Please maintain my website

Picture this: you have spent months working with a web designer to create your website. It has been hard work and you are both delighted and relieved when your website is finally launched.

“That’s it!”, you think to yourself. “It’s done.”

That is not, however, what your web designer may be thinking. Although the regular correspondence may fade away your web designer is likely to remind you that your business relationship will need to continue.

“Why?” you may ask.

The answer is one simple word – maintenance.

Every web designer handles maintenance in their own way. As most of my websites are created in Wordpress I feel very strongly about a site being well-maintained. There are several reasons for this:

  • Backups – simply put, backups are essential. Whether it is daily or weekly, backups need to be a part of your maintenance plan. Just like we backup/save everything including Word documents and smartphones, you need to ensure that there are backups of your website. Sometimes things happen – such as a hardware failure at your hosting provider, or a corruption of your website files. You need to be prepared for these events, or risk the integrity and quality of website. Backups are also crucial to do before the next step of maintenance, as they give you a ‘fall back’ position if something goes awry.
  • Wordpress Updates – As one of the world’s leading content management systems, Wordpress are regularly updating and refining their software. Some of the updates are minor and some are quite significant. What does this mean for your website? It means that it is best for you to have the most current version on your site, for security and so that the other main components of your website will contain functioning properly. These are:

Your Wordpress theme – Themes are the structure of your website, and control both its appearance, and how it functions. If your theme is not kept up-to-date then certain elements might stop working.

For example, I recently worked on site that was not behaving the way I expected it to. On closer investigation I discovered that the theme had not been updated for over 6 months. That can be a long time in the website world. Before I did anything else I updated the theme to the latest version and hey presto – it started working again.

Plugins – Plugins are extensions to your website that perform specific functions, such as adding a contact form, or allowing you to sell products. Just like a theme, it is important to maintain and update plugins as new versions become available. If not, then the functions and stability of your website may degrade over time.

And if the above maintenance tasks are performed and an issue arises? You will be even more grateful that there is a backup to revert to.

I always give my clients the option as to whether they want to take up my maintenance plan. If they decide that they want to look after it themselves, then I respect that decision. I also provide them with all the guidance and information they will need to look after it themselves.

Regardless of who is looking after maintenance, always remember that your website is a valuable business resource and deserves your attention.