There’s nothing wrong with your website. It’s everything else that’s the problem.
Yes your website needs to be maintained and cared for. Yes, I wish that wasn’t true, but it is. But since you’re here, you’re well on the way to turning that into a positive.
A care plan will improve your business security and keep you in favour with Google. It’s like having a relationship with a trusted local garage along with roadside assistance if anything does go wrong.
Remember the Millennium Bug? Software that had been written in the sixties was still running forty years later.
I used to love the idea that you didn’t have to oil your software. Write it, and it just runs. Never wears out.
But I was wrong. Not about the software, but about the environment it lives in.
Firstly, there are plenty of people out there who would really love to break in to your website, fill it with porn or terrorist material, steal your passwords and the rest of it. As people in that world discover ‘vulnerabilities’ in the software we are using and pass around what they’ve found to their mates, so the people who wrote and who maintain and improve the software behind your website, they spot the attacks and fix the problem. That fixed software comes through as an update, and by and large it arrives before the bad people do.
But not if you don’t update your website promptly. Might as well leave your car unlocked, key in the ignition, and keep your fingers crossed.
Your website comprises ‘core’ software. Other software development teams build add-ons, and us web developers select which of those building blocks we need to accomplish your goals for you. Your website sits on a server that’s running server software, and that software is written in a programming language as is all the software. The language is continually updated. The server software gets updated. All of the operating systems (like Windows, Mac and Linux) that all this software runs on, those foundations change too. All the building blocks are being updated. The core software is being updated. Web standards change. Browsers update. Social media platforms change their rules.
It’s amazing anything works at all, frankly. But anyway my point is that your website sits in a blizzard of change and the only way to stay safe and reliable is to keep up to date with your website updates.
People change too of course. It’s not that long ago that people using mobile devices became the main type of visitor over desktop machines.
Now we have rich snippets, all gearing up for voice interaction.
Our expectations and our needs change.
At the very least, your website should be up and running, functional 24/7 so your human visitors can find what they need.
It’s not buying petrol
Buying petrol is the classic necessary but “don’t wanna” purchase.
And I guess there are similarities. Petrol is the ‘have to’ in order to drive to your holiday around the Scottish Lochs, so it’s an enabler.
So maybe website maintenance is buying petrol. And getting your car serviced. It’s so you can enjoy new places and not end up stranded on a rainy, cold night.
Back to your website, then .. when you invested in it, you wanted free traffic from Google, right?
That depends on your load speed. On a lack of errors. On uptime. On everything working. All stuff your website care plan looks after.
One of the things I’ll check is your Webmaster Tools report which shows any errors on your site.
When Google decides to show your website in response to a user query, you’ll be one of usually 10 results. If people click to go to your website and based on their initial impressions they hit the back button, Google sees that. Its software will knock you down because it concludes that users with that query did not get what they wanted from your site compared to others.
That’s your bounce rate. It depends on lots of things but your load time, your first impression, your headline are all key. With a care plan in place, I can monitor and manage all that.
Here’s how it works
I backup your website, do the updates, and check everything’s working.
The software I use allows me to roll back if that broke something. I’ll report the bug up to the software developer and get it fixed.
I check all your reports and fix any issues.
You probably won’t feel a thing (perhaps your newly bulging wallet might get a tad uncomfortable). Nor should you. That means it’s working.
“I don’t need a maintenance plan, I’ll do it myself”
This comes back to the airplane wings story. I still can’t find it, but I’m sure the idea is that every time you double the total amount of experience you’ve got doing something, you halve the time it takes you to do it.
Basically, I build and maintain websites all day every day and you probably don’t. Which means it’s cheaper for me to do my thing so that you can go and do your thing for someone else. It’s kinda how society works. How we put a man on the moon and all that.
And if you get into a mess trying to do it yourself, it’ll probably cost more to fix than if you maintained it properly.
Anyway, you probably won’t do it because you’ve more important things to do, and your website will slowly decline, and that will cost you sales, goodwill and brand damage. That will cost you way more than anything I could charge you for website maintenance.
“I’ll just call you when I need you”
Nah. I only answer the phone to people on care plans. True story. I’m concentrating. That’s the nature of my work. My business, my reputation, the quality of my work depends on me getting into the zone.
Surround yourself with a professional team
You do what you do best. Let me do what I do best.
Perhaps less flippantly, stress comes from having unresolved things in your head. “I must remember to .. “. You need to write that stuff down, get it out of your head, and build a reliable system to handle it all so you can truly forget it.
A website care plan lets you just forget about your website’s uptime, performance, security, glitches, spam and so on. That’s all covered.
It frees up your head so you can more easily achieve your goals.
It’s OK, you can thank me at your awards ceremony.
So get in touch if you would like to secure peace of mind around your website. No point in calling, obviously (given the above) .. I’m joking, call if that’s your preferred way, you’ll probably get the answerphone tho (not joking).
Here are the different website care plan levels (there are only two) and what’s included.