Ask Mike: How Is Your Website Aging?

During our last Ask Mike on the Move, Trail 9 visited the vibrant, beautiful metropolis of Minneapolis Minnesota!

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Nice, isn't it?

During Mike's walk around the uptown area, he answered THIS very important question:

How Is My Website Aging?

Well, websites age in a number of ways. Over time, their amount of security threats increases, their design becomes more out of date, and their SEO (search engine optimization) rank becomes lower, to name a few of them. Of course, these negative consequences that an aging website brings to the table can all be avoided with a routine maintenance plan that covers all your bases. And if your website is up to date, when so many others are continuing to crumble, your online presence will be way ahead of your competition.

SECURITY UPDATES!!!

The most immediate need in your maintenance plan is applying security updates immediately once they're available. Your website's security is like its foundation. If it's compromised, then there can be disastrous consequences. Your brand's image can be destroyed, your customer loyalty can be destroyed, and your website itself can be, well, destroyed. And, the threats are enormous. Hackers are really good at what they do, and they're getting better at it all the time.

WORDPRESS MINDFULNESS

Wordpress is the world's most popular content management system, and it's a favorite of many businesses and organizations. Because it's such a hub of possibilities, many hackers have been focusing on attacking Wordpress websites specifically for the past year. In Securi's 2016 Website Hacked Trend Report, 75% of the 11,000 infected websites analyzed were on Wordpress platforms.

This isn't to say that hackers only attack Wordpress websites; hackers attack all kinds of websites, cars, phones, cameras, you name it. But, if you own a Wordpress website, you need to take extra special care in applying those security updates as soon as they hit your inbox. If you wait even a day, your chances of a serious hack will increase tenfold.

DON'T NEGLECT YOUR NONPROFIT

Lately, we've especially trying to raise security awareness in the not-for-profit sector. Many nonprofit organizations seem to believe that money and time don't need to be spent on their website once the website is live, and we've seen evidence of this time and time again. Why, our latest review of a nonprofit organization's website (a HUGE international nonprofit organization, mind you) revealed that their website hasn't been updated once in over two years. 

Nonprofit and charity organizations rely quite a lot on donations for their revenue, and, because of this, their positive image is arguably their most valuable asset. If a nonprofit website stops working when its users try to navigate it; if it automatically redirects its users to inappropriate third-party websites when they visit it; if it gives their users malware or ransomware when they try to make a donation online, then their users may well never come back- to the website or to the organization itself.

UP-TO-DATE DESIGN AND SEO

So, lack of security maintenance can destroy your website and possibly your entire company. Luckily, a lapse in design or SEO isn't usually quite as instantly and outrageously detrimental, but it can become just as hurtful over time. If your website's design becomes out of date and stays that way, then your competition will look a whole lot better to the people searching for your services. And, if your SEO is out of date, then no one will be able to find your website at all. 

With the majority of the world using the internet, your online presence is a huge way for people to judge your company. This is why it's so important to have a website redesign every 2-3 years; an old, glitchy unappealing website isn't going to attract anyone. The same goes for your website's SEO-people are always busy and impatient, and there are hundred of companies doing the same thing, or similar enough things, that you do. No one is going to go out of their way to find you if you don't give them a reason to. 

ATTENTION WEBSITE OWNERS!

Your website is a valuable tool. It has the power to attract a huge number of people to your business, your organization, your image, your message, and your services. It has the power to enormously raise awareness of what you're trying to do. Don't neglect that asset! 

Have a reliable maintenance plan that you can follow. And, if you're too busy to do that yourself, or if you want more professional help, then it's absolutely worth hiring someone to take care of it for you. In hiring a website company to help with your maintenance, it's always worthwhile to research the field and make sure you find someone that knows their security and maintenance just as well as their website design.


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