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The importance of maintenance

I was just sifting through some Google alerts that I had set up and I must have missed this article about why every marketeer needs a web maintenance retainer – http://www.business2community.com/.

It is true to say that in this world of fast moving marketing and IT, it is even more vital to keep websites regularly clean and up to date – having regular maintenance tasks is the key. It seems that content management system and plugin providers release updates almost every day, some for cosmetic reasons, but more often than not, to fend off consistent attempts by hackers to break websites. I never quite understand the mindset of hackers, but unfortunately they come with the territory. The worse thing would be to ignore an email from your content management provider, that your site will need upgrading, because the ramifications are too scary to contemplate.

Moreover, as soon as a content management system, such as WordPress or Joomla, is updated, then all the installed plugins need a little bit of TLC. Personally, I never allow sites to automatically update. Having automatic updates switched on does mean that as soon as a software update is released then your site is taken care of and you don’t have to think about it again until the next one, but, experience has taught me that updates don’t always go smoothly. A recent WordPress update caused a few issues with some out of date plugins, so I would rather be on top of the update and back up the site before I upgrade it – just in case! You never know whether you are going to have to roll back to a previous version and if you didn’t backup before the update, then your previous backup may be out of date.

So, please ensure you take the time to regularly check your site for updates and if you do need help doing this, then employ a professional to do it for you. Moreover, you should check your site for broken links, spam, speed and basically give it frequent mini MOTs as part of your regular maintenance tasks. This will ensure that everything is as up to date as it can be. Your website is your ‘shop window’ and if it is down or some of your content is hacked, then it’s losing you money, traffic or both!

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