Digital Product Maintenance: What Is It And Why Is It Important?
A digital product – whether it be an application or website – is just like a machine, it requires constant maintenance and care to ensure optimal running capacity. A lot of people believe that a digital product is the type of thing that you can create and then forget about – but in today’s blog, our Melbourne-based web agency is going to explain to you in-depth why digital product maintenance is so important and what exactly it entails.
What does maintenance entail?
There’s a lot of work that goes into crafting a digital product – hours upon hours that goes into researching, coding, designing, testing etc. But, after all of that, the product is still not entirely self-sufficient. To ensure your digital product runs smoothly throughout its life, you should be actively monitoring your product, looking out for bugs or things that aren’t supposed to be there – as well as some more in-depth tasks.
Examples of maintenance practices
- Plugin updates: If your website is powered by WordPress or another CMS system then chances are you have one or several plugins installed – these could be used for anything from eCommerce features to simple visual elements. Your plugins should be kept up to date at all times to ensure you’re getting the full benefit of the plugin as well as maintaining security hygiene. Check your website’s backend once a month to ensure everything is updated.
- Regular testing: You should always be using your app or website to ensure that all the functionality and links work correctly. This is especially true when it comes to OS updates (especially major ones) in which core parts of the OS may be changed and not support parts of your digital product anymore. Checking the loading time is a good habit to get into – slow loading speeds (more than three seconds) should be reported to your web agency so they can try to further optimise and improve them. Ensure your site runs optimally on all device types (mobile with varying OS’, tablets etc.) Following these steps every week can make all the difference.
- End of life software: Staying up to date with all the software and programs you’re using is imperative as some of them may be coming to the end of their lifecycle. What this means is that the developer has chosen to no longer support it – which could result in potential security vulnerabilities and a lack of compatibility with other software in the future. If this occurs, then it’s best to seek out the newer version of the software or, if there is none, an alternative option.
- Blog posts and content maintenance: A good copywriter can help you consistently update your website each month with new SEO-optimised content and blog posts so you can stay relevant and rank competitively on Google. Additionally, going over old content every now and then can be important in case certain information becomes outdated or redundant – this is especially the case if you’ve referenced a certain number of years that would need to be changed on an annual basis.
Why is maintenance so important?
As we mentioned above, you’ve put all this work into your product – why stop there? It’s an ongoing project that requires constant tinkering and an innovative mindset. Your website, for example, is your storefront and representative in the digital space, so you’ll want to ensure that it’s not only running optimally but that it’s easily navigable and beautifully presented.
This may mean overhauling the design annually or bi-annually and incorporating modern trends, adding new pages every couple of months to further improve SEO or even regularly changing the graphics on the homepage. These elements all go a long way in driving conversions and ensuring your website is comfortably received by its intended audience. There are several small things you can do and not all maintenance tasks involve testing to ensure the site still works.
Some, like the ones above, involve making sure it stays relevant and attractive to your intended target audience. Of course, maintaining your website for security reasons is another side to it and one that is just as crucial if not more so. This is where ensuring your backend is airtight by updating plugins and all relevant software comes into play to make sure no malicious agents can gain access and cause trouble for you.
It can be easy to forget to do some of the tasks we’ve highlighted in this blog – especially if you’re just starting out and you have numerous other things on your plate. That’s why our web agency recommends establishing a checklist of things to do every week, month and year. Put a reminder in your digital calendar so you know when the time comes and thank us later.
Are you looking for a web agency in Melbourne?
Maintenance is essential in sustaining your digital product throughout its lifetime and ensuring its relevancy. AWD Digital can help you with all maintenance tasks for your website, application or other digital product. Our qualified and experienced team maintain digital products regularly and know all the tricks to ensure yours stays secure and relevant.