When creating a website, the professional often offers his client maintenance of the site. The maintenance of a website is sometimes indicated as an option and from experience, I noticed that when it was not imposed, it was only selected half the time. Why? Because first of all, when you want to create a website, you don’t necessarily know what maintenance covers, and above all, you don’t necessarily understand its interest. We are afraid that it is a question of paying for an opaque or useless service. It is not so. Here is a brief overview of why maintaining a website is essential for your busness.
Preparing for success
Unless you are a bit original if you make a site it is for it to be successful. Who would say “no” to more visitors? Who says success, says traffic. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the hosting of your site can withstand an increase in load, in other words, it will be able to respond if your traffic doubles. And if you can’t be sure, you should at least answer this question:
You are going to tell me that traffic does not double overnight and that we therefore always have time to see what is coming. And yet… It is not uncommon for a site’s traffic to experience a peak following a blog article that is doing well, in particular thanks to increased distribution on social networks. In the event of a crash, if you don’t have a maintenance guarantee, you will find yourself without a site, perhaps for quite a while. Then you will call on a professional for an ad hoc service, which will certainly be more expensive.
Guarantee the sustainability of the site
Today, most websites are created with scalable solutions (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.). What does this possibility of evolution mean: it means that the content management of your site and its modules will be able to be updated (to improve their performance, make them more secure, etc.). This is an undeniable advantage because it extends the life of your site. On the other hand, if you do not make these updates, this advantage disappears.
However, these updates are not necessarily done as simply as that. Often, an update is done easily and smoothly. Moreover, since the latest versions of WordPress, the process of updating plugins has become even more fluid. But if you encounter an incompatibility, it immediately becomes more annoying. Especially, if it takes place on an online site. In this case, we understand the interest in having a backup to catch up or to deploy the updates on a test version. When maintaining a website, these procedures are put in place to ensure the integrity of the online site.
In content management, there are three types of elements to update:
- the content management core
- the theme of the site
The theme must also be updated because according to the functionalities developed, they will have to be put in adequacy with the new version of the core or the modules.
Preparing for site migration
During the life of a site, it is not uncommon for it to change hosting, or move from one server to another. In this case, a “migration” is carried out. When your site arrives in a new environment, I might as well tell you that it should be “clean on itself”, in other words, it is not a gas factory. Quite simply to avoid any accounting problems, errors, or whatever.
Prevent your website from becoming a gas factory
Over the years, I sometimes see sites that, as more features are added, look like beautiful gas plants. Sometimes new functionalities are installed to supplement old ones, which have become deficient or less advanced. In this case, the website’s maintenance is essential because it will permit the development of the website but also sort out what we retain and what we throw away. This avoids having obsolete modules and therefore keeps a stable system. Do not forget that a huge number of plugins connected to a website makes it slower. And who says a slower site, says a site with penalized natural referencing.
Application maintenance and corrective maintenance
The epithet attached to the word “maintenance” is of great importance. If you subscribe to application maintenance, this means that your site and its components will be updated. We also talk about TMA (third-party application maintenance).
When we talk about corrective maintenance, this means that in addition to updating the site, we will also correct any new bugs. Indeed, it may happen that with the update of a browser, a display bug appears. In this case, corrective maintenance guarantees its resolution. This type of maintenance has a wider action coverage, so it is usually more expensive.
What to do if you have not subscribed to maintenance?
The first thing to do is to hope that no tile falls on you 🙂 More seriously, you can subscribe to one from any webmaster or web agency; or most simply with the person who created your site. Above all, I recommend that you choose a company that masters the technical solution you are using. Run away from companies that sell maintenance regardless of your technical solution. When you want to do a good job, it is not possible to master everything perfectly; even if you can touch everything.
For example, even if I know Joomla and Drupal well, I do not provide maintenance for sites that use this content management. However, I have already created sites with these solutions, but I find that it is not enough. I only operate on sites that use WordPress because it is THE solution with which I work every day, whose progress I observe under the magnifying glass, whose strengths and weaknesses I know, possible accounting problems, etc. For it to be well executed, maintenance must be a matter of specialists.
If you decide to do without maintenance packages, you will have to call on a service provider if a problem arises. In this case, he will make a quick diagnosis to establish an estimate. Be careful, if he does not know your site and it takes him a little time to take it in hand, the prices will be affected. Similarly, if you are in a hurry, it will be less easy to negotiate…
Maintenance is a kind of insurance, a guarantee of the good performance of your website but not only; it is also to guarantee its sustainability. Building a site is an investment and like any other investment, it must be monitored and taken care of. As you will have understood, the maintenance of a website is part of a risk economy, it is not compulsory but it is better to think twice.