After the Launch: Industrial B2B Website Maintenance Fast Facts
posted January 9th 2019, 11:33 am by Nicole Nelson
You've done it. You launched your new website. All that hard work is over...right? Don't panic: the hard work is indeed over. But, that doesn't mean there's no work left to be done. After the website launch, we move into what's called "website maintenance mode." Today we'll walk through the fast facts of industrial B2B website maintenance, including what it entails, how to approach it and how much time you should allot for it.
Industrial B2B Website Maintenance Fast Facts
We see a familiar pattern over and over again in industrial B2B websites. Let me set the scene.
Company X decides to redesign the company website. Redesigning the website is much more labor-intensive than anticipated, and no one in the company has spare time to take on the website project. Despite this, months later, the new website launches. Company X celebrates. A couple months later, an update is made to the website. That's the last update that is made for 3 years. A year later, Company X needs to make another update to the website, but no one can remember how. A year after that, Company X decides it is time for a new redesign to the website...
For better or worse, this is the scenario that plays out for a lot of industrial B2B websites. I think it's the nature of the industry - for many industrial B2B companies, the website is just not that important in the day-to-day life of the company. This is especially true for companies that make the majority of revenue through repeat clients and contracts. It's time to change things, though. After the hard work of putting up a new website, the last thing to do is let it sit untouched for months on end.
Why Website Maintenance Matters
Website maintenance matters for more reasons than just the aesthetics of the site, though those are important, too. Besides keep your website looking fresh and modern, website maintenance ensures that the backend of the site stays updated, too. If the backend of the site is not updated, the site can fall prey to hackers. It's much easier for a hacker to get into your site when it has outdated plugins and a non-updated CMS (whether Wordpress or Joomla or Drupal).
Plus, as I alluded to earlier, when you make a habit of updating your website, it's not difficult to make content or image updates over time. The person at your industrial B2B company (perhaps it's you?) remembers how to log in, remembers his/her password to access the dashboard and remembers how to update website pages, too.
What Does Website Maintenance Entail?
The answer to this question depends on how involved your company would like to be in the maintenance of the website. For instance, if you'd like to take a laid-back, bare-bones approach, website maintenance might look like this:
- Check to make sure all contact information is correct, i.e. that the phone numbers, emails and location have not changed.
- Fill out the contact forms on the site to make sure the right people are still receiving/responding to them.
- Update the copyright in the footer if needed (many times this updates automatically).
- Look at the plugins in use on the site and make sure they're updated.
- Look at the CMS and see if it needs to be updated, too.
For these last two bullets, we recommend that you reach out to your website developers before proceeding. Here at RedMoxy, we always take a backup of the website before making major updates just in case anything should go wrong (because sometimes it does, if a new version of the plugin or CMS is incompatible with the site). Reach out to us at [email protected] if you'd like assistance on your site, whether we designed it or not.
Now let's assume you'd like a more hands-on approach to the maintenance of your new industrial B2B site. Your website maintenance will look like the above list, but will also include items like:
- Post regular updates to the site in the form of blog posts or news articles.
- Swap out imagery every once in a while for a fresh look.
- Update the "team" page to make sure the most up-to-date team is reflected.
- Ensure your product listings, including pricing if applicable, is correct.
- Add recent or new testimonials to the site.
How Much Time Should I Allot to Website Maintenance?
The answer to this question also varies. For some of our clients, we handle all of the website maintenance. They don't have to touch a thing. For these clients, website maintenance is minimal. For other clients, they make the frontend updates, but reach out to us for backend updates. Frontend updates can take anywhere from several hours a week to an hour or so a month, depending on the number of updates to make. If you'd like to take the bare-bones approach and only update the backend of the site, you could complete the website maintenance for the year in 1 or 2 hours.
Kick up your heels and relax - you've launched your new website! But, don't forget about website maintenance. It'll ensure your shiny new website stays that way for years to come.