Should You Do Your Own Server Maintenance?
If you run a small company, I understand how tempting it is to try to do everything on your own. You probably have done a decent job setting up WordPress, buying a theme, customizing that theme and putting together a fairly professional looking site. You probably have done a good job driving traffic to your website. In fact, if you’re like the typical one-person operation, you probably have gone quite far in building a solid brand for your company.
Now, as awesome as these victories may be, server maintenance is a completely different ball of wax. It really is. And it’s too easy to develop confidence in doing certain things with your website and automatically assuming that if you can do those other tasks, you can also do a decent job maintaining your own server.
This might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back because there are certain skill sets that require a tremendous amount of training and attention to detail. There are a lot of risks involved. If you are completely blind to these risks, you might be jeopardizing the future success of your company.
Things To Consider
So how high exactly are the stakes that we’re talking about here? Well, any or none of the following can happen if you do your own server maintenance.
First, you might make the problems worse. It may turn out that the WordPress plugin that you installed had issues because the coder used the wrong modules. It might turn out that the software that you installed on your server is badly misconfigured and made another piece of software perform badly. Whatever the case may be, it can become really tricky and confusing.
Now, if you were to jump in there and try to make fixes yourself, you might actually end up making the problem worse. Instead of things getting better, the scale of the problem might actually worsen. This, of course, brings to light the next possibility: your site might be damaged.
Now, if your site is damaged, it’s very easy to see. When you load the site, certain things don’t appear right. In fact, if the damage it bad enough, the website completely disappears. This is an issue because for every minute your website is inaccessible, you are losing potential business. You probably already know this. So do yourself a big favor and think long and hard whether it’s a good idea to do your own server maintenance.
I don’t mean to point out the obvious, but it needs to be done. Online businesses need to be visible for them to be viable in the long run.
If you want to make money, if you want to turn your online income dreams into a reality, your website has to be seen. This goes beyond server maintenance. This goes beyond the quality of your host. You have to make sure that your website is always available.
A lot is riding on it. You’re spending a lot of time, effort and money building a solid brand. It really would be sad to see all of that go up in smoke because the server installation that you used to become the online home of your brand is faulty. Reliability is crucial.
So what am I trying to say? Well, let me spell it out: unless you are a server maintenance professional and you have many years of experience doing this under your belt, it’s probably a good idea to not take matters into your own hands.
I know you’re confident about doing all sorts of other stuff, I know that you have achieved a lot of other victories, but believe me, when it comes to the inner core of the software heart of your website, it’s probably a good idea to just leave it to the professionals. Leave it to people who have made it their vocation to get into the guts of your server and fix certain issues.
The bottom line is, you have better uses of your time. As an entrepreneur, your number one activity should be to take your business to the next level. It’s all about mapping new marketing and product development strategies. It’s all about creating business development partnerships. None of these involve rolling up your sleeves and getting into the guts of your server software.
So now that I’ve opened up your mind to outsourcing this type of specialized labor to a professional company, how can you spot such a company? What should you look for?
First, you only do business with a company with a track record. This company must have been around. This company must have delivered solutions for an extended period of time.
Second, it has to have experience with the right types of businesses. In other words, make sure that this company has dealt with online businesses that have very complicated software as well as simple software. If you’re going to be doing business with a company that only has experience with very simple problems, that company might not be prepared to handle potential issues with your software.
Also, it’s a good idea to do business with a company that has a long client list. This pretty much speaks for itself. You know the company does a good job because word does get around. People tend to refer companies that do a decent job.
You should also look for wide service range, as well as 24/7 availability. If the company is available all hours of the day, on a365-day basis, you know you’re on solid ground. It’s also a good idea to make sure that they cover a wide range of services. All sorts of things could go wrong with your server, so it’s really important to make sure that the company can handle as many different layers of services as possible.
Finally, last but not least, look for a company that is confident about the work that they do. It’s a serious red flag when a company does not have enough confidence in the work it does. Something can go wrong. We’re talking about very sensitive pieces of software here.
Believe it or not, even if your website is down for only one minute in a day, this outage reflects badly on the brand equity of your company. If this persists for a long enough time, people might have all sorts of negative associations with your business.
You might otherwise offer a solid value proposition as far as your products and services go, but most people wouldn’t want to touch you with a ten-foot pole because you have developed a reputation for being unreliable. Don’t let things reach this point. Hire a professional server maintenance company so you don’t have to worry about this headache.