Website Maintenance – Should you DIY?

Whether you’ve started your business recently and wanting to build a website, or you’ve been in business for a while and need a refresh – you’re likely reading this because your website needs some help. Maybe it’s not attracting the number of customers you want it to, or perhaps it needs updating.

Reviewing your website on a regular basis is important to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of your customers, and hits your business goals. But the question many website owners are asking themselves is “do I need to do it myself?”

Understanding your core business – what you’re good at – is an important part of being an entrepreneur and running your own business. Knowing those things that you’re really skilled at is critical to ensuring you are spending your time on the right things. Focusing on what you sell, and connecting with your customers is a great example. You need to be good at these to continue to stay in business.

But when it comes to the technologies that run your website is it something you should be doing yourself? If you had to choose between fulfilling customer orders for your business, or tweaking your website, which would ultimately be the most important to the success of your business?

Unless you are a web developer you’re unlikely to say that web development is a core strength. And that’s okay. Even if you are a web developer maybe some of the components of looking after your website aren’t even what you want to spend your time on.

As a web developer, I’m constantly surprised at how many of my clients have been struggling with the burden of managing their website before they come to us. Sometimes they are completely exhausted or frustrated by content management, poor search engine optimisation or updates that have gone wrong.

When we ask them why they continue to struggle with their website, we rarely hear answers that ‘stack-up’ against their real business priorities. Some suggest that they like ‘fiddling’ with their website to get things they way they want them. Others do it to save a buck, while others feel that it’s a good skill to learn.

In reality, playing with your website can be a trap. Some clients worked out they were spending a disproportionate amount of time playing with their website, when they really should have been more focused on their business. Some even admitted it was an escape from the reality of working on their business.

The most important consideration is whether you have the right mix of skills to be managing your website fully. Updating core, themes and plugins, managing security issues, and testing backups are all jobs that require experience. While on the surface websites seem simple, there’s a lot of knowledge that goes behind issues of performance and security to ensure your site remains stable.

Businesses who are more mature in their outlook, realise that these tasks are done more quickly and efficiently by outsourcing. That’s why when we build websites for our customers, the first thing we ask them to consider is a complete package of hosting and maintenance. It means from the word ‘go’ they are not tempted to dabble. It allows them to have their website running efficiently, while focus fully on their business.

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