02/04/2021
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The importance of website maintenance

Website maintenance. Sit down business owner. We’re going to need to have a serious talk about this.

I get it. It’s boring and you have 100 other things you would rather be doing. We do too. But the discussion needs to be had. So take your hats off, and let’s understand the importance of website maintenance.

In fact, I’m going to be writing this in such layman’s terms the hardest word you’ll come across is “maintenance.” As a business owner who most likely has a website we know that, much like our cars, we need to look after them.

But do we really need to do it? Is it really that important? I mean, you can understand a car right?

You NEED to get from A to B for clients, the kids, your favourite Thai restaurant with curry laksa… I mean… Your lack of car maintenance will impact you later on in your car’s life, and you face the risk of not being able to get to where you need to. A website can be left unattended as long as the front end is up. “All is well” is the usual thinking of a business owner.

Months pass, things don’t work as well on the website. “Should probably look at getting that fixed… Hmm nah, my website doesn’t do that much anyway.” If we stick to the car analogy, we can relate it to the outside of the car looking clean, yet under the hood everything is falling apart. The car breaks, your speedometer doesn’t work properly anymore (Oh I remember those days) and you are left with putting something off until it gets to the point you end up paying lots on maintenance repairs you could have avoided.

Welcome to your website.

Servicing website maintenance is just a protocol that you follow and need to be diligent towards, like changing a tyre.

Once you know what you’re doing you can do it every time. The difference is, you might change a couple of tyres in your lifetime (unless it’s your job of course), while with websites you actually need to have a few systems set up. Some can be automated, and others done manually. These come with costs of tools and software that support these actions on your behalf.

4 key questions

Question 1:

Why is website maintenance not a higher priority than what people make it out to be?

Website maintenance is never seen as a priority because there just isn’t a pain point strong enough to justify an extra expense. Just like insurance, it’s probably not important until you wish you had it… And when something does happen you never live without it again. Website maintenance is tedious work. We know! But we know why it’s so crucial…

In fact, we spent years working a sector that gave us such small profits because of the importance of what proper website maintenance gave to our clients, and the minimisation of stress from both our team and our clients knowing we’re giving them the very same love we give to our own website.

To shift this kind of thinking we actually have to put a value into your investment: In this case, your website. Do you value your website? If the answer is yes, it’s most likely because it provides an ROI of sorts, whether it’s directly or indirectly.

And chances are if it does this, you have probably invested a bit into your website where professionals did the work for you, much like our signature web design service.

If you don’t value your website, I would ask why not? I can guarantee the answer will come back to the previous point of why somebody would say yes to valuing it. Everything comes back to investment and what it brings into our business.

Question 2:

So if website maintenance is so important, why don’t many agencies offer it?

Simply put – profit. It lacks it. Mostly because the big projects are where the money’s at.

From business owner to business owner. Let’s talk facts here. If your company relies on major projects to come in, do you perfect this offering and keep focusing on selling and delivering more of this? Of course. Your accountant would tell you so.

Website maintenance is a heavy process and systematic procedure. It involves a lot of cogs to make it work, and only time can deliver the best result with efficient delivery. Website maintenance was important for us for two reasons. We believed in the growth of our clients and what the website of tomorrow looked like, and well… Our mascot The Golden Orb Weaver is constantly renewing its web on a daily basis to keep it so strong even birds and bats get affected by their webs.

These two reasons are why we treat website maintenance extremely seriously, with the multitude of systems and processes to be able to manage our clients and the onboarding process. It’s crucial for the longevity of something that is SUPPOSED to return profit to you directly or indirectly.

“Okay Spiral… If website maintenance eats into profits then why do it?”

You might have already worked it out but: Long-term clients mean they come back to us for updates, rebrands, and revamps.

Retention is crucial in our world, and we can only do that by looking after and continuing in innovating and delivering in a space where others might just set and forget. (We’ve seen our fair share of set-and-forgetters in our agency time.) PLUS, statistically, websites should be evolving with their brands. Therefore, what better than a client coming back to us and our team spending a whole lot less on clean up due to:

1. We already look after their website maintenance and therefore know all the ins and outs and have kept everything up to date, secure, loaded and ready.

and

2. We not only showcased all the back-end work we do in our reports to clients, but already had strong rapport with them, and can offer better suggestions because we know what our clients want…

What does this mean for the client?

