Along with having social media accounts, creating a website for your business is a must nowadays. It is a great way to showcase your products, services, and even brand personality. Your website could also be an information-filled source that potential leads can use, which highlights your expertise in your particular niche.
Most likely, you know the importance of having a website, but what comes next is equally important. If you already have your website set up (hopefully by a professional and not with a DIY website builder), you should consider the maintenance requirements of the website.
When we say maintenance, we are not referring to website copy and image updates, or even troubleshooting in case of errors.
Your website is one of your business’ most important assets and investments, so it follows that you have to protect it from potential security issues such as would-be hackers.
Having a Website Care Plan is your safest and best bet against security breaches and hackers
During our time in business, we have come across a number of website security breach horror stories that we had to resolve. In all cases, these websites did not have the recommended security configurations and maintenance plans in place.
So, from our experience, we’ve made a list, and checked it twice…
Here are the top 5 biggest website maintenance mistakes that business owners make
Mistake #1: Doing Nothing with Your Website
This mistake is rooted from ignorance. It is either business owners weren’t properly advised of the importance of a Website Care Plan, or they were advised but did not see the value in having it. This also happens to those who opt to use a DIY website builder without any website expertise.
Mistake #2: No Disaster Recovery Plan in Place
In business, you should always be prepared in case of any security issues. You must have a plan B in mind. This is also true when it comes to websites.
We recently had a business owner come to us because his website stopped working due to incompatibility with a plug-in update. They had no backup in place. If they were under our Website Care Plan, it would take a short time to restore the website to the most recently backed-up version.
The website had a period of down-time of a few weeks while the website was rebuilt. It cost him time, money and effort.
Mistake #3: Relying on a Web Hosting Company for Backups
Website hosting companies are not experts when it comes to website maintenance. There are some hosting companies offering this service, but some store website backups on the same server as your website, so when that web server crashes, not only will your website crash… but also your backups!
The frequency and coverage of backups is also in question when you’re relying on hosting companies.
Mistake #4: Doing Everything Themselves
There are a lot of business owners who have a tendency to micro-manage, even with tasks that they are not expert on. Website maintenance is a whole different territory. They might think they are saving the money, but they could have spent that time and effort planning and focusing on their business rather than trying to figure out the intricacies of properly maintaining the back-end of a website.
Mistake #5: Lack of Experience
Linked with Mistake #4, some business owners think that it is fairly easy to maintain a website, so they give it a go or assign a staff member (who usually has limited experience).
We have had a business owner ask if we could reverse the mistakes made by an employee.
After experiencing an error upon updating, the employee decided to revert the website back to an older version; however, he did not restore it to the most recent version, so the website was missing some vital content. All of the content, plugin, theme and security updates made since that backup point were lost in the process.
Again… the cost was both time and money.
However, worryingly, it’s not just inexperienced staff members who we’ve seen make these types of mistakes. We’ve also seen numerous websites messed up by careless web developers who either cut corners in creating a website, or are not as technically skilled or experienced as they make themselves out to be. It can be an expensive exercise for a business to have an experienced web professional take over the work of a shonky operator.
So, what’s the lesson to be learned about website maintenance?
The lesson here is that there are simply things that you can’t just Google. Not everyone is also intuitive and understands how to problem-solve and troubleshoot when it comes to figuring out incompatibility issues around the bits of software and application plug-ins that are used to create a website. You have to have experience and expertise. One mistake could lead to more, and ultimately your website can go down, and your business pays the price.
Plug-ins, software and web technologies change frequently. You have to be up to date. If you are a business owner who is not a tech expert or web savvy, this will be an issue in the long run. Sure, it is possible for business owners to perform website maintenance, but we have to stress that not only can it be time consuming, it could also lead to the worst case scenario, especially when faced with complex website issues.
Our advice is for you to work with a professional website care provider. Not only are your website needs met (backups, website security, plug in updates), it will also allow you to focus on what you do best – running and growing your business.