Regular Website Maintenance is an essential if you are to run a fully functional, secure website. Think of website maintenance as your website's 2-in-1 doctor and life-insurance.
This page offers a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know as a website owner to maintain secure website well run website.
Website Maintenance Plans
Daily server backups
Quarterly offline backups
Quarterly website software updates
Daily server backups
Monthly off-line backups
Monthly website software updates
5 hours technical support/ month*
* Covers our full remit of services - website maintenance, trouble shooting, SEO, content creation, blogging help and advice, page updates, social marketing.
We advise the following maintenance as a bare minimum:
- Regular full website backups and website synching to avoid data loss. The schedule should reflects the frequency of your website updates and edits. Backup copies should also be kept offline.
- Regular website software updates so that you are always running the latest versions.
- Regular website clean up website healthcheck.
We work with a large number of website hosting companies and can advise you on the best choice, or handle the domain and hosting for you. Generally we will use a host within the country where your business is based for website optimisation benefits, and practicality.
Environmentally aware? request a hosting company with servers running on renewable energy resources.
We are a full service web agency offering our clients 100% customised technical support all issues related to your website, including:
- website optimisation (SEO)
- social networks
- content writing / content marketing
- Website training and tutoring for website content creators (bloggers) and in-house website administrators. Contact us
In depth look at website maintenance
Backing up your website
Imagine that one day you visit your website and it is no longer there. After numerous attempts you finally get through to your hosting company and they say there server has broken and your website has been lost. What do you do? This may sound crazy, but it does happen - albeit rarely. Ensure that either your hosting company or web agency take a regular backup of your website and databases and store them on a separate server and/or locally on a hard drive.
What can go wrong:
You hosting company can lose your data in a situation such as a server hack or server failure; data can be accidentally deleted by you or a website users; or your website may be defaced - yes sadly there are people with nothing better to do than to create programs that go around ruining other people's websites.
Recommended frequency of website backups:
Common sense needs to be applied here, with the frequency of your backups reflecting the frequency and extent to which you update your website. If you edit your website daily, you need to backup daily. If you only make minor changes to your website throughout the year, then you may be able to get away with once every 6 months or even annually. We will be able to advise you on an optimal backup strategy. In general, we backup our servers daily, and take local website backups (offline backups) to our computers once a week.
Regular website software updates
You should keep your website software/ operating system up-to-date. Most websites use a content management system (CMS) such as Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal; or if you have an ecommerce, Magento or Prestashop. All major CMS come with an easy to use one-click update system to keep your software up-to-date. It is fundamental that your webmaster does this regularly.
Potential problems if you don't update your website
- Website incompatible with extensions: website extras such as your shopping cart or social share buttons may become incompatible with your outdated software. You may notice this if certain functionality stops working on your website, parts of your website disappear, or start displaying error messages.
- Website incompatible with server: most servers get regularly upgraded. If you don't upgrade your website, it may become incompatible with your server and stop working. You may see a blank screen or error messages at the top or bottom of your pages.
- Security flaws: due to advances in knowledge and computer programming, your website can become vulnerable to hackers if not updated. Particularly if you handle credit card payments (for example, e-commerce websites), we strongly advise keeping your website updated.
- Aesthetics: running your website on the latest software and template will help ensure that you have a faster, modern looking website which clients will love.
- Your website is no longer up-datable: if you don't update your website for many years it may no longer be possible to upgrade, and your website will have to be rebuilt from scratch - which is generally more expensive than simply keeping it updated.
Recommended frequency of website updates:
As an absolute minimum, we suggest annual updates. If you have a website that handles credit card details or other sensitive information, updates should be at least quarterly and whenever a security update/patch/fix is released for your website software.
Keep your website plugins up-to-date
Your website will most likely have a number of plugins (also known as extensions, addons or modules). Examples of website plugins are a shopping cart, social network buttons, and plugins to improve your website's search engine optimisation (SEO) - such as SH404SEF in Joomla or Yoast in Wordpress.
Problems caused by out-dated website plugins;
- Partly broken website usually an out-dated plugin will cause part of your website to stop working correctly or disappear.
- Website security flaws in more serious cases, an outdated payment plugin may leave open a security flaw in your website.
Recommended frequency of plugin updates:
Website plugins and extensions should be updated whenever your website software is updated (see above)
Fine tuning your website
Websites build up clutter over time, so performing some occasional spring cleaning is recommended:
Do I really need website maintenance?
Unless you own a simple static website that you don't envisage changing: then the answer is YES - you do need website maintenance.
What are the benefits of website maintenance?
Keeping your website up-to-date will help to ensure a well tuned, fast loading, secure website that purrs along. However, rather than the benefits, website upkeep is more about avoiding the problems that you can come across if you don't keep your website in order:
Problems you can face if you don't update your website:
- Loss of data - in an extreme case, your hosting company can lose all of your data and you will find yourself without a website.
- Out of date website software can leave security flaws and your website can be open to hacks or attacks.
- Out of date software that becomes incompatible with your host server and no longer functions correctly.
- Website has to be rebuilt from scratch. In extreme cases, if your website is not updates for a number of years, it may no longer be possible/ worth updating, and the site will have to be rebuilt.