What Does Website Maintenance Mean?
Hosting is simply providing storage space and access for websites. While a hosting provider provides what is known as Server Support, that is not website maintenance. And managing your website’s content isn’t website maintenance either. That’s Content Management. Website maintenance is primarily the Application Support of your website which includes: backups, CMS updates, security updates, and much more.
What Is Website Application Support?
Regardless of who hosts your website, it is critically important that someone provides proactive application support of your website. As all IT managers understand, a disaster recovery plan is critical to the long-term sustainability of any technology environment. This involves the monitoring and maintenance of any applications (at minimum, your website) that reside on the server. This is a predictable and consistent monthly effort by you (or your developer) to proactively run and maintain tools that will monitor performance as well as ensure that if your site goes down, it can be restored as quickly as possible.
How Does Website Application Support Work?
The most important thing, which can’t be emphasized enough, is that Application Support is proactive. Rather than putting your website on “auto-pilot” and waiting for a problem to occur Application Support involves paying consistent attention to your website’s needs in order to prevent or avoid problems occurring. These needs include:
- Ongoing website deployment support
- Disaster response tools
- Performance management and site speed monitoring
- Managed OS & application updates
- Security & malware scanning
Why Does Website Application Support Matter?
So many businesses of all sizes underestimate the mess that can quickly develop due to website hacks, security breaches, malware, and denial-of-service attacks. There’s simply no way to anticipate when such things will happen. Allocating the resources and/or spending the money to ensure proactive Application Support is more and more important everyday. Here’s why these things matter:
- Ongoing website deployment support basically ensures that your website stays live.
- Disaster response tools include things like rolling back-ups, Staging Environments, etc.
- Performance management and site speed monitoring ensure that your website has the space, CPU, and memory is needs to function as intended.
- Managed OS & application updates include Content Management System updates, etc.
- Security & malware scanning is critically important, especially as online security continues to face growing threats.
Website Application Support Best Practices
- If by some chance, you do not have Google Analytics installed on your current website, be sure to install it prior to starting your new website project. That way you will at least have some baseline data on site traffic in order to help the folks developing your website know what server specifications will be needed.
- Do your due diligence in determining what hosting options will best fulfill your requirements. There are a lot of good resources out there.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of properly maintaining your website, particularly CMS updates and security.
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