What do I get when I pay a company do to monthly maintenance on my website?
Monthly maintenance costs can be confusing because once your site is built, doesn’t it just work until you take it down? I mean, it works, and you aren’t changing anything, so what could go wrong?
Think of the monthly maintenance process like buying a car. When you buy a car, everything is brand new and the car drives like a dream. Depending on the car and the maker, the car may last several thousand miles, or it may break down in the first few hundred; hopefully not the latter.
Anyone that has owned a car knows that at some point there will be issues. The older the car gets means the older the parts are. Over time those parts start to break and need to be fixed.
A website works much in the same way. You get a website that is brand new and works like a dream. Your website is made up of computer code much like a car is made up of engine parts. Much like a car’s engine, computer code gets old. What does that mean? How does it get old?
Computer code is constantly being renovated. People are always looking for better ways to write code that makes websites function better, do more, and work faster than ever. Tried and true code eventually becomes the new norm. The coding community knows that it works, knows that it’s better, and everyone starts to do it this way.
As a result of innovation, the old ways stop being used. Eventually sites can contain code that nobody uses much like old spoken languages (think Latin). Here’s an example of a version of a coding language being phased out
What happens if my code becomes outdated? Will my site no longer work?
This brings us to the next reason that monthly maintenance is important.
First though, I think it’s important to note that the maintenance process should not be thought of as security for your website. Website security is a whole different ball of wax. It just so happens that not updating your website can lead to it becoming vulnerable to attacks, so I think it’s worth mentioning.
When coding languages are updated, it’s common for the source of that code to list what is new such as fixing common bugs, security issues, things like that. People looking to do harm look for websites that haven’t upgraded to the newer version. They exploit the failings in the older code. Remember that new code is looking to make your site run better and be less vulnerable. Using outdated code means that you have vulnerabilities. It’s always best to keep your website updated to avoid any of these vulnerabilities.
For safety sake I want to reiterate that updating your site helps keep it safe from vulnerabilities, but it is not to be considered website security. You should always take the appropriate measures to secure your website.
Every company is different, but some companies throw in little perks for monthly maintenance. Perhaps you want to change a title or an image. Maybe you’ve rewritten a section in a way you think is better and want to put it up on the website.
These types of tasks may be offered, and if they are it will depend on the size of the task that you want done. It never hurts to ask when shopping around about whether these types of tasks are offered with a company’s monthly maintenance plan.
In the end, a monthly maintenance plan is doing a lot more than one may think. It may seem like a do-nothing task in the beginning, but it is saving you from bigger problems down the road. You take your car to the shop for tune ups to ensure you don’t have problems down the road. It’s a great idea to do the proper maintenance with your website as well.