Having a professionally designed, brand-differentiating website is crucial to increasing sales, boosting the bottom line, and growing your business.
The design and deployment of a website however is not enough – routine maintenance is required to run a successful website. It is important to understand the most common reasons that result in routine maintenance and why you should expect such maintenance to be done on your website.
Reason 1: APIs constantly change
A lot of websites rely on third-party APIs for a host of different functions and features. They allow websites to connect with third-party providers such as Google Maps, Mailchimp and practically every social media network out there.
Every API is unique and from time to time new versions released. Although it is great to see APIs evolve and add new features, sometimes these changes require us to update our own implementations. By not doing so, you risk having broken features on your website.
Reason 2: Neglected or poorly maintained plugins
Just like APIs, most websites rely on plugins, software add-ons, to allow for the enhancement of certain capabilities of a website. For instance, if you wanted to watch a video on a website, you may need a plugin to do so. If the plugin is not installed, your internet browser will not understand how to play the video.
A vast selection of plugins has allowed open-source CMS to flourish. But variety itself does not guarantee quality or even a lengthy existence. As platforms evolve, certain plugins may not tag along for the ride.
For web designers and their clients, this results in sometimes having reconsider things. If a plugin that has been chosen is buggy, no longer maintained by its author – or both, a replacement must be found to maintain the enhancement. The more intricate the plugin, the more effort required to replace it. It is not just about finding a new plugin, however – any customizations made around the previous plugin will have to be refactored. This entire process could become expensive and time-consuming.
Reason 3: Web hosting aches and pains
No matter how well-built a website is, the reality is that it cannot overcome substandard hosting. Reliable and high-performing web hosting is a vital part of any successful website. When you are thinking about building a new website, your choice of host is almost certainly one of the last things on your mind. But overlooking to choose the right host can have calamitous effects on your website.
Think of your host as the foundation of your website. You would not build a home on a shaky foundation, and neither should you build a website with a low-quality host behind you.
As you add more content to your website, your website grows. It generates more user activity and gains traffic. Therefore, you need more disk space and other server resources to run your website smoothly. If you do not have access to these resources, you may have to reconsider and/or upgrade your hosting plan.
Reason 4: A poor performing website will affect your ranking
There are many factors that can impact the ranking of your website. There is no doubt that search engines prefer websites that are fast, error free and well maintained. Moreover, factors such as bad site architecture, broken links and unstable hosting all play an important role.
Having a team that constantly has an eye on all these factors and manages any issues that arise effectively can help to salvage a potential reduced ranking.
Performing routine maintenance on your website could be the difference between having a timeless website which achieves your long-term goal or having a website that has a limited lifespan which would eventually require a significant design and development overhaul for it to perform how it is intended to.
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