Let Me Update You: Why Updates Power Web Development Maintenance

Emma Gasko
Reading Time:4minutes

Building a site is a lot like building a tree house. The anticipation is thrilling, imaging the possibilities as you stare at this vacant tree waiting patiently for the building to begin. You start with the structure, find the balance and begin the incredible journey of watching the project come together.

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Your Web Development is Finished!

Your new site is live and you couldn’t be happier with how it came out. The imagery is spot on, the content is plump full of information and you couldn’t be happier to sprinkle your url around to friends, family, colleagues and of course clients!

Once your site is up and running it’s easy to forget that it keeps on running. While you’re away, in meetings, stuck in traffic or sleeping (what is that right?) your site is doing what it knows how to do best, run!

In the spirit of the New Year and resolutions; keeping your site updated is akin to exercising; without the dreaded trip to the gym. Most of the time an update is a click away!

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Tip 1: Web Development Cardio: Check and Run

You’re site is a runner so cardio is like breathing at this point. Cardio simply means checking your site from time to time. We think of websites as this static page that is just sitting within the digital universe, but it can wander off when it gets a little curious. You don’t need to make your site the default browser home screen. Take a peek from now and then, if anything then just to admire your handy work!

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Tip 2: Don’t Forget those Extra Pounds, I Mean Plugins

Most CMS platforms have plugin integrations that are amazing at fulfilling your site’s needs, but they can also weigh your site down more noticeably when they are outdated or not updated. Some plugin authors stop updating plugins and if they aren’t harming your site then leave them be! If they are, try finding a new replacement that will cause you less worry in the long run. Also, deleting plugins you don’t even use is key to shedding those extra unnecessary pounds. Many times we add the plugins and intend to use them and then find another solution.

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Tip 3: Motivation is Great; Until it’s Not

Admiring other sites is a great way to find inspiration. Whether it’s a competitor’s site, a client site you were checking out, landing page designs, or just browsing around, it’s easy to get a little site-envy from time to time. Your site is just the way you wanted it in the web development phase. Remember the hour-long discussion between two shades of blue? Yes. You made, stressed and ultimately loved this site, so don’t feel the need to compete. Every site has it’s own look, feel and vibe. Many times a complete site overhaul is not the answer. Maybe changing a layout here and there or adding a new button color can really change a page. Customization is meant to make your site unique, so let it inspire others!

Checking for updates, new integrations or just plain snooping on your own site is great, but like everything it should be done in moderation. Good web development can be any brand’s greatest asset when it comes to establishing their digital presence, brand representation and client success! They can easily be forgotten or left idle after the initial buildout phase for a variety of reasons. The best solution I have found is to set a time specifically to go through your site and find small areas for improvement. Did you build your site, or did a professional web development agency do it? If a digital marketing company built your website, ask the web development team if anything was put in place to make updates easier. Ensuring your site is updated, free of unnecessary weight from plugins and setting time aside to go through your site with fresh eyes is a great way to make sure it runs smoothly. It will do all the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

We may love the idea of having our cat at work, but how does the little fur ball feel about it? Consider your cat’s feelings before taking him outside of his comfort zone. Does he do well in new environments? What about unfamiliar noises like printers and multiple phones? Whether your cat is a social butterfly, or you have no idea how he will react, take him to work in an enclosed carrier, and gradually introduce him to the office and new faces. This will help him better adjust, and it will help your team adjust more quickly to him.
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