Zen and the Art of Website Maintenance

We love web design. We love to make new, beautiful, effective websites. Really, we love it. But one thing people sometimes forget is that website maintenance is just as important as creating a website.

Things fall apart, it’s the nature of life. If all we had to do was create, create, create, it’d be pretty awesome, no lie. But reality teaches us that everything created needs to be maintained, and that’s why we take pride in our web maintenance.

Web Design and Car Maintenance

Think of a website as a car. Whether you drive an F1 car or a 1993 Ford Escort, at some point it will need maintenance. Oil changes, tune-ups, fuel injection cleanings. New headlights, new tires, new brakes. You may even need to replace the entire engine.

The idea of car maintenance is simple. The more you stay on top of it, the less you have to worry about it. The more work you put into the car, the less it depreciates in value. We apply the same practice when we design websites – continued maintenance.

Oil Changes and Tune-ups

Your website needs to stay relevant. That means a metaphorical trip to Pep Boys to ensure your content is optimized for appearing high in the search results page to keep the traffic flowing in your direction. When strong SEO copy and metadata markup (schema) is created for a website, it is built to get results right now. Sometimes changes happen, and your copy needs to be tweaked or replaced to remain relevant to your target audience and the search engines alike.

Perhaps the search engine adjusted its algorithm and your agency noticed a drop in site visitors then implemented a fix. Maybe a keyword got clogged up with too much competition and you need to increase your bid.

You need mechanics who know when your website is running at its most efficient vs. when it’s running ok. You need mechanics who know how to optimize your miles per gallon.

New and Replacement Parts

New and replacement parts on a website are necessary when a new product, service, or promotion is introduced. Businesses are made to grow, your website needs to keep up. Sometimes you need to adjust your copy or create a landing page. Maybe you’ve got a great new video for the site but the web page design doesn’t promote it in the way you would like.

A marketing agency is the mechanic who knows the ins and outs of your website: when new or replacement parts are added, the job gets done as efficiently as possible. You need mechanics who know the wiring.

Engine Work

The engine refers to a website’s functionality. Without a working engine, a car is just a design. Without an intentional user interface, designed by a ux professional and professionally coded, your website just becomes about the aesthetics, the visual design.

Coders are the engine mechanics of the web world. They know how to keep sites running smoothly for a great user experience. They know how to make websites run as fast as possible. And making websites faster is a process.

If you code a website and stop working on it, it will lose its usability. Problems will pile up on each other until, eventually, you need to replace the whole car itself. You need mechanics who can make your existing car last as many miles as possible and make sure the ride is always enjoyable. No one wants a sputtering car.

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive”

When you’re getting a custom website built for you or your business, remember that it’s not a one shot deal. A truly great website is a journey, not a destination. Your website will constantly be under a state of change, most of which won’t have to affect the visual appearance of your web page but are necessary to keep your site functioning.

You should work with an agency that takes pride in their work and believes in yours. The relationship should never be one sided. Choosing a website without thinking about routine maintenance will cost you more money and hassle in the long run.

A good agency is your website manufacturer and your mechanic. And the best mechanics tell it to you straight.

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