Why Website Maintenance Is Very Important For Your Law Firm

Why Website Maintenance Is Very Important For Your Law Firm

We all know the importance of having a well-structured website. But simply having the site up and running is not enough. Regularly updating and maintaining your site is crucial to ensuring that your site is running at full capacity.

 

Just like cars, websites require maintenance to operate properly. Properly maintaining your site helps to ensure site security, increase the number of new visitors, boost returning traffic, and more. We’d love to share some of the main reasons why we believe it’s important to maintain your site.

Software Updates

Most websites today – even though they are easy to edit – are complex software applications. Just like the operating system on your computer, they need to be kept up to date for security and performance reasons. In WordPress websites, this means regularly updating the core software as well as any plugins and themes (there is generally at least one official WordPress update every month). When doing so, always perform a backup first. That way, if there’s a hiccup, you can roll back to a working site version.

WordPress needs constant maintenance

We, at Ace Legal Marketing, design, and develop websites on WordPress. Keeping your WordPress theme and plugins current and maintained is absolutely vital to having a properly functioning website. All Content Management Systems (CMS) websites, like Joomla, Drupal, Magento – there are a lot of them – all need to be maintained on a monthly basis. Technology changes almost daily on the World Wide Web (www.) and on the internet.  When you are not maintaining your WordPress site, it can – no, WILL – lead to problems.

Neglecting even the basics of website maintenance can lead to some of these problems:

  1. Longer page loading times
  2. Compromised security
  3. The decrease in user experience
  4. Page rankings suffering

Just to name a FEW.

An unmaintained CMS website, especially WordPress, can cause some major problems and will become harder to use.

Security

Most modern websites contain thousands of lines of code and depend on specific software that runs on your web hosting server. Hackers often discover vulnerabilities in code and will attempt to take advantage of this, trolling the Internet for sites that might be suitable candidates to be exploited. You can help prevent this by keeping your web hosting server’s software, and your website’s software updated with the latest patches and security releases. In the event that your website does get hacked (even with all the security measures in place, this is never an impossibility), you also need to remove the virus, clean up the website and restore the data. This includes contacting search engines and browsers that have blacklisted your website because of the virus. You can’t be 100% protected against viruses and ‘evildoers’, but you can be in a better position to speedily clean it up if it is hacked if you have kept up with regular maintenance.

Fresh Content

The content on your website should keep your readers coming back. No one wants to read the same content week after week or be looking at outdated information about an event that happened 3 months ago. If you’re not updating your website, you are essentially telling your potential customers that you are not paying attention to your business or you may even be giving them the impression that you may be going out of business.

SEO

Search engines prefer sites that are fast, error-free, well maintained, and most of all; they love to index fresh content. So, every time you update the website, you are giving the search engines new material with which to rank your site. You must ensure your website is regularly updated with material related to the subjects with which you want people to find your business.

Backup

Every site should be backed up regularly in case something happens and the site needs to be rebuilt or reinstated. There are two website elements that need backup:

  • Code (Javascript, PHP code, HTML, CSS, themes, plugins, other files).  Code should be backed up anytime you change or make an update, as well as any time your Content Management System (CMS – like WordPress) releases a new update.
  • Content (Text, images, videos, audios, etc.).  At a minimum, you should back up everything once a quarter. (Note: If you host your website with us, it’s backed up every day).

Take Advantage of New Features

Website technology is evolving fast. In recent years, it has become increasingly important to have features on your site that integrate with social media because of how much traffic it can send your way. Online security is another area that’s fast-moving. You will need to invest in securing your site with an SSL certificate that will encrypt communications to assure customers their personal details are safe with you.

To improve the visitor experience

Your website is a public reflection of your corporate image. It will often be the first impression a potential new client has of your business since people often research a company’s website and social media sites before taking further action. As an extension of your business, it’s important that your website meets the viewer’s expectations!

A poorly functioning website is a major problem for your brand and the image you want to project to potential new clients, as well as your existing clients and customers. Routinely examine the look and feel of your website and update it to match your corporate image. Here is what needs to be monitored:

  • Page speed and broken links.  This includes excessive site downtime, slow-loading pages, and broken links. Through regular website maintenance, you can correct subtle changes in these areas before they become drastic.
  • Page not found errors (404 errors). A 404 error is returned when a browser or search engine goes looking for a page and is unable to find it. It presents a poor user experience.
  • Poor grammar and spelling mistakes. These should be corrected preferably before a customer brings them to your attention.

Reach Every Client

At the very beginning of web design, the users of the only device were viewing your website on were chunky desktop computers. Then laptops came out. Mobile browsing changed everything and usability on various screen sizes suddenly became a high priority. Many users visit sites with tablets as well. With each new advance in technology, web designs face a new hurdle. Website maintenance gives your business online visibility that will endure new changes on the web.

 

Trying to handle your own website maintenance is like trying to fix your own car. Sure, some people are equipped to do it, but most people are better off leaving it to professionals. After all – the success of your website AND your business rides heavily on your website being a valuable source of information. Don’t let it slip by the wayside. Ace Legal Marketing offers a full range of Lawyer/Law Firm website support services, including content updates, website maintenance, technical support, and Law Firm website hosting. If you’re interested in a maintenance contract for your web site, contact us to learn how you can have professionals keep your site in proper working order. Our email address: info@acelegalmarketing.com

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