A website care plan is best described as services (malware protection, security, backups, monitoring, etc.) which are bundled together for the purpose of maintaining optimum website security and operating condition. As a business owner, you have likely invested a great deal of time and money into building a company website of which you can be proud. Your website is likely one of your greatest lead generators and you need to protect your vital business asset. A care plan protects your asset, ensuring it continues to perform in a manner which contributes effectively to your business.
Meet Bob. Bob launched his business three months ago. Prior to that, he spent several months developing a premium website which generated more leads than he ever dreamed of. Money was coming in, bills were paid, savings were beefing up and life was good. Bob even planned a surprise Mediterranean cruise in celebration of his upcoming wedding anniversary. Bob thought a website care plan was a waste of money. Six weeks ago, Bob’s website was hacked and infected with spyware. Long story short, the hackers were able to retrieve client credit card information, addresses, phone numbers and other crucial information. Bob was sued by several clients, lost his business and is stuck in litigation limbo indefinitely. His reputation as a sloppy, rookie businessman isn’t doing him any favors for reestablishing business any time soon plus Bob is now bankrupt. Moral of the story: forgoing a care plan is a bit like failing to insure a new Mustang – an unnecessary and potentially costly risk which could lead to a total loss.
Maintaining your company website is critical to protecting against “Bob-like” circumstances. Proper website maintenance involves ensuring timely updates, vigilance regarding secure, updated plugins, making sure your domain name doesn’t expire, ensuring updated security patches, protecting against broken links and much, much more. In addition, a poorly maintained website can go down at any given moment, resulting in the loss of customers and profits as well as negative feedback from consumers who view your website’s poor performance as a reflection of how your brand performs overall.
Regardless of the scale of your business, website maintenance must occur daily. When done properly, such maintenance works toward presenting and maintaining a professional image to consumers. However, most business owners lack the time it takes to effectively protect a company website and self maintenance generally isn’t realistic for any business owner.
Many entrepreneurs assume that their hosting companies include care plans, however hosting companies provide web hosting, email hosting and domain functionality and generally not full-service care plans. While some hosting companies might perform simple maintenance tasks such as backups and updates, most do not offer 24/7 monitoring, regular performance tests to ensure your site is running at 100% capability and other valuable services which, when neglected, could cost you your entire business. In addition, hosting companies often are not equipped to cater to individual business-specific needs.
A website care plan typically includes:
Routine performance/security checks measuring the speed at which your website loads, checking for any issues which prohibit optimum loading speed. In addition, security checks protect against hackers and malware.
Vulnerability patching when a program does not have one available.
Database optimization and performance enhancement.
License review of quarterly theme and plugins.
Protection against and removal of malware.
Licensure for commonly utilized plug-ins.
SSL – ensuring website visitors are securely connected when visiting your company website.
Premium email deliverability (from your business website).
Timely, consistent reports regarding the overall state of your website.
Broken link repair.
Scheduled website reviews.
Strategy calls to clients regarding ways to improve the website.
Business websites cannot effectively operate when forgotten about. They must be properly maintained and monitored on an ongoing basis, especially with the increasing rise in cybercrime. Statistically, a website is successfully hacked every 39 seconds and simple tasks such as neglected updates can work toward creating vulnerabilities for your company’s website. Securing a website care plan means ensuring you have a dedicated team of experts on your side protecting against all cyber threats ensuring your site safely performs exactly as it should.