Website management refers to the proactive management of a website to ensure it remains operating optimally at all times. After a website is built, it needs to be actively maintained to ensure it remains functional, secure and serving the purpose it was designed for.
What is website management?
Website management is a collection of tasks that maintain a website to ensure it operates optimally at all times. Website management includes backups, website security, software updates and content updates that keep your website working as expected.
The specific elements involved in website management for a particular site will vary depending the priorities of that specific business, but in general, there are certain maintenance tasks and practices that all websites require in order to remain secure and operational.
- Website backups
- Software updates
- Security monitoring
- Uptime monitoring
- Content updates
Why is website management important?
Website management is important as it ensures your website is running optimally at all times, and effectively performing its marketing role for your business. Whether you use your website to sell products, generate leads or increase brand exposure, having your website properly managed is essential for allowing your business to operate.
A failure to proactively manage and maintain your website can lead to website issues and downtime, which can have significant implications for your business
Your website serves the role of portraying your business to the world, conveying your professionalism and brand image, informing your audience about the products and services your business has to offer, and encouraging visitors to make a purchase. A website that is unmaintained and fails in any area can prevent it from serving these key purposes, which can have a direct effect on your business’s growth and performance.
1. Saves money in the long term
While some business owners feel the temptation to try to manage their website themselves, this usually results in increased costs in the long term. A failure to properly maintain a website can cause substantial issues which require the website to be fixed or in some cases rebuilt from scratch, and this costs can significantly outweigh the cost of having your website proactively maintained each month.
2. Allows your website to grow with your business
Successful, growing businesses must be continually evolving to remain competitive, and having a dedicated website manager to update your site allows your website to grow alongside your business. Have you recently added a new product or service offering, or refined an existing product? Do you have a new testimonial or portfolio piece to add to your website? Having these updates made expeditiously allows your website to serve your business as effectively as possible.
3. Frees up your valuable time
The majority of business owners try to manage their website themselves, or have a member of staff manage it for them. However, the problem with this approach is that it takes time out of you and you staff’s busy schedule, and the website doesn’t end up getting the care it needs. Outsourcing to a website management agency gives you confidence the website is being properly managed, and allows your core staff to focus on the running of your business.
4. Provides peace of mind
Trying to manage a website without the required skills and knowledge can be stressful. Instead of worrying about whether you are going to accidentally break your website when changing a setting, delegate the task to a website management company who know how to take the required precautions.
What does website management include?
Website management services can include a long list of tasks that ensure the smooth-running of your website. However, there are certain elements of website maintenance that are essential for every website.
The most important website management task that should be performed for a website is to routinely back up the website to ensure that there is always a full website backup available to recover from in the worst case scenario. There are numerous reasons why a website may become compromised, and ensuring you have a recent website backup to recover is an essential step to mitigate the potential loss. We back up all of our sites to Amazon S3 cloud servers to ensure they can be recovered in the worst case scenario
There are various types of software that work together to deliver the functionality provided by your website. This includes content management system files, theme files, plugin files, and other types of files that work together to power your website. As the internet evolves, each of these elements is updated to deliver an improved experience to web users. As this happens, it’s essential to ensure that all the elements on your website are updated to ensure compatibility and prevent any issues with functionality or security.
Website files that need to be updated:
- CMS such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal – these files are core to your website and should be updated regularly.
- Themes such as Avada, Salient and Divi
- Plugins such as WooCommerce and Gravity Forms. Plugin files are among the most common ways that those with malicious intent gain access to a website, and should be carefully monitored and updated.
- PHP. PHP updates must be performed at the server level to keep your website running fast and securely
You’ll be well aware of the threat of cybersecurity, and it’s essential to be proactively protecting a business website against the various types of threats that existing on the internet today. With ransomware attacks and hacks more prevalent than ever before, it’s essential to have security protections in place to block such attacks.
Uptime monitoring is essential for business that rely on 100% website uptime. This aspect of website management involves monitoring that a website is live and accessible on the web at all times, and providing instant notifications should any issues occur. This allows the website manager to go in and fix the issue immediately to minimise any downtime and negative impact on your business. Uptime monitors such as BetterStack or UptimeRobot can be set to check a website for downtime as often as every minute, and can inform users by emails or text message to ensure the website owner or manager is informed as quickly as possible.
Most businesses require to routinely update their websites so they’re consistent with the latest products and service offerings. Many websites also routinely publish blog posts and informative articles to their website to educate their audience. A website manager can take care of any content updates required for a website.
Common content updates include:
- New pages
- Portfolio pieces and case studies
- Customer reviews and testimonials
- Gallery images
Website management packages can sometimes include custom analytics reporting and dashboards that allow website owners to understand how their website is performing, and how users are finding and engaging with the website, to make informed marketing decisions that shape the future of their business. At Prime Digital we use Google Analytics 4 for general analytics, and Google Tag Manager and Google Looker Studio for more bespoke analytical needs.
Website management can also include monitoring website performance to identify and fix any issues relating to speed and user experience.
If your website sells products via ecommerce through platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify, website management services can entail management of your online store, updating of product listings, descriptions and images, updating stock levels and adding new products.
As you can see the list of possible website management services is wide-ranging, and while there are some core elements that apply to all websites, the specific website management tasks will depend on the unique needs of each business.
If you need assistance with maintaining your own website, get in touch with up for a 30-minute call where we discuss your business’s needs and put together a plan for keeping it operating at full capacity.
How often should you do website maintenance?
How often you should do website depends on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the site, and how often updates need to be made on the site. However, it’s safe to say that monthly maintenance is generally sufficient for 99% of websites. That said, it’s beneficial to actively maintain a website as often as possible.
Some tasks need to be performed more frequently. For example, website backups might need to be taken every day or week, depending on the needs of the business. A website that processes customer orders daily would need to be backed up more frequently than a site that is rarely visited.
There are also ongoing maintenance tasks that need to take place 24/7, including security scanning and uptime monitoring. These maintenance tasks run at all times to proactively protect a website and avoid downtime.
Certain elements of your website maintenance, such as WordPress, theme and plugin updates, can be configured automatically. However, if you have such automations in place, it’s essential to have a contingency plan in place if things go wrong, and a recent backup to restore from in a worse-case scenario.
It’s a substantial task for a business owner to properly maintain their website, and what usually happens is that the website gets neglected and fails to perform optimally. This is why it’s highly recommended that you get support from a website maintenance company.
Delegating the task of website management to a specialist company reduces stress related to running a website, and frees up a business owner’s time to focus on actually running their business.
Website Management FAQ
Should I manage my website myself?
It might be possible for you to manage your website yourself if your website is relatively simple, you have a basic level of technical expertise and you have excess time on your hands. However, if your website is business-critical, has more advanced functionality, and you’re already short on time required for running and growing your business, then it’s most likely best to outsource the task to people who are experts in the field.
While there may be an incentive to save the money involved in having your website professionally managed, managing it yourself usually results in increased stress and time spent dealing with recovering from issues in the long term.
How much should I pay someone to manage my website?
The cost of managing a website varies depending on the size of your websites and the level of maintenance that is required. For the most basic website, the cost of maintaining a site, including hosting, domain names, backups and updates is approximately £40 per month. For larger sites with more complex functionality and several hours of required updates per month, this can go as high as £250 per month. Larger organization with complex maintenance requirements and extensive management and marketing needs can even run beyond £1000 per month.
What does a website manager do?
A website manager is responsible for all the routine tasks involved in running a website that we’ve outlined above. A website manager takes care of backing up and updating the site, as well as implementing optimisations and any tweaks and changes that are required.