We all know the importance of having a well-structured website. But simply having the site up and running is not enough. Regularly updating and maintaining your site is crucial to ensuring that your site is running at full capacity.

Just like cars, websites require maintenance to operate properly. Properly maintaining your site helps to ensure site security, increase the number of new visitors, boost returning traffic, and more. We’d love to share some of the main reasons why we believe it’s important to maintain your site.

It’s visually complicated

It only takes 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for visitors to form a first impression of your website. Before they read a single word on a page, they’re judging your site based on look and feel.

In that lightning-fast moment, the simpler the better. Visitors need to know instantaneously where they should look, but if a page is too complex, their eyes don’t know where to go. Things like structure, color, spacing, and font help identify what’s important.

Overuse of stock photography

Before you go crazy with stock photography, remember that even the best stock photos have their limits. And the worst ones… well, we’ve all seen these cheesy photos of the overly-happy call center workers. A small business web design full of smiling models and perfectly choreographed office environments lacks authenticity, and it distances visitors from your real people, your real products, and your real vision.

Plus, there’s always a chance that your competitors will use the exact same imagery. Just look at this story about the Everywhere Girl, who posed for a stock photo shoot and ended up in advertisements for Dell, Microsoft, Greyhound Bus Lines, the U.S. Navy, and more.

Invest in your own photography, because there’s no substitute for your genuine imagery.

It doesn’t reflect your current brand

Your website design should always represent the best and most current expression of your company’s brand. If you updated your logo, changed your colors, or altered the styling of any of your materials, your website should look the same. Your brand helps create personality and differentiation for your business, but inconsistency between your website and other materials can hurt your credibility.

Imagine a prospective customer learning about your business on your website, but when you send them an email or mail them a brochure, it looks completely different. Suddenly, they’re not sure if you’re even the same company, and they don’t trust you. Make sure your website’s branding is current and consistent.

It looks like it was built in 1997

There’s nothing wrong with 1997 (after all, that’s when we started!), but the Internet has changed a lot since then. Early website designs served as simple informational resources and lacked the tools we have today in terms of design options. Let’s be frank: they were ugly.

It Improves Security

Security is the main reason that website maintenance is so important. If your organization is using a Content Management System (CMS) such as Magento, WordPress, Kartra, Kajabi, Shopify or SquareSpace you will want to ensure that your site is keeping up with software patches and security updates. Failing to do so gives hackers the chance to steal data from your site.

It Boosts Site Traffic

In order to provide searchers with the best quality content, search engines such as Google raise rankings for websites that are updated regularly. A higher ranking increases your site’s visibility, which increases the likelihood that your content appears when your target audiences search for relevant keywords. Updating your site with valuable information, fixing broken links, removing duplicate pages, and keeping your content updated will help drive both new and returning visitors.

It Optimizes the Visitor Experience

Regularly updating your site with sharable content such as upcoming events, image galleries, and blogs gives your audience an idea about who you are and what you do. Engage with your audience by including actionable items such as a newsletter signup form and social media icons that link to your organization’s profile. A well-maintained website helps promote your brand, work, and mission. Remove information that is out-of-date and conduct a site audit to track issues and errors on your site. Do this regularly so that you can provide your visitors with the best possible user experience.

Website maintenance is important for all organizations, both big and small. Regularly maintaining your site will improve performance and provide a safe and secure environment for your visitors.

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