3 Reasons Your Website is Like a Car

The process of buying a website and a car are somewhat similar. Let’s look at the factors involved in buying a car and compare those to the factors in buying a website.

1. Tool vs Necessity

Most folks buy a car to get from point A to point B. This is especially true if the car is primarily used “in town”.

Buying a car for “in town” usually means buying a used car that gets decent gas mileage and looks ok. You find the cheapest liability insurance you can find…15 minutes could…well, you know. There’s no need for AAA either.

In contrast, someone looking to use their car as a tool to make money approaches the process differently.A person looking to use their car professionally will often be making long business trips in this car. The appearance of the car sets the tone for a great first impression when he/she pulls up to a meeting. They keep the car clean inside and out for when they have a companion and they do not mind paying for full-coverage insurance and AAA. They see the value in having a solid backup plan for when (note I said “when”) something goes wrong.

What about your website? Do you look at your website as the necessary brochure or business card you need to have? Or is your website going to be the tool that gives your customers the best first impression you can give.

Is your website a tool to sell your products? Is it a place to introduce customers to your brand?

2. Maintenance

Just as a car breaks down, your website will break down. It’s not an “if”…it’s a “when”. Over time, the technology used to build your website will become outdated and will need to be updated. There are many services involved in creating and maintaining a website.

Some people do not know this; they assume the website should always work without any maintenance. When the website is slow to load or breaks, they get frustrated. Again, this is similar with most people’s expectation of their car. When your tire goes flat from running over a nail, you get upset. When your alternator or water pump go out (or both!) you’re upset.

Your alternator is technology. It wears down, gets old, and breaks down. The same is true for the web servers, web languages, web browsers, and other technologies used to create your website.

For example, many sites use WordPress (or some kind of CMS – Content Management System) to power their site and there are several reasons for using WordPress; One is WordPress’s dynamic capabilities and the ease of editing the website. It’s great! In fact, we use it on most of the sites we build.

WordPress updates…often. Most of the time these updates are security updates. Which leads to the next point.

3. Security

Another great feature of WordPress is the ability to use plugins. These plugins provide features that would take hours to custom code. Lightboxes for images, various kinds of forms, the ever-popular homepage slider, etc…you can now have these features added to your website in minutes thanks for plugins.

Plugins update as well…often. Some website owners do not even know where to start when it comes to updating their plugins.

One of the easiest ways for your site to get hacked is by having an outdated version of WordPress and/or having outdated plugins. A bot the hacker creates travels the web looking for sites with vulnerabilities. When it stumbles upon your site and discovers the vulnerability, it proceeds to focus on your site and can possibly hack it.

So the solution is easy: Keep WordPress and all plugins up to date. Sounds simple enough right?

But wait, how do you know when there’s an update? Also, WordPress advises you to make a backup when you update. How can you do that…easily? You’re a business owner, you’re not a web designer…but you are the website owner.

Again, the car parallels nicely here. I gladly pay someone to change my oil for me. I gladly pay someone to change my tires, brakes, and fix my car. I understand the importance of having my car run well and be reliable. I understand my car needs the oil changed from time to time. I’m not angry at my car manufacturer when this time comes.

Most people are angry with their website designers/developers when their website goes down. I’m here to tell you it’s probably not their fault.

More than likely, the website needs updating; the hosting company is having issues; or your local internet service provider is having issues.

What can you do? You can have someone take care of these issues for you and provide some security…”insurance” if you will. Some people opt for full-coverage insurance for peace of mind, we offer similar coverage for your website.

So…I come to my pitch.

Artillery Media offers a Maintenance Plan. The plan offers:

  • Daily update checks for WordPress updates and 3rd party plugin updates
  • Weekly or Daily backups for 31 days (most hosting companies I’ve worked with only go back 3-7 days)
  • 1-2 hours of technical support per month (normally $75 per hour during business hours, $125 during off-business hours and weekends)

Interested? Visit our Maintenance Plans page.
Also, for extra security, I recommend Sucuri’s Firewall. I use it on this site. It blocks the malicious traffic before they can even search my site for vulnerabilities.