Ever heard of the phrase “Wow, I dodged that bullet!”? That’s the kind of phrase one may use when they either do or do not do something in their past, and then years later realize that may have been the best decision they made—even if it didn’t feel like it at the time. We want our customers to say this phrase anytime and every time we build them a new website or they sign up for our WPcare+ Maintenance Plans; it means they are making the best decision for their business!
To sweeten the deal, here are some of the common tech issues you will be avoiding when you decide it’s time to get your website maintained or rebuilt from scratch (if that’s what’s needed).
1: Broken links that went amiss
Don’t you hate it when you find the page you’re looking for, only to discover the link is broken and you have to start your search over? Imagine how your customers may feel if they encounter a broken page link while trying to shop on your website, or read about your services! That’s one thing you will avoid seeing happen when you get a maintenance plan initiated. A professional team will also be able to find and fix links that you potentially miss the first time if you do it yourself (here are some thoughts on why DIY isn’t really the best idea).
2: Messy URLs
Which of these web addresses looks the most trustworthy to you?
If you went with choice A, that’s because the URL was a great deal less messy. When URLs are automatically generated, it can look as messy as choice B because search engine friendliness wasn’t taken into consideration. These can be easily avoided if the website and its page URLs is properly optimized and built.
A messy URL makes a website page less trustworthy to visitors because you never know what kind of page may appear—for all the visitor knows, it could lead to a broken page, or a doorway page before they reach the part of the site they were looking for (doorway pages are, in fact, considered to be a black hat SEO tactic—read more about those here).
3: Slow loading times
The faster a website is, the better. This has been the rule of thumb for all modern websites to date, and it’s not without its rewards. Customers are more likely to want to visit a website that loads fast since most of the time they are in a rush. Last-minute shopping for a gift is a good example, or maybe they want to get a discount on travelling and the deal ends the day of.
Whatever their reasoning, a slow loading website will only make people frustrated to the point where they’ll take their money someplace else—more specifically, your competitors. Thankfully, when you own and run a well-oiled (i.e. a regularly maintained and updated) website, loading times will be less of a concern to you, the business owner.
4: A dismal rank on Google
Did you know the slow loading times we discussed already affect your rank on Google? It’s not the only thing—pretty much everything we’ve listed here can have a negative effect on that. Very few customers will go past page 1 to find what they’re looking for (unless they’re browsing out of curiosity, which doesn’t happen too often).
That’s why maintaining and keeping your website up to date matters. The more it’s kept fine-tuned and polished, the more trustworthy you will seem to search engines and the more likely it will recommend your website on the first SERP (search engine results page).
5: Broken images
These are just as bad as broken links gone amiss, if not worse—images are the first thing people’s eyes will naturally head towards, so if an image is broken or causing a page to load too slowly, the customer will know that you couldn’t care less about your website.
Images are also important for ecommerce websites because a lot of the time people want to know what they’re buying. If an image is broken or missing in these cases, the customer is less likely to want to purchase from your website. That is, unless, your website is checked for these regularly, which can happen if you’re on a site maintenance plan.
6: A lack of important links
What’s as bad as finding a broken link or picture on a website? Searching in vain for a link you really need but you can’t find it! If you have social media for your business, the links to those should go on your website—not many people will search for the accounts outside of that. Likewise, if there are any links you consider to be important, such as options to share your blog’s content, links need to be present for those sections as well. Attending to these sorts of links is, yet again, something a professional maintenance plan can cover.
7: Outdated plugins
We’ve talked about plugins and their effects on websites several times before (here, and here, to be exact), but it bears repeating that outdated plugins are no fun for anyone to discover—least of all right after you launched a new website for your business! If your website is WordPress, then it definitely needs to be maintained on a regular basis. Having a maintenance plan will prevent you from discovering the ‘white screen of death’ (i.e. a blank screen displaying only an error message), the aforementioned broken links we’ve discussed, and more.
8: Poor mobile device experiences
Mobile is the future, and the future is right now. Mobile devices are basically where people are looking up websites these days, because they provide a sense of portability in addition to accessibility. A properly maintained website means it’s also a responsive website, which is exactly what’s needed for a good experience on mobile devices such as smartphones. Not to mention, Google ranks websites higher now if they are mobile-friendly and responsive as opposed to accommodating to desktop computers only. Keeping your website updated and well-maintained can ensure that this sort of user experience never sours.
9: Insecure features
Building and providing secure websites and hosting are the services we have been proud to offer to business owners since the 1990s, and for great reasons. No one ever wants to stumble across an insecure website, especially if their financial security and personal information are suddenly at risk.
By ensuring that routine backups and other proper maintenance tasks are performed regularly for your website, you’ll be preventing plenty of insecure features on websites from ever being attacked by several online threats. To get a better idea of what kinds of threats we mean, read our blog post on the subject.
10: A website left for dead
One of the biggest problems we come across at V3 is a business’s website that was built, but then never touched again once it goes live online. Usually this is because the company is unable to provide ongoing support and maintenance. In more situations than not, the staff member placed in charge of the website either doesn’t know how to take care of the website because they weren’t properly trained, or they try to do it only to break something on the website (usually it can result in the ‘white screen of death’ problem we discussed previously).
Maintenance plans from our company really are the way to go if you don’t want your website to appear as untouched or left for dead to your customers—they are smart enough to figure out when that happens. If you’re ready to dodge a bullet in terms of proper website updates and you’re ready to improve your website, give us a call at V3 Media. As we mentioned before, we’ve been offering this sort of thing since the 90s—your website is in good hands!