The short answer, yes! The long answer, yes, it is.
Website maintenance, also referred to as website care, is not only necessary, it is extremely important. If you own a website and do not have it properly cared for you are actually playing Russian Roulette with one of your most important assets.
In this post we are not going to go into the importance of your website. We already know how important the first place people look for and engage with you are. This lead and revenue generator better be running smooth.
But what is website maintenance/care actually?
As you will already know, the internet is no place to find yourself unprotected. We all have some type of antivirus software that protect our computers when we access the internet. Our email accounts are also protected by antivirus software. Some of us may even have malware and spy ware protection for our computers/laptops/tablets/smartphones.
It is however not only our devices we use to access the internet that are under constant attack of viruses, malware, adware, spyware and hackers.
Websites are even more exposed to malicious attacks as they are available 24/7 on a server somewhere with your hosting company and they contain a very important component which hackers are interested in. Yes, you guessed it, data stored in your website’s database. This may include information about your company, your clients’ details and even transaction logs. I am sure that we have all heard off big companies’ websites being compromised and I am also sure that you have been requested at least once to change your login details including your password at a website where you are a client, subscriber or user. Attacks on websites with the view to illegally extract critical information is a reality and no website is immune to attacks. Although attacks on websites will continue and hacking attempts never be prevented there are fortunately measures that can be taken to prevent these attacks from being successful.
Website maintenance/care is not just about protecting our websites against hacking attacks. It is also about protecting our websites against spammers, ensuring your website is up to date with the latest software. It is well known that Google and other search engines do not like out of date websites and will definitely penalise you if yours is found to be outdated. Your website may even be penalised further by search engines if it is sluggish or slow due to out of date software.
Website maintenance/care is also important in order to give you peace of mind when life happens and your hosting company’s servers are compromised. Have you ever considered the consequences of your website “lost” due to a complete server failure? Yes, hosting companies do monthly or sometimes weekly backups of your website (if it is part of the service they provide). The problem, however, is that they store these backups on the same servers they store our websites on. This is a risk that WebScripto is not taking with its own website. We would hate to see our clients being exposed to these risks. We at WebScripto subscribe to the principle that your website should be backed up and stored on a totally unrelated facility in order to retrieve it in the event of a server failure.
Whilst your hosting company may be protecting your website against viruses to a certain extent it is not possible for them to protect your website against hackers. This is where you will need assistance. Any maintenance plan should at the very least include basic protection against hacking attempts.
In order to confirm hacking attempts on WebScripto’s own website kindly have a look at the below extract from an email sent to me on 17 September 2016 when a hacking attempt (brute force attack) was made on my website. Twelve actual hacking attempts were made on this specific day.
“A user with IP address 18.104.22.168 has been locked out from the signing in or using the password recovery form for the following reason: Exceeded the maximum number of login failures which is: 20. The last username they tried to sign in with was: ‘webscripto’
User IP: 22.214.171.124
User hostname: box555.bluehost.com
User location: Orem, United States”
Can I not do the maintenance myself?
Yes, you certainly can. The time and level of understanding how to deal with security, maintenance and keeping everything running smooth will however require of you to take a step back from your demands of running your business which may not be what you would want to do.
You are welcome to contact us should you wish to enquire about our maintenance solutions. We have developed three different plans in order to ensure that we are able to assist with any unique website. We will have a look at these three different maintenance plans in our next article.
Until next time, take care.