I have a nice new website. So why do I have to pay for maintenance?

We like to draw the comparison with a new car: it may come with a warranty, but you still need to meet the running costs - fuel, engine servicing, new tyres and all the rest of it, and a website is much the same.

When you create a new website, these days it will usually be based on some form of Content Management System (CMS): Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal, or (heaven forbid) one of the hosted web site builder services such as Wix or Squarespace.

That means that your site will be running a CMS software package on a server somewhere, and software needs looking after like your car. Software needs updating for security, feature enhancements, and sometimes because the underlying hosting applications are updated or modified. This is particularly the case with systems like Joomla and Wordpress which are likely to have additional 3rd party 'plugins' installed to provide extended functionality or custom templates or themes. Hosted website builders mostly handle updates automatically in the background, whereas for other CMS applications updates need to be manually installed, or in some cases automatically installed by services running on the server, such as Softaculous, or through remote monitoring services such as Watchful.

Updating systems like Joomla and Wordpress are usually very straightforward, and within the capabilities of any reasonably tech-savvy person - if you can install apps on your computer, you should be able to manage the routine maintenance of your website. Much easier than home servicing your car, and less messy (provided you backup the site first so you can 'roll back' in the event of something going wrong).

But sometimes users can be put off by the seeming complexity of a website CMS interface and prefer to have a professional carry out such tasks, and some jobs go beyond simple core or plugin updates, such as modifications to layouts / templates / or themes, or 'major version' updates (which are really 'migrations' rather than updates) which might be beyond the capabilities, or just out of the comfort zone, of occasional web site managers, and require an expert.

And that is where we fit in. Rather like your garage, we are there to carry out the routine maintenance of your site: routine updates, security patches, plugin updates and the like, to keep things running smoothly. For sites that we host and support, we also monitor uptime and response times, keep an eye on your CMS and plugins that need updating, and carry out automated backups (in addition to the routine daily hosting backups). For sites we aren't hosting, we can do the same, for a modest extra annual fee of course.