Why Update Your Website?
Regular Updates Keep Your Website Functional and Secure
No matter the size of your business, your website plays a major role in its success. While small to medium-sized businesses may not have the resources or the need for a full-time Site Manager, ensuring someone is responsible for consistently reviewing and updating your website is essential.
Unfortunately, we have heard a number of stories where neglecting to consistently review and update a website has led to missed sales opportunities, frustrated customers, and avoidable fires. These are just a few of many reasons to regularly update your website. We put together the below recommendations to act as a guide for business owners and marketing/sales managers.
Also, check out our related post on how often to update your website.
Front End Review
We find it beneficial to assign this task to someone on your team who does not spend much time on the website in their daily responsibilities but is deeply familiar with the brand’s services. They are positioned to approach this review with fresh eyes and provide valuable feedback.
Have them crawl each page of the site, testing each call-to-action by clicking buttons and/or links. Ensure they read through the website content, looking for any typos, as well as incorrect or outdated information.
Do they feel there are natural opportunities to contact the business for more information or to learn more? This includes strategically placed content forms, newsletter sign-ups, phone numbers, feedback requests, and social media links.
Consider gathering input from your sales team as there may be opportunities to include particular phrases or statistics that seem to be resonating with the business’s target audience in sales conversations.
- Crawl the site looking for broken elements that are disrupting user flow and hindering conversion rates
- Review the site from multiple browsers and screen sizes (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone)
- Read content looking for typos, or incorrect/outdated reflections of your services
- Look for opportunities to include content that has resonated with your audience in sales conversations
Back End Review
It’s easy to have a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality with the backend of your website, as in—if everything works and looks fine on the front end, why make changes to the backend?
There are several flaws in this line of thinking. For one, it’s possible an outdated theme or plugin is causing issues on a browser or screen that you’re not viewing the site from! Not to mention, just like app updates on your phone, the theme and plugin updates are often outright bug fixes and improvements. This isn’t to say that you need to be on standby for every update that rolls out. We recommend ensuring WordPress, themes, and plugins are updated every 4–6 weeks to guarantee optimal performance and security.
While you’re on the backend, we suggest looking for any other standout alerts. For example, a Salesforce or MailChimp API that disconnected may throw off your sales process. If you have any social media feeds on your site, the connection has a tendency to break any time you change your password to the social channel.
All of our website builds capture contact form submissions on the backend of the site and then route notifications to the appropriate team members. It is good to frequently check this in case there have been shifts within your team—nothing is worse than a hot lead gone unanswered! While you’re at it, review the backend users and their permission levels to ensure those who have left the company do not maintain their access.
- Updated WordPress, themes and plug-ins as neglecting to do so could negatively impact performance and security
- Check for disconnected APIs that could be breaking your workflow
- Review contact form submissions to ensure none are missed and all going to the right people
- Review users and permissions
If all of the above makes perfect sense to you, but you realistically know it will not be consistently carried out internally, we have a few service options that are specifically tailored to small to medium-sized businesses.
The first thing to note about our website management services is that we only support websites that we host. This plan is best for individuals and small companies that have websites that are important to them but require only occasional, less complicated updates.
It provides safe, secure and best-in-class hosting. We lease and manage our servers from GoDaddy and we take care of support issues related to site uptime and backups through them for you.
If you should need it, the opportunity to use our ticket support system is also available. The base price on this plan covers standard backups and maintenance as it relates to basic hosting (keeping your site up!). It does not include WordPress updates, plugins, and theme updates items—these are your responsibility. Issues that may break or become outdated within your website or happen outside of our control, such as problems at your registrar or ecommerce and e-learning platforms. For that and any other help, you can use our ticketing support system.
Learn more about Basic Hosting.
Quarterly Website Audit & Update Package
We have several Basic Hosting clients that submit a request for our Website Audit and Update package on a quarterly basis. This is ideal for clients that have taken ownership of the front-end maintenance, but appreciate an extra pair of eyes to review for broken elements and opportunities to improve user flow as well as a complete update of the backend.
To maximize performance and ensure your site is secure, for a one-time cost, we will:
- Review the theme age and compatibility of your site and update if warranted.
- Assess the stability of active plugins and report any outdated plugins for follow-up action.
- Audit the SEO integrity of the site and provide a report of broken links that may be impacting your search engine rankings.
- Review main pages and test contact forms and implement spam protection if applicable.
- Inclusion of an SSL certificate if not currently in place.
- Following the audit and update, we will communicate our findings as well as opportunities for improvement across user flow, functionality, or accessibility.
Learn more about our Audit & Update package.
Concierge Website Services
For those of you who place super importance on keeping your website in tip-top operating shape and have the need to update it fairly often, we offer our Concierge Website Services option. This plan is paid monthly, and includes everything in the Basic Hosting plan mentioned above, plus:
- Daily Site Backups* [rolling 7-day backups, 4 weekly, 12 monthly]
- Necessary core, WordPress theme and plugin updates for security and stability (Every 4-6 Weeks) and you will be notified via email once completed.
- Quality Assurance checks after updates to look for issues on the website
- 1 hour of support through our ticketing system, to be used towards website-related design, content, coding, training, etc. Can build up to 3 support hours in reserve at a time (if you don’t use an hour one month, it will roll over to the next month with a max of 3 hours in reserve at a time). Our typical response time on support tickets for this service is within same business day, by noon the next day if the ticket was opened after 3:00pm CST.
- A reduced hourly rate of for additional support time during normal business hours
- A reduced emergency hourly rate for any immediate support time needed outside of our normal business hours.
- An SSL certificate (normally $100/year) + installation (an up to $200 process) for FREE when you sign up for our Concierge Website Services program for 1 year.
Learn more about Concierge Website Services.
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