Here at Blink;Tech, we offer turn-key services covering all aspects of internet presence and web platforms for businesses of all sizes. These services include everything from design and development to SEO and analytics to digital marketing and content creation. With such a wide array of expertise, we got a lot of questions concerning how businesses can best manage their websites and what the best practices are for maintenance and hosting. The question we probably hear the most is, “Should we hire someone to do the work or is it better to have someone in-house?” Let’s take a look at these frequently asked questions, and go over some general tips on how to best manage your website.
Should I Hire Someone to Manage My Business Website?
When it comes to website management, many companies consider this an afterthought – as long as the site is up and running, why does someone need to manage it? But the devil is in the details when it comes to website maintenance and a small problem can balloon into something catastrophic and expensive if ignored. Imagine never changing the oil in your car just because it seems to be running okay. Not the best course of action for an expensive asset.
And it should be noted that these problems can involve much more than the functioning of your website. If you have an online store or collect client or customer data on your site, ignoring security updates and scan results could compromise much more than your own business. These days, there is no such thing as a “set it and forget it” website – especially when it comes to security.
So when it comes to the question of whether or not to hire someone to manage your website, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Having someone dedicated to the management of your website allows for the most efficient use of budget and time, as any problems that arise will be handled quickly and affordably, before they grow in severity and cost to fix. There are so many technical intricacies involved with a modern website, that someone with basic knowledge will only be helpful to a point. Having a tech partner like Blink;Tech, or someone on staff to handle the day-to-day, takes away the headaches and expense that is likely to occur when a website is not properly managed.
Is it Better to Manage a Business Website In-House?
The answer to this question boils down to whether or not you have the budget and at least one person who is technically competent on your staff. As stated above, having a dedicated team to manage the website is instrumental in its success, as each team member will have a wheelhouse of expertise. This is why partnering with an out-of-house web tech firm may actually save you money and frustration in the long term.
But some businesses are not comfortable handing the daily tasks out to someone not on staff, and feel that only an internal staff member could possibly understand the needs and unique situations of their company. While it is the prerogative of any company to make this decision, at Blink;Teck, we like to stress the importance of the extra set of eyes who are not influenced by the internal workings of a business. All our partnerships include a dedicated team member who is the main point of contact, and who can delegate out necessary tasks to the most qualified and experienced team member. Having a true Tech Partner like Blink;Tech can ensure all aspects of your website are functioning perfectly and secure from threats.
What Should I Look for in a Hosting Company?
No matter what your decision is when it comes to who manages a website, you will need a hosting provider. Many host companies will expound their expertise in security and flaunt their low costs, but there are a few things that you need to look for that are bottom-line necessities:
- Uptime – If the website is not available, how is it of any use? A high uptime is essential, so look for a hosting company that can promise an extremely high percentage of uptime.
- Support – depending on how much hand-holding you may need, look for a provider who offers that level of support.
- Type of hosting – whether it’s shared, dedicated, in the cloud… be aware of what is offered versus what you need.
- Bandwidth and Storage – many hosts base their costs on how much bandwidth and storage is used, so look for what is applicable to your needs.
- Security – a quality hosting service will offer secure sites with an infrastructure that includes SSL certificates, firewalls, and protocols to fend off cyber-attacks.
Should I Use Automated or Manual Maintenance Programs?
No matter how efficient automatic updating may seem, it can leave your website broken for your visitors to discover. Why is this? Because between platform and plugin updates things can crash from incompatibility. And when this happens, there will be no way to know until someone actually visits the website and alerts you of the problem.
Having qualified human eyes on the website during and immediately following any updates will ensure this doesn’t happen. But even then there can be problems with security, internal links, navigation, and plugin functionality that may not be so easy to discern at a quick glance.
A periodic deep audit of the website’s functionality is important to the site’s health and its value to your business. These deep audits can be time-consuming, but a good web developer can create query code to scan the site for specific issues and provide you with a report of any findings. However, it is always good to spend a little time now and again to manually review the website, including content, links, forms and important plugins, just to ensure that everything is functioning perfectly.
Hopefully these tips can help you and your business get (and stay) on the right track to keep your website purring like a kitten. As a proven Tech Partner, Blink;Tech is here to answer any of your questions, so please reach out to us if you need assistance with your web presence.