Proactive website maintenance

Keep your website updated

I've helped a number of clients over the years, building custom websites for their businesses and projects. Primarily, these sites have been built with ExpressionEngine or WordPress as the CMS. Too often there is a perception that one just builds the site, and then you're done for good. The reality is that building the website is only part of the process. Once the website is launched, you need to allow for time and money to keep the website updated. This means keeping the CMS updated, using security add-ons or plugins, configuring security at the application and server level, and monitoring the site for changes and anything unusual.

Should you do it yourself?

That depends. If you are comfortable configuring software and have some familiarity with the ins and outs of web hosting, then you may be able to handle things yourself. In most cases, no, you should not rely on yourself to keep things current and secure. Hopefully you have a good relationship with your web developer, and you rely on their guidance for this process. Yes, this costs extra money. If the cost of monthly maintenance is a concern, you should not be developing a custom website. Instead, use a commercial website platform. There are a few out there that will give you decent results if you want to do it yourself.

Why should I pay to keep my website updated?

Lately, I've seen some older installations of ExpressionEngine fall victim to tampering. The attacks were aimed primarily at WordPress and the damage was minimal. The fixes were straightforward and took a few hours to restore the sites to normal. The restoration involved ending the attack by blocking the attacker, removing malicious files, restoring user accounts, updating the core software and add-ons, and changing some setting at the server level. These attacks could have been much worse if not caught early on. In general, the cost of some proactive maintenance is less than the cost to fix a hacked website.

Website shelf life

The process of keeping your website up to date is an ongoing process, continuing until the next redesign or redevelopment. The website itself does have a shelf life. Technology changes. Current design trends change. You may reach a certain point where the site needs to be redesigned or reworked in some way. This may happen as your business evolves. In the meantime, minding the underlying software will help you keep the site up and running. Feel free to contact me for assistance.