Many businesses today understand the need for website hosting, however, they fail to see the importance of website maintenance. There seems to be much confusion around what website hosting actually entails and what it does not. While hosting is required for your website to be found on Google, web maintenance is not... but it should be.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the act of keeping your site active on the Internet, making it accessible for visitors. The hosting provider grants a specified amount of storage space to host your website assets via a web server. No web hosting company can promise that your site will be live 100% of the time, but hosting your site with a reputable hosting company can provide some assurance that your site will be functional and accessible to users.
While most major web host providers offer basic tech support when minor issues arise, they do not provide certain security services such as preventing your website from being compromised or addressing compatibility issues that may arise due to updated server components. If your hosting company identifies major issues associated with the server your website is hosted on, they will likely alert you, but generally will not provide a solution. That is where a web maintenance contract or web developer would come in to save the day.
What does web hosting NOT do?
One of the most common misconceptions people have is that their web hosting contract provides them some sort of insurance if their site is hacked. It is actually not your web hosts fault if your site gets hacked; once your site is up and live, it is up to you to implement security protocols in order to maintain site integrity and prevent any security breach.
While your site may be “up-to-date” upon launch, without ongoing maintenance, it may develop certain vulnerabilities along the way. Many businesses are unaware of the necessary precautions they should be taking, and it is quick to fall off their priority list. This is where a web maintenance agreement comes in handy.
What is the solution?
Your team may not have the time to monitor website patches, updates, or new and improved security features, but with a web maintenance contract, you leave your site in the hands of experts. This contract ensures someone is making proactive monthly updates on your business's behalf, not to mention, you have someone to call if you experiences more in-depth website issues.
Why is web maintenance necessary?
Some people look at web maintenance contracts as a “nice-to-have” or an expense, rather than a necessary investment. Look at it like insurance, when something goes wrong with your website (not if, when), by simply paying a small monthly fee, you’re saving yourself thousands of dollars in the long run.
When a breach happens, it can be hard to determine exactly how the website was breached. In these situations, trying to get a web development team to diagnose and resolve the issues could take a lot of time, which translates into a lot of money. The value of a web maintenance contract is its preventative and proactive nature.
A website breach can also be costly in other ways such as your customers or users losing trust in your company’s ability to keep their personal data safe. More than that, hackers can cause brand reputation damage. If hackers post ads or content that don’t align with your brand values, you can have a public relations disaster on your hands.
While you may not be able to physically see the benefits of web maintenance, you certainly can relish in the peace of mind it gives you. While you’re taking preventative measures the insurance it provides is priceless when it comes to protecting your business from ruin.