In a nutshell…
The performance of a web site will continually deteriorate if its owner neglects it after publication. An active web site needs frequent review, monitoring and maintenance. Often businesses forget about their web site once published and stop maintaining it. When a firm invests in building a website, it must realise the need to service it.
Temporary files and database junk
A web site accumulates a lot of junk if left to its own devices. As the web site matures, the problem increases with an assortment of session data, temporary files, cache files, and redundant data fragments. Over time, if not properly managed, these files can considerably slow a web site.
Junk files and records are also an issue for databases. For example, WordPress saves revisions to a post every few seconds. All these saves add unnecessary bloat to the database. These redundant records slow queries, increase response times and increase the space used by the database.
Both Amazon and Google studied the impact of minor reductions of response times on user experience and sales. These studies demonstrate a significant influence on sales, even from delays of a fraction of a second. That is why regular database maintenance is critical. Amazon and Google estimated slowdowns could cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue.
The speed of your web site is an essential factor in the success of your business.
Server updates and code
Just like a program on your computer, web servers have regular updates and upgrades to new versions of operating systems and server applications, such as the ones that run your web site and your database. Most of these updates are innocuous enough and pass by without notice. However, sometimes an update causes significant changes to a server application. Such updates sometimes cause problems when the updated application stops supporting the code your web site uses.
Regular server updates help to fix security problems and are an essential maintenance task. Also, updating code to comply with current standards and best practices helps prevent a web site from breaking when server updates happen and enhance security by removing code issues.
Regular maintenance of your codebase reduces the need for and cost of a future overhaul. It helps to improve search engine performance because the structure of the web site remains compliant. And, it helps to keep your web site robust and secure.
Web site security
Maintaining code, updating the server and supporting a database covers some of the maintenance work necessary on a web site. Security of your users and their data from external attacks is a massive issue.
If your web site uses an insecure connection, a third party can intercept data as it passes between your user and your web site. That is why web sites use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates. These guarantee your users communicate directly with your web site and not through an unknown third party.
Web site owners are obliged to protect the personal data of their users during both transmission and storage. You must take all reasonable steps to protect your web site and servers from being hacked.
We take security very seriously and can offer practical solutions to help maintain your web site’s security.
Performance and search engines
Search engines regularly update the algorithms they use to rank search results. Google has an aggressive policy of updates to reflect changing search patterns. In recent years, updates have favoured mobile–friendly web sites, performance, speed, and security while penalising web sites that use unnatural inbound links.
These changes dramatically impact some web sites, sometimes moving them from the first page to the last page of search results.
There are so many variables to rankings that it is impossible to guarantee first page rankings these days. Anyone that says they will get a company on the first page is selling snake oil: everyone is trying to do the same thing.
However, there are many things that owners can and should do to maximise their chances of being listed highly. These include improving site speed, reducing the time to display a page, making a web site mobile–friendly, SSL and only accepting links from good sources.
We monitor the performance and speed of the web sites of our clients. By making small, incremental changes to their web sites, we can help improve rankings over time. It is a maintenance item: it is not something that can be done once and left. Making small incremental changes helps to demonstrate what impact each change makes on the performance of a page. Regular changes help to prevent significant loss of rank when search engines update their algorithms.