When finances are tight, some companies try to avoid getting website maintenance plans. In these cases, clients should be prepared for the worst. Website maintenance plans act as a very important security insurance for websites. Unmaintained websites quickly become outdated at fundamental level, so it is important to keep them well maintained.
What are Unmaintained Websites?
Unmaintained websites have not received the software, code, or security updates needed to continue to properly function. Websites quickly become out of date because the CMSs they use are constantly updating themselves to provide a better experience. Websites based on WordPress, Magento, Drupal, or Joomla must have maintenance to create a secure website.
Unmaintained Websites Lose Customers
Unmaintained websites typically provide a poor shopping, purchasing, and browsing experience for users.
On unmaintained websites, visitors typically see:
- Slow Pages
- Broken Links
- Out of Date Content
- Poor Functionality
- Security Risks
- Checkout Errors
Each of these characteristics can reduce your brand’s credibility, increase cart abandonment, and create more risk for you and your customer.
1. Slow Pages.
When a page takes four or more seconds to load, 25% or more of visitors abandon the page (1). As loading time increases, you will also see an increase in lost customers. At its worst, one of every two visitors will abandon a page if it takes more than four seconds to load. Google also ranks websites that load quickly better. The top results Google displays typically load in about half a second.
2. Broken Links.
Google ranks websites with broken links lower than their competitors. Broken links also reduce the user experience, and cause pure frustration and irritation. In some cases, broken links create an open loop. For example, your site visitor may be trying to find information they previously bookmarked, a product they previously bought, or an article another site linked to.
3. Old Content and Poor Functionality.
Old content and poor functionality reduces a site visitor’s trust in a website. A site with out of date content or buttons that works inconsistently does not provide a consistent customer experience. For example, imagine you were to call the customer service line of your favorite company. Would you remember a positive experience from your first visit or the horrific experience on your second visit more? A negative service experience will stand out much more for the customer. Provide a consistent, positive experience across your entire website for your customers by subscribing to website maintenance.
4. Security Risks.
Unmaintained websites are much more at risk when a bot attacks. These bots can reduce your Google rank, lose potential customers, reduce website attractiveness, and remove or change website content unexpectedly. These bots may also attempt to steal your customer’s identities by taking their personal information.
What is a Website Hack
Without consistent website maintenance, your website becomes vulnerable to site hacks. Website security is a growing problem because online business is increasing in popularity, and so is online crime. Hackers have now begun to use bots in order to exploit your website. Bots now make up the majority of website visits and come in a variety of forms. These bots may attempt to compromise your site’s appearance, content, or personal data in order to personally gain.
Types of “Bad” Bots
Scrapers. Some hackers use bots to scrape your website content and reuse it in other places on the web.
Hackers. Some bots attempt to hack your website to gather personal information, deface a website, or to delete critical content. If your website is hacked, your customers may lose serious confidence in the security of your website for ecommerce transactions or other personal data.
Spammers. The third form of bots is the spam bot that attempts to turn sites into link farms for malware and phishing links. These spam bots can very quickly destroy your online reputation and cause you to be blacklisted on search engines.
Click Frauds. Lastly, there are click fraud bots that meaninglessly click ads to spend your advertising budget. This hurts your relevance for both Google AdWord and Facebook ads.
Risks Associated with Website Hacks
Visits from these types of bots can reduce your website’s credibility, attractiveness, and reputation. Once lost, rebuilding a brand’s reputation can be very difficult. You could lose a long-term customer when a visitor goes to your online store, and their personal information is stolen or the site is malfunctioning.
Websites that are “repaired and restored” require excessive amounts of time and funds to regenerate. Similarly, websites that have been hacked and lack site updates, site backups, and site security require a “repair and restore” session. A “repair and restore” session would be much costlier and time consuming in comparison to maintaining a website consistently.
In the worst scenarios, the website would need to be recreated from scratch due to the gap present in the CMS platform updates and the lack of site backup to revert to. Not only does this process take extensive development time, it also would result in the loss of potential customers due to the website being taken down for repairs. Therefore, it is important to stay protected against these bots by maintaining a well-kept and often updated website.
Who is at Risk of a Website Hack?
All sites can be hacked. Yet, well-maintained sites are more secure and can defend against a website hacking. Site hackers prefer targeting CMS-based sites like Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla because the most websites are built on these platforms. Well maintained sites also have site backups available in the case that the site must revert back to an older version for any reason.
Hacked websites have poor security. These security holes need attention! Connect with us or your development team to keep your website safe.
We recommend you continue to preserve your brand reputation, online purchases, and the security of customer information by keeping your website maintained. With quality website maintenance, you can feel secure that you will not wake up to find your website has lost sales or has been taken down suddenly, due to a lack of security. If you are concerned about having an annual contract, reach out to your development team regularly to do a maintenance check.
Website maintenance is a must – start learning more!