For many business owners, the task of “getting a new website” is one of those items that spends a bit of time moving up and down their ‘to do’ list before they finally get around to hiring someone to do it.
The reason they need a new site is usually because the old one was looking very dated, didn’t have responsive design to make it compatible with mobiles and tablets, or perhaps lacked some area of functionality that the business now requires.
What do a lot of people do when their new site is finally finished? They breathe a sigh of relief, say, “Phew, that’s another big job off the list” and then get on with attending to all the other distractions that continually vye for their attention.
They think, having now been brought digitally up to date, they won’t have to worry about the website for a few years.
The thing is, a website isn’t like a statue that you can have sculpted in stone, erected and left in place to be admired over the years ahead. It’s a piece of software – and as we all know, in the world of software nothing stays the same for very long.
It would be better to think of a website as like a living thing, or perhaps a garden. If you are paying a gardener, which would be better: to have them come around once a month and take care of the things that need doing – weeding, pruning, maybe a bit of planting – or to leave it for months and months on end and then fork out a lot of money in one go for someone to clear up an overgrown mess?
Just as most people wouldn’t want visitors to see an overgrown, unkempt garden, you obviously don’t want potential clients to arrive on your website and find it slow to load, or that aspects aren’t working as they should – or, worst case, that it is down completely.
All of these issues can lose you enquiries and therefore cost you money.
With a WordPress website, the speed of performance and reliability of the site all depend on the software and any plugins that are installed to be working correctly. All of these things need to be updated regularly.
If you are adding your own content on a frequent basis, this is excellent because of course it helps your search engine rankings. It is however important for someone to be keeping an eye on the site to make sure none of the updates has caused an issue.
Could you do it yourself?
It is possible for you to install your own WordPress updates via your admin screen. The problem though is that if an update to a plugin caused an issue it might not manifest itself as a fault until some weeks later.
At this point, how would you know which update had caused the problem? You might end up have to restore to an older backup – which could in turn mean losing a lot of data and updates that had been added in recent times.
If a big issue arises, how much would it cost for you to pay someone experienced to come in and fix it? It could easily be a lot more than you would ever pay out on a regular care plan.
These are the things you need to consider when weighing up the cost and benefit of a website care plan.
How we can help
With a First Image website care plan, we hold a backup of your entire website. Whenever we update it, we check for issues and then make a new copy of the backup.
Our software keeps track of all the plugins and updates that are made to the back end of the site. In the case of an issue arising, we can look back over the updates and isolate the one that is causing the problem.
Another thing we do is carry out regular security scans. If you are on one of our care plans and we spot an issue with one of your plugins, we often fix it before anyone becomes aware of a problem.
You will know what we have done because we send you a monthly maintenance report, which details all of the updates and fixes we have applied to keep your site in top working order.
It’s up to you. To use our analogy again, are you going to leave your nice, newly designed show garden to its own devices, doing the odd bit of weeding whenever you get the chance – or are you going to get a professional gardener to mow stripes in the lawn on a regular basis and keep every plant in perfect condition, in case a prestigious visitor shows up?
At First Image we can provide real value and keep your website in secure, working order all year round for a very manageable fee. We have different care plan packages available, depending on the nature of your site and the degree of maintenance you need.
To find out more about the type of website care plan that would be best for you, please get in touch and chat to us about your own requirements.