Do you, as a Solopreneur starting out or growing your business, really need to know what the difference between website maintenance and management is? This is a big YES from me. I totally think you should know.
If you do some research, you will find many articles that seem to state that both are more or less the same. I disagree with this, there is a difference between the two. Being clear on it can really help you make informed decisions and ask for help from the right people if and when needed.
But, let’s start at the beginning. Let me show you my definitions of maintenance and management, and what both include.
First, let’s look at maintaining your website
This is a necessary part and one that needs to be done on a regular basis because it keeps your website healthy from a technical point of view. This includes the following areas:
• Current / Accurate / Up to date from an overall back-end perspective
• Ecommerce and Membership solutions
• Software, Theme(s) and plug-in maintenance
Let’s drill down a little bit more on this, as the above is a little generic and an umbrella for more items. Think about this, what makes your website tick?
Like a clock, which has heaps of individual little parts that make a clock a clock. Your website has many components that if not checked and maintained, well, it can break. Worse even, it might put yours and your client’s security at risk (think about data privacy)!
Hence it is important to make a list and schedule in regular time to run through these tasks. Here are some examples to get you started:
• Run a weekly backup (and save this away from it – not inside the website)
• Check if all your pages are loading correctly
• Check your pages/posts for broken links
• Check any forms you have are working properly (contact / questionnaires / application)
• 404 errors – fix or redirect
• Website speed (if slow – what is slowing it down?)
• Security scans
• Pop-ups – are they working?
• Emails/Membership accounts and regular login – if inactive for x amount of time, delete/remove it
Whilst you would do weekly backups, checking for broken links and forms might be quarterly task and security checks can be done monthly.
A half-yearly or yearly job could be checking for inactive accounts/email addresses if you have a program or membership included in the website.
Here’s a quick recap on my meaning of website maintenance:
Your theme(s) and plugins and any other technical and security related items that make your website work, meaning the beating heart of it, need to be looked after. This is maintenance.
For example, you wouldn’t stop to look after the house you bought, you want it to stay solid and withstanding any weather – ensure the roof doesn’t leak and the bricks are kept together with mortar, etc. It is the same with your website, it needs to be in good shape to support your business.
Managing your website
Let’s continue to use the ‘your own house’ comparison – adding a front porch or colour to the doors, adding flowers/pots, mailbox, different shutters or curtains, etc. This is where you value to your property and make it attractive. Hence, managing your property.
Let’s translate this into tasks for your website. Examples of this can be:
• Writing regular blog posts
• Check and update blog posts
• Review your website overall for set up and structure (where can it be improved?)
• Is your branding and design up to date (images, photos, other graphics, etc)
• SEO – check and update on pages, posts, etc
• Go over content to ensure grammar and accuracy is there and no typing errors, etc.
• Landing pages and pop ups – for relevance and possible content/design updates
Again, if we look at the frequency of checking or changing, this again depends on what the task is. Writing blog posts can be weekly, whilst checking through them for updates can be quarterly job. Branding and design could be half-yearly or yearly, same for SEO. Whilst reviewing your overall website is more of a yearly job.
Here’s the recap on my meaning of Management:
To look after the packaging of your website, anything that relates to content and design aspects.
It is the ‘surface’ part that draws a person in, makes them want to find out more about you and your business. Everything that allows you to build a relationship with your audience, clients, suppliers, etc.
Why is understanding the difference beneficial?
As you see the maintenance covers the technical aspect of your website whilst the management side covers the content and certain creative aspects of it.
Not only will this assist you when either setting one up yourself but also when planning ahead (programs, online courses, etc.). Knowing this difference helps you with prioritising the work – weekly to yearly but also ‘myself versus outsourcing’.
This clarity provides you the confidence to:
• Ensure the maintenance is regularly schedule in
• Plan out the management side with more clarity and aligned with your business plan/vision.
• Decide which parts you can and want to do yourself
• When and where to get assistance for one or more parts (website developer, VA, copy writer, designer, etc.)
More importantly, knowing all the above ensures your website will continue to be a stable and healthy home for your coaching business, now and in the future.
Are you stuck with the management part of your website and how to look after it properly? Book in a time with me for a ‘Connecting the Dots’ Clarity Session so I can help you gain back control of this.