The importance of a great-looking and well-maintained website can’t be overstated. If you’re looking to give your business a boost, find new customers, or establish yourself in a new market, building a great website– and web presence– should be one of your first priorities.
The Pew Research Center conducted a study revealing that 91% of adults use search engines to find information; 46% of those searches are location-specific. That means that most people who locate your business found it online first. In other words, people typically see your website before they see you or your building.
A well-designed website can attract people to your business, but keeping a website looking great and functioning correctly is an ongoing process.
The foundation: web design, hosting, and maintenance
Your website’s journey starts with web hosting, web design, and maintenance. Web design lays the aesthetic and structural groundwork for your online presence, but a stunning website is just the beginning.
Here’s why hosting and maintenance are equally essential.
Web maintenance is the ongoing process of optimizing your website for performance, security, and user experience. This involves regular updates, bug fixes, and constant refreshes to make sure that your site is functioning the way it should.
Neglecting this process could lead to a lot of issues.
Cyber threats are constantly evolving. As technology continues to evolve, hackers and scammers continue to develop their tools and skills, too. An outdated website can be a highly vulnerable target, jeopardizing your data but also your customers’ information.
Keeping your website updated is essential to maintain security.
Search engine visibility
Search engines, like Google, strive to keep users updated with relevant information. Regular maintenance helps your site rank higher in search results, increasing visibility to potential customers. An outdated or poorly-performing website keeps you hidden from potential customers– and certainly doesn’t help to sell your products or services to customers.
The cost of neglect
When web maintenance is shrugged off or pushed under the rug for too long, a lot of issues can follow.
Stale content can leave visitors with the impression that your business is no longer active or doesn’t prioritize its online presence. It’s essential to make regular updates to keep things current and engaging to your audience.
The digital ecosystem is constantly changing, with new browsers, devices, and software emerging every day. Without maintenance, your site may not function correctly on the latest platforms– potentially preventing customers from accessing your site at all!
Neglecting your website prevents it from being able to run effectively and creating slow load times. Visitors typically have a short attention span, which means that a site that doesn’t load quickly might drive people away. Both users and search engines prefer sites that load fast.
The longer your site goes without updates, the more vulnerable it becomes to security breaches. These breaches can have dire consequences, both for your business and for your customers’ trust.
Search engines favor sites with fresh and relevant content. Regular web maintenance helps you to stay competitive in the digital marketplace.
To maintain or improve your search rankings, your content should incorporate keywords that resonate with your audience. Regular updates and insight from an SEO professional can allow you to refine and expand your keyword strategy.
Backlinks– links to your site– are extremely important in search engine rankings. Continually maintaining your site and updating it with compelling content that’s relevant to your audience keeps people engaged– and engaged people share posts and links to your site.
Search engines value user experience when ranking websites. A well-maintained site that’s functioning properly provides a seamless experience for visitors, which greatly increases your chances of ranking higher in search results.
Web hosting and maintenance costs
Of course, nothing is free– so you’re probably wondering about the cost of continuous maintenance for your website. The average cost for web hosting and maintenance can vary, based on factors like your site’s complexity, size, and the specific services that you offer and require. Take some time to strike a balance between your budget and the level of service you need.
Web hosting costs
Web hosting prices range greatly. It depends on how complex your site needs to be, as well as how secure it needs to be. For example, a simple site for a local business doesn’t need to be quite as complex as a site for a large national banking service. Either site, however, needs to be maintained in order to keep owner and customer information secure.
Web maintenance costs
Web maintenance needs vary on a business-by-business basis, which means that you’ll need to speak with a web professional to get a better idea of how much it would cost to host and maintain your business’s website.
However, some companies offer monthly maintenance packages that allow you to pay one set rate per month in exchange for your site staying up-to-date and functioning the way it should.
What’s the difference?
You might be wondering: what’s the difference between website hosting and maintenance?
Think of web hosting as your website’s home. Hosting services store your website’s files and make them accessible on the internet.
Essentially, hosting is like renting a piece of land to build your store. You pay for the space and resources required to display your website online.
This is the ongoing work of keeping your website in tip-top shape. It involves regular updates, fixing bugs, adding new content, and ensuring security. Maintenance is like keeping your space clean, restocking shelves, fixing broken appliances, changing light bulbs, and updating your displays.
To sum it up, web hosting provides the space for your website, while web maintenance ensures that your website stays secure, up-to-date, and optimized for performance.
The vital link between web hosting, maintenance, and the success of your online presence cannot be overstated. Neglecting web maintenance can result in a lot of different issues– from security vulnerabilities to poor search rankings.
The digital world is constantly changing, and to stay competitive, your website needs continuous care. Investing in web hosting and maintenance is investing in your business’s future– so make sure your website is not just open for business but thriving, attracting customers, and keeping your valuable assets safe.
The cost of web hosting and maintenance is not just an expense; it’s an investment in your business’s success.