Why does my website need ongoing maintenance?
A website is made up of a rather large collection of things that ultimately must work together for a good end result. When I say a large collection, I mean there's a lot of stuff in that proverbial bag. And as technology grows and advances, the bag gets bigger and fuller. Here's a sampling of some of the things that are a part of many websites:
- Themes - basically a framework that the site is built on that influences both the look and functionality of the site.
- Plugins - these are the main tools that are used to actually build the site within that framework. Sort of like the tools in a garage, so to speak.
- Widgets - smaller tools that do smaller and more specific things than plugins in most cases.
- HTML - pretty much the mother code for any website. Without it you don't have a website.
- CSS - this is code that determines much of how a site looks - like colors, fonts and a whole lot more.
- PHP - server-side script that helps with the functionality of a website.
- Links - both internal and external links may become mute if the thing that they are lining to change or are removed.
- Media - images, forms, custom fonts, videos, etc.
- Hosting environment - this is where all of these files and things live.
- Domain registrar - where you purchased and registered your domain.
- SSL - security certificates.
- CDN - Content Delivery Network.
The list goes on and on - enough to put you to sleep. I had to slap myself just writing about it...
Why is website maintenance needed?
So, what does all of this have to do with ongoing website maintenance? Well, each and every one of these things are effected by the others in different ways. When one of these components fails or is updated it may have a direct effect on some of the other components. Since failures and/or updates happen to a number of the literally millions of possible things that may be a part of your website every single day, changes are always on the horizon. If you let the maintenance of a website go for a few months your website could literally become ineffective and, literally, a mess. I know someone who is dealing with this issue as I write this, all because they didn't have their website taken care of. Many of these updates are security related. When bad guys find a crack or seam they can sneak in through, the developers build patches or updates to fix the problem. If your site is not regularly maintained, it may become compromised and even hacked. Believe me - that's a real pain in the keester.
So, if you're going to make the investment into a great website - and I think most business's should these days - why not protect that investment by having it taken care of moving forward. You change the oil in your car, don't you? Do you have your teeth cleaned every year like you're supposed to? Why would you website, which represents your business and hopefully adds to your bottom line, be any different?
I hope this article shows why ongoing website maintenance is so important to your overall online presence. And I hope that if you need help with your website you'll consider Websites That Work as your online solution. Please share - Thanks!