The Internet can be a sketchy place – and staying ahead of the bad guys is a never ending job. The types of threat and the ways into a site are constantly changing.
If your website was built using a Content Management System (you know the ones – WordPress, Wix, Shopify etc.) there is a team of developers behind the scenes, working to make sure the platform stays as secure as possible.
This means that just like your smartphone, patches and security updates are issued with surprising frequency. And the same is true for any third party add-ons you might have, like themes or plug-ins.
Making sure these updates are installed and tested on your site is absolutely crucial to keeping your site safe from attack and secure for your users.
How these updates get installed will depend on how and where you build you site – If you use one of the online DIY builders like Shopify, Wix, etc. they will handle these updates for you as part of your monthly fee. If you build a custom site using something like WordPress, updates will need to be checked for and run manually.
The saying goes that the only way to make a website 100% secure is to take it off of the internet. Despite the best efforts of developers and site owners, there is no way to totally eliminate the possibility that a site might be hacked in some way. Which is why taking regular backups is also an essential part of web maintenance!
There is nothing more frustrating for visitors than a website that’s underperforming or difficult to navigate around.
Many updates are issued to fix performance issues or bugs – which is another compelling reason to ensure updates to CMS’s, themes and plugins are regularly updated and tested.
There are also a lot of moving parts behind even the simplest of sites, so it’s important to check regularly and troubleshoot things like broken links, poor loading speeds and random weirdness on the site.
It’s a bit of a no-brainer – keeping the content on your site up-to-date means that visitors always see information that is accurate.
But nowadays site owners don’t only create content to appeal to their human visitors – they also need to appeal to search engines like Google or Bing.
These search engines use complicated algorithms to present the most relevant and useful results to each user, and appearing near the top of these searches has become a holy grail for site owners. The higher your ranking, the more likely people are to click through to your site.
Search engines love sites with written content that is relative to the search being performed. They also love sites that perform well, load quickly and are secure. But they ADORE sites that have fresh content – content that has changed since the last time they checked.
Which means regular maintenance such as keeping your website’s CMS, plug-ins, content and links updated is a simple way to improve and maintain your search engine rankings.
A website can be a huge investment in time and money for a small business. Regular maintenance makes sure this investment is protected and that it continues to perform for many years to come.
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