First Impressions is everything, with a business, usually this first impression is from your website. This is a visual representation to your potential customers of everything you are about and what you have to offer.
If your website appears to be slow loading, or worse it simply doesn’t load, you may have lost a valuable potential customer to your business, not only that, that first impression of professionalism you work so hard for may be ruined, by the fact your website has finally let you down.
When you first got your brand new website, how proud you were! Everything looking and working perfect as it should! But after some time, things are getting slow, Parts are breaking down, in some cases it wont even load! Why is this?
How Can Things break?
Just like the car you drive, that is made up of lots of little parts working together in harmony to make the car run, your website is also made up of lots of little parts all working together to make it run.
Your car works great most of the time, but every now and then, you get it MOT’d or Serviced, to ensure it is in the best condition it can be and ensure it doesn’t become sluggish or breakdown.
This also is the case for your website. Maintaining the health of your website is just as important!
Technology Changes so Fast
Technology moves so fast, it is the largest and fastest growing industry in the world.
Web Technologies are no different and with every year, month and sometimes day that passes, new technologies arise that require systems and websites to adapt to their change.
If you do not adapt your website to these changes, things start to malfunction, pages stop loading, things start to break.
Plugins and Software
If your website uses Plugins to enhance it’s functionality or add cool new features, then it is imperative that these plugins are also kept up to date!
If a developer updates their plugin due to a new feature, code change or security risk, it is important that this plugin gets updated right away in your Admin Area of your website.
This is to ensure that your website is not at risk and that you are benefiting from the latest and greatest feature of this plugin. However, sometimes it is not as simple as simply hitting the update button. Sometimes plugin updates require further development on your website to ensure your website caters for these new plugin changes. These changes could be styling or functional changes and therefore your site or theme has to adapt to these changes.
One of the biggest reasons to keep your website and plugins updated is due to Security protection and preventing your website from getting hacked!
If your website is hacked, it is going to cause issues for both your business and your clients as vital information can be stolen.
Hackers find vulnerabilities in websites and plugins and target these vulnerabilities. Hackers don’t care if your a multi million pound company or a one man band, they target vulnerable websites and plugins, trying to access your data or spread malicious code throughout your website, as far as injecting x-rated links throughout your system – Instantly ruining that great first impression.
What Can You Do?
Keeping your Website and Plugins up to date is the number one thing you can do to protect your business integrity online. If you do not know how to do this, speak to your web developer who can assist with this. You can in some cases do this yourself, but if an update causes breakages elsewhere on your site, you will need to get this fixed also as to not tarnish your visual first impression.
Ensure you take backups of your website and database in case anything drastic goes terribly wrong. Then you can simply restore your website to its last working state.
It is also a good idea to ensure your server offers malicious code scanning facilities to scan your website for potential risks. Sometimes this is an add-on provided by your web host. Speak to your developer who can advise more on this.