In the early years of the Internet, things were different. You could just hire a web designer, pay thousands of dollars, and be done with it. The website would then sit on the Internet, and the leads would flood in. Sites didn’t need extra attention and hands-on maintenance except to change out the occasional wording of something. That was rare, perhaps once or twice a quarter, more if a small business ran specials, but not often. Small business websites also weren’t being bombarded by global hacking attacks. Now, things have changed.
What Needs Maintenance?
Flash forward, websites need maintenance. Fortunately, small business websites are more affordable than before (depending whom you hire). You can get a professional website for under $700-900 instead of $10k+. There will always be design firms that have a talented, college-educated staff and charge a premium fee. These firms provide a top-notch product but don’t satisfy every small business’s budget.
Website design is more affordable up-front, but ongoing website maintenance is necessary to keep it running smoothly. What does this include, and why do you need this service? Here’s 15 quick reasons:
- Domain — Every website needs a domain name. We register, setup, manage, and renew your domain name as necessary. Most individuals don’t know about DNS settings, MX records, WHOIS registration, etc., but we do! This is why we take care of your precious domain name and make sure no one else steals it away.
- Hosting — Domain names needs hosting to make your website live on the Internet. We have high-end servers that are both fast and secure. With cheap servers, you get what you pay for. Hosting can be really affordable, yet slow and easily hacked. Our servers are responsive and hardened against hackers.
- Email Hosting — Instead of operating a business under a Gmail, Yahoo or AOL address, use a professional email address that includes your website’s domain name. A typical business email address format is contact @ YourBusiness.com. We provide hosting for this new email address and support when you have issues. We also help set it up on all your devices.
- Uptime Monitoring — Guaranteed 99.99% uptime on our servers. This means your website will always be live and ready for your customers. Approximately 5 minutes of downtime in the middle of the night is natural. No one can guarantee 100% uptime. Best of all, part of our maintenance service is monitoring your website for downtime. If the site is down for more than a couple minutes, we investigate and fix the problem.
- Backups — If your website gets hacked and wiped entirely, you need to start from scratch. To remedy this, we keep daily backups of your website, so if disaster strikes, you can be back up and running in minutes, not months. Furthermore, copies of our backups reside in 7 unique locations, both onsite and in the cloud. Your data is safe!
- Security Updates — WordPress websites (core, theme and plugins) often update for security purposes. We safely apply these patches and keep a backup in case things go wrong. We actively monitor your website for new major and minor updates and apply them in the background. Your website stays live in the process.
- Search Engine Optimization — We can connect your website to Google Webmaster Tools and monitor it for SEO improvements and issues. This is a tool provided by Google itself for webmasters. It provides insights on the pages they’ve crawled on your website and tips on improving your ranking.
- Local Listings — If your local listings have incorrect contact information, potential customers might not be able to reach you. We can ensure your business name, address, email, and phone number are accurate on your local listings, such as Google My Business, Google Maps, and Facebook.
- SSL — eCommerce websites must be secured by an SSL certificate. Otherwise, sensitive credit card information can be easily stolen. SSL certificates also provide an SEO boost since the tech world advocates security. We make sure SSL certificates are properly installed and renewed.
- Virus Removal — In the event that your website does get hacked (even with all the security measures in place, this is never an impossibility), we take time to remove the virus, clean up the website and restore the data. This also includes contacting search engines and browsers that have blacklisted your website because of the virus. You can’t be 100% protected against viruses, but we make it quite difficult to hack your website and speedily clean it up if it is hacked.
- Site Updates — When your contact information changes, you have a new service, want to update prices, got a new testimonial, have new pictures, or anything else to add, remove or update on the website, a website maintenance service lets you make any changes you’d like. With our Website Care Service, we’re available via email, phone, or text message to fulfill your update requests.
- Support — Clients often have questions or concerns about their website. Don’t let your website be a mystery— ask away! We’re here to help and are available by text, email, or phone.
- Blog — If you have a Blog, What’s New or News section on your site, we give you a special login to update it yourself. Alternatively, we can always do this for you. Just email your new post, and we’ll make sure it goes onto the site.
- Analytics — What good is a website if you can’t track its performance? We install and monitor Google Analytics to give you real data on your website’s visitors. This includes how many people visited your website, if they returned, whether they’re on mobile devices or desktops, where in the world they are, and much, much more. Use this data or hire a professional marketing specialist to get the most out of your website.
- Performance Optimizations — High-def photography, videos, seemingly endless content, and lots of pages can cause websites to slow down, even on fast servers. Therefore, we have extra tweaks and optimizations we can do to drastically speed up your website. Some sites load twice as fast after we work on them! This benefits both your search engine rankings and user-experience.