How Often Does a Website Need Maintenance?

The short answer is it depends on your business, but most of our clients receive maintenance on a monthly schedule.

In order to answer this question more fully, let’s take a brief look at the history of website maintenance and security.

In the past, most websites did not need maintenance because they were not built on open-source platforms like WordPress. The solution was to simply not have maintenance–aka software updates–but to take other basic security and anti-spam measures.

However, over the past ten years, open-source website-building software has become more popular than ever, and because open-source software is available to anyone on the internet, some try to exploit it.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the most popular open-source website platform. It’s called WordPress.

Websites built with WordPress from 2011-2021

WordPress is an open-source platform that requires regular software updates.

Over 40% of all websites today are built on WordPress and require maintenance, but there’s even more open-source website-building software that is also popular today.

Websites using closed-source vs. open-source website platforms from 2011-2021.

Open-source website platforms have overtaken closed-source.

Because websites are being built increasingly on open-source software platforms, regular maintenance is in higher and higher demand to keep websites secure.

But why is maintenance required with open-source software?

Open-source software is accessible to good guys and bad guys alike. Anyone can view the source code and try to exploit it or improve it.

And because nowadays over half of all websites are sitting on top of open-source software, regular maintenance is required to update the software and keep the website secure.

Here’s a quick look at how open-source software updates flow through the ecosystem of websites:

Open-source software is maintained by a community that is constantly improving the software. As the software developers release security patches and other code updates, each website using the software has to update to the latest version.

When websites are out of date there is increased risk of the bad guys exploiting them.

Although many websites today are not maintained regularly, and they get by without any major issues, there is still a risk of being hacked when there is no regular maintenance plan and security patching. And contrary to a common belief, even small websites get targeted by hackers.

For most clients we’ve found that monthly updates are a good fit.

But, depending on your business and the importance of your website, you may find that your website needs to be updated anywhere between quarterly and weekly.

If you would like to have a discussion about your business needs you can contact us here or check out the website integrity offering for more information.