Your inbox is probably flooded with tons of emails from agencies offering website maintenance packages, some amounting to thousands of dollars.
Before you go off complaining about how outrageous these costs are, remember that performance comes with a price tag. The real cost of maintaining your website is not usually apparent from the start. Costs vary with continuous developments in technology and constant updates on the internet. If you want to get more, you will have to pay more.
But here’s the thing: The more you understand what these maintenance items are for, the less likely you’ll be caught off-guard by unexpected maintenance fees.
So if you’re wondering what specific items and functionalities are bundled into your website maintenance costs, read on.
Website framework updates
WordPress websites have versions, and each version adds new features constantly, as well as fixes to some flaws you may be encountering. Your website version should be updated regularly so you can take advantage of the new features and remedy the errors with available fixes. By regularly updating your website, you are also strengthening your site’s protection against hackers who could infect your site through some vulnerabilities.
Plugins are the bells and whistles that make up your website. They are tiny applications you add into your site to give it features and functionalities, like a slideshow on your homepage, Instagram feed, maps, galleries, etc. Plugins have an expiration date, so like your website framework, your plugins should be updated too. Otherwise, they could render your website vulnerable from cyber attacks.
Once you install a new plugin, you should check to see if the plugin affected any feature or functionality of your website and caused errors. There are cases when updated plugins are not compatible with your WordPress websites current version.
Hosting and domain name
Your website’s hosting service is a recurring cost. Your cost depends on the complexity of your website and how much bandwidth you’re going to take up. If your website involves a big database, such as user accounts for e-commerce websites, hosting costs could be bigger. Don’t forget that your domain name (websitename.com) is also paid annually.
An SSL certificate is now a non-negotiable for websites. Without this, your site will be flagged unsafe by Google when accessed by visitors, not to mention that Google may also rank your website higher in search results if you have an SSL certificate. If your site collects personal data (name, email address, payment details) from visitors, an SSL certificate is a must. This will an additional layer of encryption into the information they enter and ensures that the information reaches you securely.
The most frustrating thing that could happen to any website owner is to entrust all crucial data to the internet and then lose all these data later on. This is why backups should be done, and these are typically included in any website maintenance plan. When technology fails (as they do, sometimes), you will want to have a secure location where you can safely backup all of your site’s data—files, images, blog posts, databases. If your website crashes, you can easily regain access to your data and it will be easier to rebuild your website.
People want to get access to information fast. If your website takes longer than forever to load, chances are your potential customer might have to look for information elsewhere. This could be a hosting issue, images that are too big and not optimised, video files that are too large, broken links, etc. Your website maintenance plan will typically include performance updates to ensure that your site loads fast.
Yes, some maintenance plans offer additional content updates. Many businesses require constant updates on website content, such as blogs, product and services information, promotional offers, etc. Websites with old, outdated content generally rank poorly in search engines. Google, for instance, checks your site’s “modified since” header to determine whether its bots should crawl it or not. After all, search engines want to serve up fresh and relevant content to its search users. Just regularly updating your webpages and images, and adding posts will help boost your rankings in Google.
This might look like a lot, but we guarantee that a little tune-up now and then can make a huge difference to your site.
We’re here to help! Our Client Care Plans are designed to suit different business needs and budget, starting at $99 per month on monthly packages. Whether you need offsite backups, plugin updates, updates for WordPress core files, database optimisation, malware scanning and Google Analytics support, we’ll make sure your website is firing on all cylinders. Check out our website maintenance services.