Website maintenance is so very important

I just had a client who had not updated one of her websites in nearly 10 years.  She wrote blog entries regularly but did not click her own links to see if they were still alive and viable, the look was dated and the theme used for the site was very dated.  Suddenly it was hi-jacked by a Canadian pharmacy.  There were strange letters after the / at the end of the URL. She had no idea what caused all this.  Because it was on an unsecured server on an unsecured hosting plan, it was an easy target.

After consolidating her various domains and websites into one easy plan she had to migrate her sites to the new hosting service. Two of the three migrated almost seamlessly.  But the hi-jacked one did not go so well.  The theme was causing problems as were the plug-ins. I had built all her sites for her, so she called me.  After marginally succeeding with the migration (disabling plug-ins and temporarily changing the theme to a more current one) I went to work on the secondary site. We then had to rebuild the look and feel of the site, fix broken links, add new ones, reactivate good plug-ins and change the DNS. Once she approved the changes, the site could go live.

When your website design developer offers a maintenance contract, it is advisable to take them up on the offer.  The maintenance should include checking links quarterly, upgrading the theme and hosting to the latest version as needed, upgrading plug-ins as needed and generally “minding” the site for issues.  There is usually a minimal cost per month for this service and well worth the cost, both of money and emotional stability and security.  First off, your site probably won’t get hi-jacked, as this client’s site did. Secondly, if that should happen, you have someone to turn to promptly.

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