You’ve built and launched a Toronto website for your business. Congratulations!
Not unlike an automobile, a website, once developed and launched, requires a certain amount of ongoing maintenance in order to function properly, be secure from hacking and appear fresh and state of the art.
Ongoing support for websites is often overlooked by business owners. This is a tremendous disservice to their company and success.
In this article, we will outline the ongoing support system offered by Toronto Website Design company Bush Marketing, the advantages of this support, and the detriment of ignoring this important work.
What Does Ongoing Support Entail?
Ongoing website support to be broken down into two main categories. The first involves maintaining the overall health and functionality of the website, the second involves enhancements and additions to the website.
As a Toronto web design company, we hear all too often about websites that have been developed by companies and then once launched, the web design company vanishes. We believe in a “Partners For Life” philosophy with our clients; we are here to support them for the long-term, and this is how we do it!
Toronto Website Design Performance
The first of the two components in ongoing website support involves technical support. As mentioned, a launching a website is not unlike driving a car off the lot for the first time.
Everything is functioning perfectly, but in order to maintain the health of the car, you need to rotate the tires, change the oil, etc. A WordPress based website is very similar; maintenance is vital in keeping the website functioning well. This maintenance can be broken down into three critical components.
WordPress Plugin and Core Updating
WordPress and the different features on a website (called plugins) are constantly evolving and require monthly updating. A website can have as few as two or three plugins, but we have seen them in the 20s. That is a lot of moving parts, and they need to be updated so that they are functioning properly.
The WordPress platform itself also needs to be updated. WordPress offers new versions of their platform for download on a regular basis. These updated versions usually address functionality and security issues.
Occasionally, plugins will not function properly with an updated WordPress core. If some functionality loss occurs due to a WordPress update, it is important to have a professional overseeing your monthly website maintenance.
Approximately 30000 WordPress websites are hacked every day. This is a product of being the unparalleled website platform of choice in the world. It is critical to protect your Toronto website design from these hackers.
Being hacked can be problematic, even catastrophic, to a website. Some of the effects of a hack are:
- Spam EmailsThis is one of the main reasons that hackers infiltrate websites. This allows them to use your paid bandwidth to send their emails (free for them) and until your reputation is lost, they can use your good name to get people to click through to their malicious websites.
- SEO SpammingBy sneaking links into your website that link back to theirs, they can increase the chances of Google and other search engines rewarding them with a higher ranking. This is commonplace in small & medium sized business WordPress hacks.
- RedirectingHackers will input code into your website that redirects valuable traffic to their websites. This can be done subtly, in which you may not know it’s even happening, or more aggressively, in which going to your main address takes them to an entirely different website.
- Steal User DataThe purpose of this is to trick or manipulate people into giving out valuable information, such as credit card information or a social insurance number. Collecting these can be incredibly profitable for hackers, as it can allow them to steal your identity (or sell the info to someone else who will)
Ongoing maintenance also means generating monthly backups of your website. When you launch your Toronto website design, everything is exactly how you want it and is up to date. As time goes by, enhancements to that website are often made. Perhaps the business has made the decision to blog consistently.
Maybe you have decided to sell products online and have added an e-commerce store to your WordPress website. All of that will be lost if there is not a current backup.
It is a terrible shame when this happens. Small businesses have come to Bush Marketing in the past (more times than we can count) asking us to “find a way” to restore their website to a current state, but without a backup, that simply can’t happen.
We ensure that our clients’ website is backed up and saved online every month so in the event that something catastrophic occurs, you will be protected.
Toronto Website Design Enhancements
Businesses are always evolving, and it is essential that a business website evolves along with it. At Bush Marketing, we schedule quarterly, virtual meetings with our clients to ensure that their website is the best and most up to date representation of their business.
Every three months, the client will bring a list of enhancements and updates that they would like, and we at Bush Marketing bring our list of recommendations for the site. We inform our clients of how much we believe they should budget for this on an annual basis, in order to plan out the changes and prioritize those changes accordingly.
So what kind of changes can be expected?
Graphic Design Changes
New branding or updated branding can mean that sweeping changes need to be made to a website. If you are incorporating new fonts or colours into your logo, these need to be incorporated into your website in order to maintain brand consistency.
Website design styles also change and evolve, and changing the graphic design elements on a site (eg. button style) can keep the website looking fresh and modern, thus positively impacting your brand.
We empower our clients to make content changes on their own (one of the great benefits of WordPress is that it is very user-friendly) but sometimes the work that needs to be done can be a little too technical or sophisticated. Adding new pages and restructuring the navigation are two such examples.
New Website Features
New marketing initiatives can mean new features on a website. If you have decided to start blogging for your business (a great idea for any small business) a blog will need to be built on the site. Perhaps you have decided to invest time and effort into social media as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Adding a Twitter feed or an Instagram feed to your website is a terrific way to promote these channels. The same applies to email marketing. If you want to grow your list, integrating a website signup is the best way to do it!
Keeping your website enhanced and up to date has many benefits. The average lifespan of a website is 4-5 years, and investing in these quarterly enhancements will extend the life of your website.
Most importantly, it offers the best representation possible for your business online. The better the representation, the greater the chance of converting visitors into prospects, which leads to more sales.
Interested in a unique, custom designed and branded website to help skyrocket your business? Call Bush Marketing today!