Do you remember the 1996 Looney Toons movie, Space Jam? All our favourite Looney Tunes characters came to life in the real world, Michael Jordon took the leading role alongside Bugs Bunny and I Believe I Can Fly was the title music.
Ah the 90s, what a time. But did you ever visit the Space Jam subsite that was designed to promote the movie? This blog is going to give you 7 very good reasons why you should conduct regular website maintenance or have a website maintenance contract, but if you would prefer an old-fashioned shock-tactic then just click here.
As you can see the website has not been updated since the 90s, and it’s so bad it is actually funny! It’s a Warner Brother’s creation, so you can guess the website design was probably en vogue at the time, but it has aged terribly. That is one good reason to update your website regularly, but there are many reasons why website maintenance is a must, so let’s have a look…
If you went into a clothes shop and noticed that the window display was covered in dust and all the clothes were falling off the hangers, you’d begin to doubt the quality of the products, right? The same goes for websites. Your website is your online shopfront and, therefore, if there are broken links, 404s and unresponsive elements visitors will assume that your offering is of low quality.
Your website should communicate value, and this means a seamless, satisfying user experience to lead customers along the buyer journey minus any technical hiccups. Monthly and annual website maintenance check-ups ensure everything is working as it should be with no unpleasant surprises.
Ask yourself how old your website is and how long you plan on using that website to represent your business. Now think about how much your business is going change (or maybe already has changed since your first got your website). New team members, new or changed products and services, a change in positioning, a shift in market trends…all these developments in your business require updates on your website. After all, the content on your website should reflect the company you are TODAY.
Updating your website’s content is good for establishing and maintaining your brand image as it evolves over time, as well as communicating in an effective, informative and engaging way with potential and returning customers, which directly affects your profitability! It is also very worthwhile to remember that Google prefers a fresh website with regularly updated content, rather than a stagnating website that hasn’t been touched in months. If domain authority is your goal, then keep your content fresh!
Broken links, slow loading speed, unresponsive design, bloated code, excess plugins… All these problems will directly affect your website’s search engine ranking. If you are aiming for your website to be on the first page of Google search results, then it’s not only keywords and great content that you need, but also a lean, user-friendly, high-functioning website that has been built with the best modern practices in web development.
Why? Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world because they maintain a quality standard and if you want your website to be shown in their results, then you need to meet Google’s standards. A web developer will know just how to optimise your website, no matter how often you create new pages or add fresh content so that the functionality always remains in tip-top condition.
Security patches need to be updated the moment they are released, or you leave your website and, therefore, your business, exposed. If you know how to fix bugs, update plugins, implement new security measures and backup your website, that’s great. If not, then secure yourself a website maintenance contract that includes website security management.
A particularly important security measure that has come along in the last couple of years is the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. You know if a website has implemented this by checking their website URL and seeing if “HTTP” is now “HTTPS.” The purpose of SSL is to create an encrypted link between your server and website visitors, so hackers are unable to intercept your website traffic.
If you’re not tracking your website’s analytics, you should be! It is the ultimate way to figure out exactly how customers are interacting with your website and discover areas needing to be tweaked. For example, you can install heatmap analytics on your website so you can see exactly where customers move their mouse across your website. Research shows that the mouse tends to move with the eyes, like a pointer.
With this kind of website analytics, you could find out that customers are trying to interact with static elements of your web design, expecting to be linked to somewhere else. Alternatively, analytics might tell you that you have a high cart abandonment rate. By studying customer behaviour in your analytics, you can begin to make simple changes to your website that will drive conversions.
Harking back to the Space Jam example, the world of the web changes very fast, and your website needs to keep up if you want to be taken seriously by your visitors. Right now, semi-flat design, animation, bold colours, grid layouts, custom illustration, big typography and, of course, mobile first design is on trend. However, this will change again and again and again.
It’s a web designer’s job to keep in the know of what’s changing in the online landscape, so having someone reliable at hand to make informed recommendations is worthwhile. Any changes made to your website will also need testing and checking for bugs and glitches, which is another good reason to conduct regular website maintenance.
An annual review of your website’s legal disclaimers is important to make sure everything is up to standard. GDPR is one of many EU regulations that impacts how we conduct online business. Therefore, to be in full accordance with the law and not leave yourself vulnerable to being caught out, make sure to review and update your site terms, privacy policies, terms of sale, conditions of use, and any other legal disclaimers regarding your website and online business conduct.
Interested in finding out how you can keep your website in tip-top condition? As experts in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design and strategy, we can help! Get in contact today to optimise your website for a user experience your customers will love.