A far cheaper follow-on service when they need it.

Website maintenance means less revisions, less work, less costs. We’ve been doing this for years. 🙂

Question 3:

Is website maintenance and security really that important or is it just a thing companies say to get clients?

Every web designer will tell you the importance of this, but why?

The majority of websites out there for the SMB are built with WordPress. Whether if it’s custom design or you fell victim *HORRIBLY* to a company that just copy and pasted theme templates… They all run software like a computer. Software that isn’t regularly maintained and updated run the risk of two major things happening:

– Hackers finding their way through back-door, outdated Themes and plugins…

and

– Website plugins (software) being left outdated and potentially breaking your website.

We had a horror story of a referral coming to us due to a website completely breaking. The website had over 50 UPDATES and the (now our) client went ahead and pressed update with no protocol in place and no backups. We dropped everything to try and help fix this however after a few hours all we could do was sticky tape a relatively broken page together and build her a completely new website.

We have dealt with hacks due to no website maintenance, 3rd party companies stealing traffic, payments and even hijacking websites for ransom.

Imagine buying a brand new car and somebody steals it from you and leaves you a letter saying “Gimmie $3000 or you’ll never see your car again. You have 24 hours.” Of course the police would be involved and most likely sort that out for you, but on the internet you don’t get cyber police. They don’t really exist, so we’re all you’ve got! We could give our spider a little police hat and BRAND THAT UP – DESIGNERS TAKE NOTE OF THIS. THE SPIDEY POLICE… and this is why I’m not in charge of the design sector of Spiral 🙂

Last question:

Why don’t we care about website maintenance enough?

This is an easy answer. We just don’t understand the value that our websites have in the digital world.

We don’t consider that a website is more than just a digital version of your business card. We don’t consider the amount of automation that could go and grow your business instead of a website that generates leads and referrals with only a one-time setup and tweaks so often. We don’t consider how much our websites can actually do for us in terms of attracting partnerships that throw business toward us.

Real estate that can generate affiliate income. The power of leveraging off of Google, and social media. The library of blogs, (Just like this one, and it’s impact) the social media redirects, the downloads and conversation starters.

Do you want to see what a website can do behind the scenes?

Here’s a cheeky plug for one of our guides on How to Audit your own Website so you become aware of how we continue to build trust with you through continued support (you can unsubscribe after it, I don’t really care…)

The point is, the value of your website is not at the level you know it could be, and the different ways you can attract a conversation with your ideal clients are actually endless.

So in conclusion:

Website maintenance is the ticket to your website actually working for your business.

It will give you the reassurance that everything is working perfectly on the back-end, that someone is testing your website, running security scans and performing daily backups while reporting all the “fun” stuff you don’t have time to do.

So what does Spiral Orb Designs offer when it comes to website maintenance?

A ton! Including VPS hosting servers in which we cover the cost when you’re on board as a Web Care client. Yay, free hosting! None of that cheap and nasty shared hosting stuff either… You get a month to month experience in that we are so confident in what we do, you won’t want to leave, but even if you did… Nothing is holding you back!

And your own free website suggestions with the team twice a year before EOFY & before the new year, so that your brand and website can stay relative and ahead while everyone is running around putting everything else first. Treat your website with love. It’s the money-making machine that goes beyond “just a place to grab your details.”

Your website sells you daily, it brings in partnerships that confidently throw money your way. The amount of partnerships we passed up when we saw how outdated, or not in alignment with us, their websites and brands were was astonishing.

This is why brand image needs to be just as important as the great work you do! There’s more people out there than just ‘potential clients’. Never forget that!

Interested in web maintenance?

We don’t call it that. We call it Web CARE, but for SEO reasons here we are. 😉

Because we care and we want to show you – check out our web care package and have a conversation with David, our lead designer, to find out what’s possible for your website, and why our care is the best you’ll come across!