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It seems pretty simple: Build a website, then move on to other priorities and let the website chug along quietly in the background. But that’s not what happens.

Over time, you get fewer customer inquiries. You notice you’re not as high in search engine results. You start to get notifications that your site might have malware or functionality issues on mobile. So, what gives?

Websites, unlike rotisserie ovens, aren’t “set it and forget it.” Your website needs a steady stream of both content and infrastructure updates to stay effective long-term. Here’s why:

Search engine results

Search engines like Google and Bing want to present the best possible result for whatever term a user enters. There are many factors they use to determine those results, but one of the most important is how old your website’s content is. That’s why a site that ranks highly in search engine results early in its lifespan might lose ground over time. The search engines note that the content is getting stale, and drop you farther down the list in favor of newer, better content.

User interactions and leads

Similarly, human users may see that your website has clearly outdated content and decide to move on to another company that has more up-to-date information. This can apply to both the words on your site, as well as things like graphics and design. Even if you offer a great service, if your site looks old, many users will keep looking.

A computer screen showing an update notice

Technology changes

The web is constantly changing. What worked five years ago might be painfully slow or even broken now. Content management systems like WordPress regularly issue updates for security or new features. If you don’t keep up with those patches, your site could stop working, or — perhaps worse — be susceptible to hackers and malicious code. So it’s important to regularly patch and update your technology. Just like you’ll hear from your doctor, it’s much easier to prevent a problem than cure one.

What to do if you’ve neglected your website

Don’t panic if you’ve neglected your website for a while. Depending on how old and outdated your site, is there are several things you can do:

  • Update your technology. If your site runs WordPress or another content management system, make sure all CMS and plugin updates have been applied. Make a backup of your site first!
  • Rethink your content. Do you still need all those pages on your site? Have you added new services you want to highlight? Does your homepage speak to your customer and show them why they should do business with you NOW? Read your website with a critical eye and update anything that’s out-of-date.
  • Add a blog. If your current site supports it, consider adding a blog! It’s a great way to add fresh content to your site, and position you as an expert in your field. However, if you start a blog, make sure you have a plan in place to continue creating valuable content.
  • Start from scratch. If your site hasn’t been updated in years and the design looks old, it may be time to consider a new website.

But you don’t have to do this on your own!

If you sign up for Standard or Pro hosting from Romega Digital, we include technology upgrades, proactive monitoring, content updates, and more as part of our monthly fee. Plus, you’ll hear from us quarterly with stats on how your site is doing and recommendations to improve. And if anything goes wrong, you can call our team; you won’t be stuck figuring out how to fix a broken site on your own!

Is it time to give your website a little TLC? Get in touch to talk about how we can take over your website hosting, or build you a brand new one.

By

Sarah loves front end development and helping customers succeed. She's crazy about Sass, WordPress and responsive design.

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