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04.20.22 - Development

How to give your website a happily ever after: The playbook for maintenance

An image of a laptop with a 404-page reading Oops!

Once upon a time, a company built a website, never touched it again, and lived happily ever after.

gif of a cowboy riding away on a horse, text says "The End" 

In case you couldn’t tell, that’s a fairy tale and not a work of nonfiction.

The reality is, great websites are not static objects. They are born into the world as dynamic, evolving organisms, almost living and breathing. You have to nurture a website, especially as the world around it changes. Otherwise, you’ll quickly watch all the hard work you’ve put into your website become obsolete.

Here’s how to ensure your website lives up to its true potential (sorry, we can’t help you with your human children): Maintain, Maintain, Maintain. Website maintenance is a broad term, but it generally involves keeping the function and appearance of your website up to date.

You can think of website maintenance in three categories:

1. Security

What It Means:
Potential security-related problems include denial of service attacks, hacking, and theft of information. (yes, it’s as scary as it sounds!) Third-party security scans are highly recommended for monitoring signs of website malware and indicators of compromise.

All files on the server should be checked for signs of malware to find backdoors, phishing pages, spam, and DDoS scripts. This also includes monitoring for security warnings from blacklist authorities, using SEO spam scanners, and handling website uptime monitoring. Additionally, CMS plugin and module upgrades help to prevent hacks.

Why It Matters:
Maybe you’re thinking, c’mon, we’re not safeguarding top-secret military intel! But, whether you’re an architecture firm or a healthcare company, security has never been more important. The reality is that you can have a good-looking and high-functioning website, but that’s all moot if you don’t have the proper protections in place.

Gif of Moss from "It Crowd" sitting at his desk which is on fire
2. Compliance and Compatibility

What It Means:
This involves keeping up with Cookie compliance, ADA compliance, and things like GDPR in an ever-evolving regulatory landscape. To truly maximize potential, it’s important to ensure browser compatibility, and that your website is mobile-friendly with optimized SEO rankings.

Why It Matters:
Good websites should be compatible with all browsers and meet the standards for protecting consumer data while accommodating those with disabilities. Otherwise, you risk disappointing customers or having legal ramifications.

an image of a computer reading FAIL
3. Fresh Content

What It Means:
The contents of a website are never truly “done.” Content review is about ensuring the information on your website is consistent with your brand in terms of design, content, and voice and tone.

This type of review should also include core CMS upgrades, basic website review for functionality and performance, and minor design edits.

Why It Matters:
The website is the front door to your business. It would be a shame to serve up an error page because of expired links. Plus, you don’t want to be listing products and services that you no longer offer, nor excluding new offerings!

gif of Moira from "Schitt's Creek" walking up to computer monitor and saying "Oh dear"
Your Gameplan

You’re probably thinking, “this all makes sense, but where do I find the time between Zoom calls to maintain my website?”

We get it. You’re not going to put aside customer service or delay that next employee onboarding to check your website’s compliance or refresh security. No one has time to do that unless you’re in the business of building and maintaining websites.

This happens to be our area of expertise.

Regardless of whether Makeway built your website, we’re happy to handle all the intricacies involved in website maintenance, from core CMS upgrades to third-party security scans. In the past, we’ve even spotted other website issues while doing routine maintenance for our clients. Read this quick story about how we saved a client money on almost every order made on their website.

The Curious Case of the Misconfigured Shipping Rates

Storytime: One day, we were helping a client update the shipping zones on their e-commerce site and noticed something with their shipping rates seemed a little off.

We investigated further and discovered that their shipping configuration had been done incorrectly by their previous website developer. Instead of calculating shipping for the total weight of products in the cart, it calculated shipping costs based on the weight of only one of the items in the cart. This meant that the company was losing money on almost every order because of incorrect shipping charges!

The misconfigured shipping rates had evaded the client, their fulfillment company, and their previous development team for over a year. Fortunately, we were able to fix the problem right away.

Since then, the client has been able to rest easy knowing that Makeway is there to watch for any other mysterious mishaps that might cost them time, money, or customers.

gif of Dwight from "The Office," sitting in car, text: "mystery solved"

You shouldn’t spend a minute worrying about website maintenance. The best solution is to hire a trustworthy team to take it off your plate.

We offer maintenance plans to protect your website from vulnerabilities and out-of-date software. Our essential maintenance plan involves installing the latest security releases to avoid being hacked and upgrading site plugins with bug fixes and performance enhancements. We review the site regularly to ensure an optimal experience for users. And because we’re a true partner, we always have your company’s best interests at heart and will speak up if we notice other things that seem off.

Let us know if you’re looking to maintain your website in a way that fits your budget. We can ensure your website lives up to its potential and give it the ‘happily ever after’ it deserves.

Treat your website today!

Gif of Tom Haverford from "Parks and Rec," young Indian man saying: "treat yourself"