Beginner’s guide to website maintenance

Is your website a little slow? Has the number of people visiting your site dropped off, and your bounce rate has increased? You might think all of these things are because you haven’t updated your website in a while.

Website maintenance is a crucial part of the lifecycle of your website. It’s essential to keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly, so you can continue using it to grow your business. Consumers expect fast and reliable website performance, which is why your website performance experience matters and can greatly impact your online success.

We’ve created this guide to help you learn more about website maintenance and how to choose the right provider for your business needs.

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What is Website Maintenance?

Website maintenance refers to the process of regularly checking and updating a website to ensure that it is functioning properly and providing a positive user experience. Monitoring website speed, updating content, restoring broken links, backing up data, implementing security patches, and making sure the website is compatible with the most recent web browsers and devices are just a few of the many responsibilities involved.

Web maintenance is essential to keep a website updated, safe, and search engine-optimised. Lack of maintenance can result in problems like slow page loads, broken links, security flaws, and a bad user experience, which can negatively affect website traffic, engagement, and conversions.

Importance of Maintaining a Website

Providing a Positive User Experience

A well-maintained website ensures that users can navigate easily, find what they need, and have a positive experience. A website that is difficult to navigate and has broken links or slow loading times can result in a poor user experience and deter users from returning.

Ensuring Website Security

Websites are vulnerable to hacking, malware, and other security threats. Regular website maintenance, including updates, security scans and backups, can help prevent security breaches and keep sensitive data safe.

Improving Search Engine Rankings

Websites that are frequently updated with fresh content and offer a convenient user experience are given priority by search engines. Frequent website maintenance can benefit search engine rankings, boosting exposure and customer retention.

Reducing Website Downtime

A well-maintained website is not only secure but also performs well, ensuring that customers have a favourable user experience. This is especially important considering how website performance affects your business. Website downtime can be costly, resulting in lost revenue and a negative impact on reputation. Routine maintenance can help prevent issues that cause website downtime and ensure that issues are resolved quickly if they do occur.

Staying Up-To-Date With Technology

Technology changes quickly, and websites need to keep up to remain relevant and effective. Regular maintenance can ensure that a website is compatible with the latest web browsers and devices, keeping it accessible to a wider audience. Additional tools and plugins may be required as your business grows.

Saving Time and Money

Regular maintenance can help prevent major issues requiring expensive repairs and time-consuming fixes.

Building Credibility and Trust

A well-maintained website can enhance a company's credibility and trustworthiness, increasing brand loyalty and customer retention.

Types of Website Maintenance

There are several types of website maintenance, depending on the scope and nature of the tasks involved. Here are some of the types of maintenance you can expect to perform on your website:


Content Updates

Content is king, and your website must always be fresh and updated with engaging content. Content updates involve adding, removing, or modifying content on a website, such as text, images, videos, and blog posts.

Technical Updates

Ensuring that software updates, plugins, and other technical components are up-to-date and secure is an essential aspect of website maintenance to prevent security breaches and keep the website running smoothly.

Security Updates

Aside from getting new content or premium plugins for your website, implementing security measures to protect the website from hacking, malware, and other security threats is also needed. The most common way to secure your site is by using an SSL certificate. This will ensure that all the information sent to and from your site is encrypted.


Regular backups of a website's data are essential to minimise the risk of losing important information due to accidental deletion, data corruption, or other unforeseen circumstances. By creating backups, website owners can restore their data quickly and easily, minimising downtime and avoiding potential losses.

Performance Monitoring

This involves regularly checking the website's performance metrics, such as loading speed, uptime, and server response time, and addressing any issues that arise.

SEO Updates

This includes optimising the website's content, off-page, on-page and technical components to improve its search engine ranking and visibility.

Themes and Design Updates

Updating the website's design elements, such as layout, color scheme, and typography, to ensure that it remains visually appealing and user-friendly.

E-commerce Updates

This includes maintaining and updating an e-commerce website's product catalogue, payment systems, shipping options, and other related features.

How often should you do website maintenance?

Website maintenance frequency depends on several factors, including website hosting and support, the complexity of the website, the amount of traffic it receives, and the type of content featured on the site.

Website owners should perform regular maintenance tasks such as updating software and plugins, checking for broken links and errors, and backing up data on a weekly or monthly basis. Additionally, website owners should monitor their websites’ performance and security regularly and address any issues as soon as they arise. Doing annual website maintenance is not recommended as it can result in more problems and higher maintenance costs.

How much does website Maintenance Cost?

