The Importance of Website Maintenance: Key Considerations

Feb 11, 2013

You just launched your new site. Time to kick up your feet and relax, right?

Unfortunately not. Your site is going to need regular monitoring and maintenance. What sort of things should you keep on top of, and what are the consequences you face if you don't?

Software Patches

To minimize the risk of your site being compromised, it needs to be running the current stable versions of the software it relies on. When security threats are announced, patches are also supplied. It's at this point your development team should immediately apply these patches to prevent your site from being compromised.

  • Threat — your site could go offline, you could lose all your files and customer information could be stolen.
  • Recovery — restore from a backup and patch security holes immediately.
  • Prevention — subscribe to patch announcements and apply them promptly.


Every site is subject to downtime. On the rare occasion this occurs, it is usually a hosting platform issue. Often an outage with the platform your site depends on is the problem. For example, if your site is hosted with Heroku, it might actually be an Amazon cloud service that Heroku relies on which causes the downtime.

  • Threat — your website goes offline or runs extremely slow for hours.
  • Recovery — hold tight and wait until the service that is down comes back online.
  • Prevention — co-locating where your site is hosted can help prevent downtime.

Over Capacity

At any time, your site could be flooded with traffic because of an event. Perhaps a popular blog linked to your site in a new post. Although this is often a wonderful thing, your hosting may not be set up to cope with the high demand, so your site grinds to a halt.

  • Threat — slow unusable site potentially making it completely unreachable during a popular time.
  • Recovery — increase hosting capacity.
  • Prevention — use a cloud hosting platform that allows you to easily scale up and down your capacity. Consider setting up an autoscaling service that will automatically increase capacity when it sees fit.

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