How Rapidly Changing Technology Affects Long-Term Website Maintenance
An all-too-common scenario is a company launching their beautiful, new website only to be lacking the maintenance, support and infrastructure that comes with a modern day web presence.
- Web support for how-to’s and general questions
- Strategic website maintenance
- Monitoring bugs/issues
- Platform updates, CMS upgrades and security patches (routine to emergency changes)
- Design enhancements
- New functionality
Keeping up with user expectations isn’t a nice to have anymore – it’s a necessity. Plus, regularly scheduled website maintenance can help minimize the total cost of ownership overtime. It’s a win-win.
What you can do to keep up
Technology doesn’t stand still and the web is constantly evolving. This affects how your website maintenance plan. Competitors are taking steps to keep up, so don’t be left in the dust.
Today, website maintenance requires near-constant attention. We’ve outlined ways you can mitigate the risk of falling behind.
Site/page speed optimization
Page speed can also be described as page load time, or the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page. Site speed is the cumulative speed for a sample of pages on your site.
Think about a website you visited and how frustrating it was when it took “forever” to load. We immediately form a (negative) opinion about that company. We’ve created an instant-gratification society and people want what they want. Now. Even a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. That’s insane, but all the more reason to pay closer attention to your site’s speed.
It’s been proven that speed affects user experience with 47% of consumers expecting a web page to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% abandoning a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load (KISSmetrics).
It’s also worth optimizing site speed due to Google’s algorithm factoring it into search engine rankings. If a site loads slow, the chance someone is moving on to the next site is higher. That means the quality score Google attributes to that site is diminished and Google isn’t going to serve up results that aren’t high-quality. The end result? Your site gets pushed down in rankings and is much less visible to your target audience.
Here’s some ways to improve site speed:
- Enable compression
- Optimizing your code
- Reducing redirects
- Leverage browser caching
- Improve server response time
- Optimizing assets (images, videos, PDFs)
Improve functionality based on web analytics
With the amount of data at your fingertips, it’s a no-brainer to adopt a data-driven approach to everything you do with your website and digital marketing. That means tracking web analytics that show what users are doing on your site and how they’re using it. Reviewing performance and understanding how people are (or aren’t) leveraging your website can help you make informed decisions on functionality that should be added, adjusted or removed.
Hosting & security monitoring
Giving your website a safe place to live and monitoring that environment 24/7 is critical to the success of it. Imagine your website goes down – every minute your website isn’t live is a missed opportunity to make a great first impression with a potential buyer. This monitoring should include routine, nightly backups for easy restores and monitoring to ensure your site is, first and foremost, live and that there are no bugs or security issues.
This includes updates to your CMS, custom plugins and any other pieces of your site that aren’t part of the core updates. Updates are arguably the most important if you want to keep your site current and relevant. For your website to perform optimally, the technology under the hood needs to be running the latest versions.
A site that has stale imagery or one that’s using outdated branding isn’t going to leave users with the best impression of your company. If your site is using outdated design principles, consider undergoing a design refresh. It’s been said that a disorganized, chaotic external image is reflective of a disorganized, chaotic internal structure. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not work with a company I perceive as disorganized or chaotic.
Build a relationship with your web maintenance partner
No matter who you’re working with for web hosting, support or maintenance, there should be a strategic roadmap in place that documents planned activities that will keep your online presence fresh, secure and relevant. Building a close relationship with your partner and keeping them in the loop helps them make recommendations proactively – instead of knee-jerk, reactive and last minute suggestions.
At emagine, our Client Success team works collaboratively with our clients so we know future plans for the company. If we’re kept in the know, we’ll be able to consult on suggestions for the website that align with strategic initiatives.
We’re always looking to build relationships with marketers at companies who are committed to keeping up with the evolving technology landscape. If that’s you, contact us today to learn more about our web hosting, support and maintenance services.