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Ongoing maintenance retainers: the business case

In today’s digital age, the importance of maintaining and updating software platforms cannot be overstated. Just as a car requires regular servicing to run smoothly, so does a software platform or CMS. Senior Account Manager Sarah Jones takes a look at why ongoing maintenance retainers are not just a good idea, but a strategic necessity for businesses.

Why are updates and maintenance necessary?

Software, by its very nature, requires incremental improvements and regular updates to ensure it remains reliable, performant, and functions as intended. A platform or CMS is a valuable asset that demands consistent attention to guarantee optimal performance, security, and a seamless user experience.

The care of these platforms goes beyond ensuring they continue to function as expected. Cyber threats pose a significant risk to enterprise organisations, so ensuring the security of these platforms is paramount. Regular updates often come with security patches that guard against known vulnerabilities, ensuring that user data and business information remain protected.

What’s more, in a world where user experience can make or break a business’s digital reputation, it’s vital that platforms offer a seamless and glitch-free experience to all end-users, particularly when a recent survey shows that one in two users will abandon a site that takes longer than six seconds to load. Regular maintenance and updates ensure that any bugs or issues that could hinder this experience are promptly addressed.

Software updates for peak performance

Like all software, platforms such as WordPress are in a state of constant evolution. Regular updates are crucial, offering essential bug fixes and vital security patches.

Let’s take a look at some of the key maintenance components and the benefits of keeping them in tip-top shape.

ComponentWhat is it?Benefit of maintaining
Upgrades of third-party pluginsWordPress’s vast library of plugins and themes offers incredible functionality and design. However, outdated or incompatible elements can pose risks.

Plugins are monitored and updated based on third-party recommendations.
With maintenance retainers, experts regularly review and update these elements, ensuring compatibility and security, and preserving a seamless user experience.

This leads to enhanced performance and efficiency. Updated plugins are equipped with the latest software and security features, reducing compatibility issues and ensuring best practices.
WordPress incremental updatesWordPress consistently releases both minor and major version updates. Regular software updates, security patches, and vulnerability assessments are essential.These updates offer myriad advantages, from improved security and access to the latest features to enhanced performance, bug fixes, and better compatibility. These measures drastically reduce the risk of breaches and data leaks.
Performance monitoringSlow-loading platforms can negatively impact user experience and search rankings.

Performance results can be tracked, compared, and analysed in each sprint, with collaborative planning for future work.
Ongoing maintenance monitors and optimises performance, from image optimisation to database cleanup, leading to higher engagement and better conversion rates.

This ensures a high-performing platform that drives organic traffic, offers a seamless on-site experience, and boosts conversions.
Bug fixes and technical debt managementSometimes, compromises are made prioritising outcomes over code structure, leading to technical debt.Addressing this ensures a reliable, secure, and performant platform, enhancing the user experience and editorial operations.
Technical SEO improvementsSEO is an ever-evolving field, and platforms need to adapt to stay competitive.Regular updates and tweaks ensure that the platform remains search-engine friendly, driving more organic traffic.
Hosting provider updatesHosting directly influences a website’s speed, uptime, and overall user experience.Hosting updates can allow your business to take advantage of new versions of PHP, new features, and capabilities of your hosting platform. Check out examples from Altis Cloud.

Why invest in ongoing maintenance retainers?

Digital platforms, which often serve as the primary interface between a business and its customers, are more than just operational necessities; they are integral components of a company’s brand identity, customer experience, and operational efficiency. Given their significance, the decision to invest in ongoing maintenance retainers becomes less about cost and more about strategic foresight.

At its core, an ongoing maintenance retainer is a commitment to excellence. It’s an acknowledgment that in the rapidly evolving world of technology, static solutions quickly become obsolete. Regular maintenance ensures that platforms remain agile, adapting to the latest technological advancements, user preferences, and industry best practices.

This proactive approach not only ensures optimal performance but also significantly reduces the risk of unexpected issues or downtimes that can disrupt business operations and negatively impact customer trust.

Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of ongoing maintenance retainers is the partnership with seasoned professionals. By collaborating with experts who specialise in platform maintenance and optimisation, businesses can redirect their focus towards what they do best: their core operations.

This collaboration not only ensures that the technical aspects of the platform are in capable hands, but also fosters a symbiotic relationship where experts can provide insights, recommendations, and innovations tailored to the business’s unique needs.

Want more food for thought? Check out Sarah’s post on why WordPress retainers provide a strategic advantage for enterprises.

Ready to discuss your enterprise WordPress retainer? Get in touch!