Let’s face it, they are a threat. And underestimating them can cause you to miss out on amazing opportunities for better client relationships and to sell your product. More than likely your competitors know what they’re doing. They have gained success through their online marketing efforts by incorporating great design, good security, and the right SEO tactics. They are also constantly feeding their online campaigns with the right elements.
Most people think that after your website is built the fight is over, that you can just sit back, relax and wait for the conversion. While this is marginally true, the act of establishing your online presence does not simply end after creating a basic website for your business. Think of your website as a house; it needs love, sometimes renovation, but ultimately, it needs maintenance.
To help you understand the need for maintenance a little better, we’ve outlined the top five drawbacks your business could face if your website is not properly maintained.
The first and most obvious drawback is definitely security. Many people think a hack could never happen to them, believing that hackers only target big brands with lots of money. This is not true. There are a variety of reasons why your site is potentially vulnerable. The main reason is a simple one – your site can be targeted if it’s outdated. An older site is more likely to be hacked because of out-of-date elements and older code. Older code isn’t inherently less secure, but newer code has fewer vulnerabilities, as hackers haven’t figured out their issues yet.
The reliability and integrity of your website is at risk
As site ages, its features get older and slowly start to deteriorate. When code deteriorates what tends to happen is that the whole ecosystem moves on – the operating system and programming language the site is built on have their own security flaws and need to be upgraded, the libraries your site is built on become unsupported, the hosting platform you were using goes out of business. Even when the code is perfect, if the environment changes radically, your site is still compromised. It then becomes more likely that you will encounter problems when the website is finally upgraded. Instead of getting to this point, the solution is to do smaller regular updates to maintain and repair certain features along the way. The more you update, the fewer problems you’ll have when it comes to a big upgrade from (say) Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.
Wasting your time and money on resources
Skipping updates when they’re available can create a mess. It eventually turns into a much more complex development effort with a lot of back and forth to fix bugs and change modules. Your development team will need to spend a lot more time making these updates and fixes if your site isn’t well maintained. Once these updates have been made, the site needs to be tested all over again. Maintaining your website regularly keeps your costs to a minimum and saves time.
Poor user experience and broken features
Update notifications can be pesky and we’re all familiar with getting these notifications on our phones. Normally we tend to skip them, but after a while, we start to notice that the overall experience is a lot slower from what we’re used to. Eventually, we give in and run the update. The result – a much faster and smoother experience using our phones. So why not do the same for your website? Site updates provide new features and functionality to your website. The sooner you implement these updates, the sooner your site will work better.
“Design, as much as code, needs maintenance because our expectations of what kinds of interactions our interfaces should afford us, as well as our shared visual metaphors, are constantly changing.”
Blaize Kaye, Senior Developer, Amazee Labs
Even if your site is coded perfectly, and if you don't have to worry about the technical environment changing (for example a simple HTML page), there's another thing that changes over time – user expectations. Something that started out as a good user experience when initially designed, could become a bad one because of changes in user expectations. Design can deteriorate, and not just in terms of current trends.
When a website has a new update – whether it be a security update, bug fixes, new features or simply a patch – it can come with various performance improvements. These improvements can make your site much quicker and more efficient. When a user arrives at a slow-performing site, they tend to get impatient and leave. Website speed goes hand in hand with conversions, so the faster your site is the more likely it is to convert users. Also remember that site speed has an impact on your SEO, which means it’s important to review your website to determine the cause of slow load times.
Design and Maintenance
Website maintenance and design go hand in hand. When upgrading a website module or functionality, it’s important that the look and feel of the brand are maintained throughout the website experience. This is where design comes in. Utilising a design resource along with a developer ensures that brand integrity is maintained aesthetically along with the updated functionality.
At Amazee Labs, we offer more than just the strategy, design, and build of your website. We also ensure that it’s well maintained and beautifully updated throughout its lifespan. If you’d like to learn more, why not drop us a line and say hello.