How Important is Hosting and Maintenance of Your Website? Hint….It’s CriticalSeptember 12, 2023 | By: Susan Brake
In the fast-paced digital landscape of today, a strong online presence is integral to our work in economic development. We know, based on our Winning Strategies report, that one of the first impressions that site selectors and corporate executives have about a location is through online research, which includes your website.
While much of the discussion happens around launching and building a website, a critical part of the discussion should focus on how to maintain your website so that your pipeline stays full and that your website stays up and running.
Maintenance comes in many forms from search engine optimization (SEO) updates to new content and pages, as well as overall regular technical maintenance updates and reliable hosting. Just like we must change the oil to keep our cars running well, the backend work to maintain the health of your website is an important step that should not be overlooked.
Here are just a few benefits that come when your website is maintained and hosted on a secure server.
1. Optimal Performance and User Experience
The first impression is often the last impression, especially in the digital realm. A well-maintained website ensures optimal performance, providing visitors with a seamless and engaging user experience. Slow loading times, broken links and outdated content can deter potential customers and hinder economic progress. On the other hand, routine maintenance updates, such as software patches and security enhancements, keep the website running smoothly, allowing visitors to navigate effortlessly and interact with the content. This positive experience encourages longer visits, higher engagement, and increased chances of conversion – all vital when it comes to driving leads and engagement in your economic development efforts.
2. Search Engine Visibility and Traffic
In the competitive online landscape, visibility is key. Search engine optimization is a critical factor in ensuring that a website ranks high in search engine results. Regular maintenance updates contribute to SEO efforts by improving website speed, fixing broken links and ensuring compatibility with the latest search algorithms. In addition, reliable hosting ensures minimal downtime, which is essential for search engine crawlers to index the website properly. Also, minimal downtown is critical for human users as well – think how frustrated you feel when you visit a site, only to find that it’s not up and running. A well-optimized website with strong search engine visibility drives organic traffic, which can lead to increased brand exposure, customer engagement, and, ultimately, more leads for your business development pipeline.
3. Data Security and Customer Trust
Cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses and consumers alike. A website that handles sensitive information, such as payment details or personal data, must prioritize data security. Regular maintenance updates include security patches that protect the website from vulnerabilities and potential breaches. A secure website fosters trust among customers, assuring them that their information is safe. DCI partners with WP Engine to host and maintain all our economic development websites. This partnership allows us to set up redundancies, reduce downtime and protect against cyberattacks. Another added benefit is that our server is specific only to economic development websites. It’s not a shared server space, with other industries and their websites and agencies who could go rogue and possibly download a wonky plug-in that puts your site at risk, but one that is specific only to our clients and our work.
Maintenance updates and hosting services are not just technical necessities – they are powerful drivers of success for your economic development organization. A well-maintained website ensures optimal performance, enhances search engine visibility and fosters data security and customer trust. Embracing the importance of maintenance updates and reliable hosting is a strategic decision that paves the way for sustained success for economic development in the digital realm.
If you are interested in learning more about DCI’s hosting and maintenance services for economic development, please reach out to me today.