For those who’ve never owned an effective website before, or been privy to the insurance that is “managed hosting”, there’s often a perception that a website is a ‘Set and Forget’ type of affair. Once it’s set-up, it’s good to go right? Just launch it into the mysterious world-wide-web and get on with the rest of business! Right again?! Well, not quite…
Websites, whether new content is being added regularly or not, need attention. There are many things that need to happen behind the scenes for your website to stay safe, secure, and active.
Today we look at the four things that need to be maintained for any website to stay functional and minimally effective. (For maximum effectiveness, you’re going to need to be regularly adding new content and having SEO activities performed, but these are different blog posts.)
Over 30,000 websites get hacked every day.
1 million+ Australians each year are impacted by cyber threats.
72% of businesses who suffer a data breach fail within 24 months.
It’s because of statistics like these that we continue to identify and implement ways to strengthen the security of its 100s of clients’ websites.
In addition to eliminating cyber threats through compromised emails accounts, we’re also able to add additional supportive services to our website hosting to ensure it become much more robust:
- Daily backups
A website is a collection of digital information specific to your business.
Perhaps think of it as a really fancy, interactive brochure. You’d never just make one copy, would you? Your solitary brochure could get torn, lost, or scribbled on by some industrious toddler! So no, you’d definitely make multiple copies. And, every time important information about your offering changed, you’d make multiple copies of the new version.
This is, in essence, what daily back-ups are doing. The possibility of losing a precious asset like your website is something you really don’t need.
From our perspective, there’s nothing optional about regular back-ups, and why we automatically include it on our fully managed hosting service.
- Website software and plugin updates
Anyone with a smartphone is intimately familiar with the ‘fun’ of software updates. Ever completed an update only to discover half of our apps don’t work anymore? Websites can sometimes behave the same way.
Instead of “Apps”, most websites reply on software or ‘Plugins’ to function. From online forms, to image slideshows, social media integrations and payment gateways, there is a different ‘Plugin’ for each of these functions.
Complex websites can have dozens of these running at the same time, all of which are created by different developers from all around the world. All requiring updates at different times and for different reasons. Just like a mobile phone update, sometimes you hear to just skip an update because it’s likely going to conflict with another App on your phone, we also elect to skip and wait for the next upgrade until any issues are resolved.
Without regular updates, the functionality of your website can begin to break down, display or perform erratically or become vulnerable to attack.
- Security checks and uptime
Cyber safety is a big issue these days (as the above stats highlight), and making sure your website maintains its integrity has never been more important. The security of your website is important whether you accept payments through your website or not. After all, anyone who has access to the backend of your website has the opportunity to compromise your brand, your identity and have access to anyone who has submitted their details through your website i.e. your customers and prospects.
Small businesses and their websites are not immune to over 10 million internet users who encounter unsafe websites delivering malware and spam every week.
Website security can generally be taken care of with certain software programs – but it’s important to use the right software, with the current updates, as outlined in our previous point!
- Optimisation, load speed and uptime
All three of these checks relate to making sure your website is performing most effectively. ‘Optimisation’, in this context, refers specifically to the size and maintenance of your website files. This includes: images (even the ones that are no longer visible), words, PDFs and documents, embedded video links, external website integrations, software and databases. If these are not continually monitored and kept up to date, they can slow down the performance of your website causing both usability issues and risk your Google ranking.
‘Load speed’ is exactly that – how long it takes for your website to load! Many website visitors have limited attention, and if your site takes longer than average to load, they’ll already have clicked away to a different site. Are you monitoring how long your site takes to load? If not, we do!
‘Uptime’ simply refers to checking and measuring what percentage of the time your website is live and accessible to your audience. You may be familiar with messages from your banking provider advising you that some services will be unavailable at certain times. This is an example of ‘downtime’.
Your website’s uptime should be close to 100%, but if you’re not measuring and checking it, how will you ever know? We’ve got you covered here too.
Your Website Functionally, Sorted!
As you can see, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure even the simplest website is up-to-date and functioning optimally. We know of many people who have purchased a website package and been delivered the design, and nothing more. Unless you’re tech savvy and willing to go into the maintenance aspects of your website yourself, this isn’t enough.
Here at Web-Sta, part of our aim is to ensure your website remains mechanically optimal and we are offering all of these premium extras as part of your managed hosting account.
Don’t let your website be a financial black hole that slowly dies. If you’re not already a Web-Sta client, with this peace of mind, contact us today to discuss your options for a fresh, effective, well looked after digital web presence.
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