The importance of website maintenance + 12 essential tasks.

Craig Greenup 02/04/24, 10:19

The importance of website maintenance + 12 essential tasks

Excellent news. Your site is up and running. So what do you need to do next?

Your new website needs ongoing care and attention. Because without regular website maintenance, performance starts to decline.

This is why web maintenance is so important. It’s one of the things that make a great website.

In this article, we’re going to look at:

  • What is website maintenance?
  • The importance of website maintenance
  • 12 essential website maintenance tasks
  • How often should you do website maintenance?
  • The benefits of professional web maintenance support

What is website maintenance?

Website maintenance is the act of keeping your website up-to-date. It involves checking your site for errors that harm its performance and the user experience (UX).

Web maintenance involves tasks like updating software, fixing broken links and backing up files. These activities go on in the background while website visitors continue to use the site.

The importance of website maintenance

So why is website maintenance important? Here are all the benefits you get when you commit to regular website upkeep.

A better user experience

Regular web maintenance keeps your site running properly. So users get the seamless and enjoyable experience you want them to have. It’s quick and easy for them to navigate your site and use its features. That means more conversions and more repeat visitors.


To create a secure website, you need to keep on top of website updates and maintenance. Outdated and poorly maintained sites are at greater risk of cyber-attack. So you protect your customers, your website, and your brand image when you run security updates.

Higher search engine rankings

Another reason why web maintenance is important? It’s good for search engine optimisation (SEO). Fast, secure websites that offer good UX tend to win the search engine results page (SERP) top spots. That means your site gets better visibility. And you boost traffic, too.

Saves time and money over the long run

A website maintenance package is yet another business cost. But it’s actually well worth the investment. Get a web development pro to look after your website and you save both time and money over the long run.

Time, because you’re not getting bogged down in technical website management. And money, because you don’t make costly mistakes by trying to do web maintenance yourself.

12 essential website maintenance tasks

Now we know why website maintenance is important, what do you (or your web dev) actually need to do? Let’s take a look at the website maintenance tasks you need to add to your site maintenance plan.

Update software and plugins

Software and plugin providers release regular updates for their products. These updates improve product performance. They also help to protect software (and your website) from malicious attacks.

So as part of your site maintenance schedule, you should update software and plugins. You can also delete any plugins you’re no longer using.

While you can allow plugins to update automatically, we don’t recommend this. Plugin configurations can be complicated. And things don’t always work in the same way after an update. That’s why it’s best to let an experienced web dev handle the software update process for you.

Run security scans and updates

When running software updates, be sure to update any security software you’re using, too. Also, run security scans. These scans can help you to find and fix vulnerabilities before they harm your website or its visitors.

Check whether forms are working

If your forms aren’t working properly, you could be missing out on enquiries. So every year or so, check your forms by filling them out and sending an enquiry yourself. If the message lands in the right company inbox, you know everything is working as it should.

Fix broken links

Broken links are bad for the user experience. They lead to a higher bounce rate and a worse SEO performance. Luckily, there’s lots of website maintenance software that helps you to find broken links. Ahrefs offers a useful broken link checker for free.

If you find any broken links, you can fix typos or consider removing links if they’re no longer relevant. Alternatively, if the page you’re linking to has been deleted, you can use a 301 redirect to lead users to a live web page with similar, relevant content.

Manage user accounts

Running a website with user accounts? Then you need to do user account management when maintaining your website.

This means looking at the user accounts and deleting any that aren’t still in use. It means prompting password resets. And it also means looking at the permissions associated with each account.

Only give users access to the bits of your website that relate to their work. This helps keep users from making mistakes and causing problems in other areas of the site.

Run website backups

A website backup is a saved version of your site. You can revert back to this saved version if:

  • You or someone else accidentally deletes important site elements
  • New software harms your site
  • You get hacked

So the more regularly you back up your website, the more recent and relevant the saved version will be. This means you can quickly pick up where you left off after an accident or cyber-attack.

