If you own a business, organisation or even a non-profit/charity and want to use the internet to get new clients and customers/members, then having a website is a MUST. A website gives you the best chance to compete locally and get found by people searching for your services.
When discussing web design and remodels with local business owners, one concern and question that we hear often is, “do I need someone to manage my website for me?“
In the early days of web development, each webpage was created by hand and put together using HTML pages for which specialist knowledge was needed.
This approach was just fine, except it meant that any future edits required knowing how to code HTML. This made it difficult for most business owners to update their own websites.
Not only that, the process included knowing how to access the server where the website was hosted, downloading the current website files to your computer and editing the files. When you were done, you’d have to upload the updated files back to the server, replacing the current website files. If you didn’t like how it looked or noticed a typo then you’d have to repeat the process.
As you can imagine, that entire process required a decent amount of knowledge and time to make even the most basic edits to your site. So when someone asked “do I need someone to manage my website”, the answer was almost always “YES”.
The good news is that those days of website management are behind us. If your website is still managed like this then it’s likely time to upgrade anyway.
Websites have evolved quickly since the “old days” and most sites are now built using a content management systems (CMS), like WordPress, Joomla! (our preferred tool) Wix, Squarespace, or something similar.
And make no mistake, this is really good news for business owners because a CMS makes it much easier for business owners or employees to learn how to make basic edits to their company’s website.
Text and image edits are carried out with a simple user interface. If you can use Microsoft Word, then you can edit content!
Design and style edits however still require some more advanced knowledge of the CMS platform and maybe some graphic design tools and skills. Some edits even require basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, or PHP, but business owners that like to DIY (do it yourself) and have the time to dedicate to learning it can spend some time on Google and YouTube and try to learn how to make basic edits themselves, although they are not without some risk of breaking the site in some way.
With this in mind, is it worth it to pay someone monthly or every time you need an edit?
While it’s never been easier to make basic text and format edits to your website with a Content Management System, there is a lot more to website management than just making simple text and formatting edits. It's easy to miss the many other things that come along with managing a website. However, failure to address the following can cause more trouble in the long run.
We cover some of these below:
Discovering that your website is down, but that you didn't know is quite a feeling...
Do you look at your website every day? Most business owners don’t so it’s unnerving when you notice that your website is down. If you’re not familiar with error codes or hosting management then you will immediately start to wonder what went wrong. Is it something you did (or didn’t do)? Is it fixable? Did you forget to renew your domain or hosting subscription? How long has the website been down? Have customers noticed that your site is down? Have you lost any potential customers because of this?
These are all valid questions and ones that will cross your mind when you find your website isn’t up anymore. Now you have to figure out how to fix it.
One of the most important parts of small business website management is monitoring your server for potential crashes and then knowing where and how to fix it.
Someone who maintains a website will monitor your server and manage your hosting so they can quickly assess the problem and get your website back up as soon as possible. Most businesses overlook this aspect of website management, but the first time your site crashes and you have to spend an hour or more trying to get it back up, you’ll quickly realize the benefits of having someone manage your site for you.
Spending hours trying to get your website back up is hours that you won’t be able to spend actually working on your business and serving your customers. We’ve met many business owners that push off getting their website back up and running until later so they can continue running their business. In these cases the site can end up being down for weeks and months at a time, which creates many other issues. Don’t be this business owner.
Your website crashed, for whatever reason, and now you can’t get it back up. Do you have a recent copy of your website stored somewhere? What happens if your hosting provider gets hacked and your website gets compromised or deleted?
These are just a couple scenarios where having a recent backup of your website is critical!
Content Management Systems are still just software and software needs to be updated. In addition to updating the CMS, there are other softwares built on top of your CMS that also need to be updated routinely. Themes (that provide a consistent look feel) and components/plugins (that extend functionality) are two examples that control important parts of the design and functionality of your website.
Outdated software on your website can create a serious security risk for your website. It can also reduce the speed and efficiency of your site, resulting in a poor user experience for potential customers.
Any small business website management package you purchase should include these routine updates.
Updating these softwares can be as simple as clicking a button and waiting for it to update. However, occasionally software updates can crash your site. This is an example of when you will need a recent backup of your website handy and know how to use it to restore your website.
Another important part of small business website management is security. Hackers are always looking for ways to get into websites. Your first line of defence is keeping your CMS and any extensions updated. Outdated software has holes that allow hackers and malware to get through. Having a great hosting provider is also a must have for security.
In addition to using a great hosting provider, and updating your website regularly, you’ll also want your website management team to actively secure your website and monitor for security issues. This will allow them to identify issues quickly and address it promptly.
Ever been on a website and see text for something like Viagra, Cialis, live nudes, or something along those lines? This is not a great look for your business and it puts your customers and users at risk. Unfortunately, this is usually malware that’s found its way through a hole in your CMS. 99% of the time this can be avoided with an active website management package that keeps your website updated and scans regularly for malware and other threats.
This is why all our maintenance plans include a web firewall to manage against these threats and actively block malicious users from accessing your site.
This is why Credible offer 2 different ways to get help with any website we have developed for you. We simply split the front end content support tasks from the back end platform maintenance.
If you feel you don't want to spend your time away from your core business, updating the website with fresh new content, then we offer support plans starting at 1hr / month for 3 months and also a Pay As You Go support option for ad-hoc usage.
If you require help with the maintenance of your website, ensuring that it is secure, backed up and running smoothly, then our monthly or annual maintenance plan is going to give you the peace of mind you want at an amazing price.
Both options are available independently of each other so you can pick and choose the level of support you need.
We encourage you to google our competitors and compare our plans, we are that confident of the value they offer.