We’re all familiar with changing the oil on our car, right? It’s a necessary part of owning a car. Most of us wouldn’t dream of going for extended periods of time running on old, dirty oil, or with a filter that needed changing ages ago. So why isn’t the same true of your website? Granted, most websites don’t cost the same amount of money as a shiny new BMW, but if your website is the backbone of your business marketing (as most are), or a direct revenue producer, the cost of running it into the ground can end up massive. Yet, so many business owners don’t see the value in taking their website “into the shop” on a regular basis to keep things running smoothly.

There isn’t a better analogy for your website’s maintenance than a car

Websites are like cars, in that regardless of how used the site is, things break and get worn out. One of the most frequent email requests for help we get is often related to something that, if the client had been doing regular maintenance, could have been avoided in the first place. 

If it gets used a lot, there are bound to be things that go wrong

The more a site gets used, both by making changes to it, and visitors viewing and interacting with your site, the more things that can go wrong. Your website can be randomly hacked, the hosting company could decide to do server maintenance and cause an incompatibility, or many other things could randomly cause an issue.

If it sits for a long time without use, it may need work to get it going again

You may think that if you have very little traffic, you won’t have any issues. In some very rare cases, that may be true. However, if you’re running any software on your site, such as WordPress, there are many updates and new versions of plugins that come out frequently. They need to be updated and can cause huge incompatibility issues without touching a thing. Going in and updating everything after a long period of time can often be a long, complicated process because different software versions may be incompatible with one another and trying to determine which version of what plugin is causing the trouble is like finding a needle in a hay stack. groan.

The best way to keep it running smoothly is with preventative maintenance

If you pay someone $50/month, over the course of a year, you’ll have paid about the same as 1 typical repair after something breaks. It’s much nicer to split that cost up over a year than having to come up with a chunk of cash all at once. Also, that’s peanuts compared to what it would cost to replace an entire site, should it get hacked and you weren’t prepared. Not to mention that you’d have much less headache and panic if you suddenly discover something hasn’t been working and for who knows how long!

It’s easy to think, “I’ll do those things myself. They’re not that critical anyway. I’m not getting lots of traffic like other big websites.” But we all get busy, and I doubt many business owners lose sleep at night worrying about whether their site has been backed up recently or if it’s been updated lately to secure it from hackers. Leave that thinking to the techy people!

When it comes to maintenance, they key is finding someone you trust that is easy to work with. They’ll get to know you, your business & your site, and can spot potential problems and find solutions much quicker than would be worth your time and energy.

That’s why we’ve created a selection of maintenance packages for our WordPress clients. Check them out and see if one might be right for you. We work with any WordPress site, even if we didn’t design it. There are all sorts of companies that provide these services too.

Next time you take your car in for an oil change, think about your website too. Doesn’t your business deserve the same TLC as your car?

What are your thoughts about website maintenance? Do you do it often or hasn’t it ever crossed your mind? Leave a comment below and let’s chat!

Author: Kelly Garrett

Kelly is a connoisseur of all things marketing, tech, and design. As someone who fluidly transitions between the creative aspects of design and the technical requirements of online marketing, she’s able to solve complex puzzles to achieve a polished, cohesive look, strategy, and execution through her boutique agency, Ekcetera Design & Marketing's services.