TL;DR: When you outsource website management, you get access to an experienced website care professional who will carry out ongoing maintenance tasks and be available to you when you have questions, saving you time, money, and offering complete peace of mind.
The user experience matters. When potential customers search for a business, they have an incredible array of options to choose from. Because of this, their expectations are extremely high—and the bar for what they will tolerate is extremely low.
For example, 57% of internet users wouldn’t recommend a site based solely on poor mobile design. And 88% of customers online are unlikely to return to a website following a bad web experience, whether on desktop or mobile. Even the images can have a huge effect on your website’s success. An incredible 39% of your visitors will leave if your website takes too long to load.
For website owners, this means you can never treat your website as a static asset that you forget about after the design process is over. To ensure ongoing success, it’s vital to stay on top of everything from performance to content to security, and everything in between.
We’ve gone into detail before about what website management is, discussing how it covers different aspects of website care. However, the true value of website management is more than the sum of its parts.
It’s about having access to a trusted professional who will be there when you need them, can take care of issues as they arise, or provide unbiased advice when required. However, that’s not to say that you only need a professional when something goes wrong. A true professional will be taking care of potential issues (or alert you to them) before they manifest themselves.
It’s both proactive and reactive care of your most important sales platform. But what exactly does that look like?
Dealing with the prerequisites
When you hire a website care professional, the first thing they’re going to do is ensure that the groundwork is entirely in place. Generally speaking, they’ll look into three key areas: technical, marketing, and security.
When it comes to ongoing website care, the technical foundations that a professional will look for are anti-spam plugins, a way to monitor the amount of downtime your website experiences, and ensuring that Google Search Console is set up and tracking errors.
Marketing must haves
With regard to marketing, before ongoing care can begin, it’s important to ensure that you have an up-to-date SEO plugin, Google Analytics, and some kind of tool to assist you with keyword research and tracking.
Finally, a website management professional will make sure that you have basic security measures in place. This will involve making sure you have a backup plugin, a security plugin (or other measures), and a quick audit to confirm that all installed premium themes and plugins have a current license and are not nulled versions.
Establishing a routine
Once the foundational prerequisites are in place, your website care professional will begin establishing a routine of tasks. These tasks, which cover the ongoing care of your website’s technical, marketing and security aspects, are carried out on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
In your home, there are little chores that need to be done every day. It could be making the bed, washing the dishes, or doing the laundry. Your website is no different. Every single day, there are small tasks that need to be completed.
Security is at the top of the list for the daily routine. Your website professional should be continuously scanning your website for malicious activity, malware, and plugins that may have new vulnerabilities. An offsite encrypted backup of the entire website (files and database) should be performed at least once a day as well.
When it comes to weekly tasks, it still falls under the same categories of security, technical, and marketing. Your website care professional will carry out a quick audit to see what needs doing—in the same way you may look around on the weekend for shelves that need to be fixed or drain pipes that need to be cleaned.
For your website, this can range from updating any installed plugins and WordPress core files, analyzing your security logs, and reviewing critical contact forms to make sure they are functioning without errors. There could also be some marketing tasks to take care of, such as adding blog posts or adjusting old content.
Finally, we have the monthly part of the routine, which covers a more in-depth review of what’s going on to make sure security is in order, there are no broken links, the speed of your website is good, and there has been little or no downtime.
The professional will also take a closer look at various statistics, such as your website traffic, keyword performance, or the ease of your checkout process.
Beyond the routine
You can easily carry out the tasks in the routine yourself. In fact, we even have a Website Care Checklist with each daily, weekly, and monthly task laid out for you in an easy to follow format.
That said, there is a huge amount of value that a professional can bring to the table. Firstly, there’s the simple issue of time. When looking at the checklist, it may appear easy to stay on top of everything, but what happens when one of the security updates doesn’t go as planned?
Or, what if life gets too busy?
For small business owners, time is one of the most precious resources and having time to spend with your family or loved ones should take priority over running daily malware scans.
Then there’s the expertise you’ll gain access to. By outsourcing your website maintenance, you’ll be able to benefit from the experience of professionals who have been working in the space for years. At every point, they should know exactly what steps need to be taken and you can count on them when something goes wrong.
Finally, it can save you money in the long run. Once your business grows and you realize that you don’t have time to spend on website maintenance, outsourcing is a more cost-effective method of keeping everything running smoothly. It allows you to avoid hiring someone full time and all the additional costs that come with hiring an employee.
Whether you decide to hire a professional or go it alone, taking care of your website is a must as it will undoubtedly play a substantial role in the ongoing success of your business.