The cost of website maintenance can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Size and complexity of the website: Larger and more complex websites may require more time and resources to maintain, which can increase the cost of maintenance.
  • Type of website: Different websites, such as e-commerce sites, social media platforms, and blogs, may have different maintenance requirements, affecting the cost.
  • Frequency of updates: Websites that require frequent updates, such as those with dynamic content or a high volume of user-generated content, may require more maintenance.
  • Level of technical expertise required: Websites that require specialised technical expertise, such as those with custom code or complex integrations, may require more advanced maintenance, which can be more expensive.

Website maintenance services can be priced anywhere from $200 to $4,500 per month when working with an agency. The average website maintenance cost will depend on the individual agreement between the website owner and the website maintenance service provider.


Common Inclusions in Website Maintenance Package

The specific services included in a website maintenance package will depend on the provider and the needs of the website owner. It’s important to carefully review the services offered before choosing a website maintenance provider to ensure that they meet the website’s specific maintenance needs. Here are some of the common services that are typically included:


Security Updates

A security update will ensure that your website is always up-to-date with the latest security protocols, allowing you to keep your clients safe from hackers or other malicious attacks.


If your site experiences a sudden data loss or deletion, backups can help you restore your data quickly. Backups are also useful if you want to move your site to another platform or host, or if the hosting account gets terminated for any reason.


Accessibility and page performance audits are essential components of website maintenance packages. Accessibility audits ensure that websites are usable and accessible to all users, regardless of any disabilities they may have. It involves checking if the website adheres to accessibility guidelines such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and making necessary modifications to improve user experience. On the other hand, page performance audits help identify and fix issues that can slow down the website's load time, leading to poor user experience and lower search engine rankings. These audits can help improve website accessibility, user experience, and search engine rankings, leading to better website performance and increased traffic.

Technical Support

Providing technical support and assistance to website owners in case of issues or questions related to website maintenance.

Website Analytics Monitoring

Tracking and analysing website analytics data to identify trends, opportunities, and areas for improvement.

Bug Fixing

Fixing any bugs or errors that arise on the website, such as broken links or formatting issues.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Implementing SEO best practices to improve the website's visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Tips for Hiring a Website Maintenance Service Provider

When hiring a website maintenance service provider, consider these tips to help ensure that you choose the right provider to increase your website performance.

  • Determine exactly what maintenance requirements your website has. This includes the tasks that you want the provider to carry out and the frequency of these maintenance activities.
  • Search for a provider with experience and expertise in website maintenance, including knowledge of the latest technologies and best practices for website maintenance.
  • Check for references and reviews from other clients to get an idea of the provider’s quality of service and level of customer satisfaction.
  • Ask the provider about their security measures and how they protect websites from potential security threats, such as hacking and malware.
  • Ask the provider about their maintenance process, including how often they perform maintenance tasks and how they communicate with clients.
  • Evaluate the provider’s pricing and contract terms to ensure that they fit within your budget and that the contract terms are fair and reasonable.

Website Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions

If your website is slow to load or has broken links, outdated content and security issues, you may need to consider maintenance. If your website doesn’t have a clear purpose or target audience, it’s probably time for a refresh. And if your site’s search engine rankings aren’t where they should be, then it’s probably time for some maintenance as well.


If you don’t maintain your website regularly, you could be in for some serious problems. Without regular updates, your website will become vulnerable to security vulnerabilities, slow website performance, poor search engine rankings, broken links and errors, and inconsistent branding and messaging.

The result? Potential customers may not trust that your business is still around, or they may not trust that their information is safe when they do business with you. This can lead to a loss of revenue—which means less money for paying bills and less money for investing in new products or services.

You can do website maintenance yourself, but it depends on the complexity of your website. Even without technical knowledge, some tasks are straightforward enough to be completed by an inexperienced user. For example, updating content and checking for broken links are tasks that even non-technical people can complete. However, more complex operations like resolving code problems and running backups may require specific technical knowledge and proficiency. In these cases, hiring a web developer or professional website maintenance service provider may be advised.


Make your website safe and secure with Butterfly

We know that maintaining your website can be a challenge—especially if you don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself.

Butterfly is a website maintenance service provider that offers professional website maintenance services that allow you to focus on what really matters: running your business. Our team of experts will keep your site up-to-date, secure and compliant with industry standards. Contact us now to learn more about our services!

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About the Author

Staff Photo Darryl Dillon-Shallard

Darryl Dillon-Shallard

With over 25 years of expertise in web development, encompassing design, software engineering, DevOps, and business management, I am passionate about collaborating with clients to deliver inventive digital solutions.