browser updates are another reason to verify functionality on a regular basis. Browsers may change or ignore website code (HTML) leading to missing content or content that is badly formatted.
There could situations where there is nothing technical wrong but you’re aware that other websites have changed. For example, there is a link to an article at the University of Maryland above but if the university reorganizes it’s website or renames the link the article will appear broken when a viewer clicks on it.
A maintenance contract includes verifying the layout of content on mobile, tablet, and desktops, test contact forms, test purchase process, and check for broken links.
Reason #4: Search Engine Optimization
Search engines continue to tweak their algorithms in an effort to deliver best results to a user’s query. The algorithm used factor in the loading time of pages, content, meta descriptions, and links to and from web pages.
A maintenance contract includes an evaluation of page speed ranking before and after software updates, check for missing pages (404 errors), and optimization of images from new content. Website tracking data can also be reviewed to identify web pages that have not been accessed.
Reason #5: Content Changes
During the year, marketing goals may change leading to focusing on specific products or perhaps an upcoming tradeshow. Contant changes are required and the website needs to be audited periodically to ensure marketing goals are met.
A maintenance contract will cover minor content changes to support marketing goals. The amount of changes is usually based on the amount of time remaining after performing other support tasks.
Reason #6: Support Familarity
For websites that have some complexity, having a support person that is familar with your business leads to quicker resolution of problems.
Without a website maintenance contract, your business’ marketing, sales, and customer support diminish over time. Contact OpenLava today and inquire about our website maintenance contracts.