Check site speeds

The best websites load within two seconds. You can check how fast your web pages are by looking at site speeds. Google’s Page Speed Insights is a useful, free tool.

If your site is too slow, this tool gives advice on how to improve speeds on both mobile and desktop versions of your site. It may be that minifying code or optimising image sizes is enough to achieve speedy site loading times.

Update content

Adding new content keeps your site fresh and relevant. You provide useful info for your website visitors. And you keep your site on the radar of search engines, which means you’re more likely to rank highly.

As well as adding new content, you should perform an annual content audit. Stick all content info in a spreadsheet. Then find and fix:

  • outdated information — whether it’s your product pages or your blog posts, make sure all content is up-to-date
  • incomplete information — make sure all pages have a meta description and all images have an alt tag
  • large images and files — shrink any large images and files so they don’t slow down your website
  • dated design and branding — website trends move quickly so update any outdated design and branding
  • linking structure — add more internal links where relevant and check that all outbound links go to reputable websites

Analyse site performance

You can use Google Analytics to track your site’s performance. You get to see how people are interacting with your site and work out where they’re encountering problems or roadblocks.

Seeing how users are engaging with each page of your website will help to reveal issues that you need to fix. For example, if a product page has lots of views but few sales, you could look at:

  • “Add to cart” button placement
  • The quality of the content and visuals
  • Placement of customer reviews
  • Page speed
  • Whether your page is displaying properly across all devices and browsers
  • Links to returns and delivery policies

By analysing site performance, you can direct your maintenance efforts to the most impactful places.

Update your header and footer

Header and footer copy is easy to miss when you’re updating your website. But be sure to give it a thorough once over at least once a year. Check that all links lead to the right places and that all information on those pages is up to date.

Accessibility testing

Accessible websites make it easy for everyone, no matter their physical or mental ability, to browse the web. And, when you provide a good user experience for all users, your site is more likely to perform well in search results.

You can use web accessibility tools to check the accessibility of your website. You can then find and fix problems so people with disabilities, people using a range of devices and people with a slow internet connection all get a great experience on your site.

How often should you do website maintenance?

In a previous post (how often should you update your website), we recommend that you conduct content updates at least once a month, web infrastructure updates at least once a year, and a full website redesign at least once every two to five years.

But what about site maintenance? How often should you be doing website upkeep?

Little and often is a good rule of thumb. Here at Radical, we run daily website backups for our clients. And we complete a range of maintenance tasks on a monthly basis.

Here’s how we schedule the essential maintenance tasks above for a standard site:

Weekly maintenance tasks

  • Update plugins and software
  • Run website backups

Monthly maintenance tasks

  • Add new content
  • Analyse site performance
  • Accessibility testing
  • Check for broken links
  • Perform a security scan and updates
  • Check site speed
  • Check site uptime
  • Manage user accounts

Annual maintenance tasks

  • Update old website content
  • Update your header and footer
  • Check that forms are working properly

It’s worth bearing in mind that the level of maintenance for a website partly depends upon your site and how often it’s changing.

The bigger your site, the more content you add, the more users you have and the more people involved in content updates, the greater the chance of something going wrong.

This means you’ll have more website maintenance to do. And you’ll provide the best possible user experience by doing it on a weekly if not daily basis.

The benefits of professional web maintenance support

As you can see, there’s a lot to do when maintaining a website. For small businesses, completing these tasks can be a challenge because:

  • No one within the company has the right technical expertise
  • Web maintenance takes up a lot of time

You can end up feeling bogged down in website tinkering. And, because this is pretty technical stuff, you also run the risk of making costly mistakes.

That’s why working with a web developer is often a wise idea. It saves you a heap of time. And you put your website in safe, competent hands.

So try to budget for maintenance when you get a new website built. Signing up for a website maintenance plan will offer you complete peace of mind and keep your website performing at its best.

Take a look at Radical’s web maintenance and support service. Or get in touch with our friendly team for more information.