My Website Looks & Functions Just Fine—Is a Rebuild Really Necessary?
When switching to a new digital marketing company, something you may be told is your website needs to be rebuilt as part of the SEO and web strategy takeover process. While this is not likely news you want or expect to hear—particularly if you are pleased with the current look and function of your site—rebuilding the backend of a website in certain circumstances is critical to the long-term success of your online strategy.
So when exactly is a site rebuild necessary—and why?
Perhaps the most common need for a backend website rebuild involves the quantity and type of plugins that have been installed to enhance functionally of the site at one point or another. As discussed in our previous post on WordPress plugins versus custom coding for websites, too many plugins—as well as those created for general use and/or by unknown sources—can negatively impact site speed, security, and performance.
Let’s break these points down a bit further.
When opening a website, Internet browsers (e.g. Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) process code to display web pages in all of their glory. Since each plugin used on a site adds another block of coding that has to be crawled and interpreted, a greater number of plugins can correlate to slower site speeds. And—though it may not seem like much—adding a mere second or two to site load time can have dire consequences for search engine rankings, web traffic, and patient conversions.
In its webmaster tools, Google names site speed as a signal used to rank websites, acknowledging that faster sites receive an edge over slower sites in search engine results with all else being equal. Additionally, industry statistics indicate approximately 40 percent of users leave sites that take longer than three seconds to load, and even a single second delay in page speed can yield a seven percent decrease in conversions.
With this information in mind, it’s clear site speed is important—and a backend website rebuild to remove particularly excessive, problematic, and/or outdated plugins when necessary can be vital to improving this key metric.
[Related: Why Is Site Speed So Important?]
Plugins are not intrinsically bad. In fact, they can be essential to optimizing site functionality and creating the best user experience possible for visitors. The issue, however, lies in the fact that plugins can be created by anyone—and for a wide range of purposes—which increases the potential for website security threats when adding outsourced plugins to your site.
To paint a picture, let’s say you add a third-party plugin to your website that seemingly solves a problem or enhances a specific function. If the plugin was poorly developed, your site may now be vulnerable to security issues either upon installation or at some point down the line as a result of faulty coding. In the event the plugin was generated properly by a reputable source, you still might not be out of the woods. Many plugins are built for a particular purpose at a certain time, but never updated as supportive software advances thereafter. This, too, can lead to significant website security breaches.
With web security also being a major Google ranking factor, having several non-reputable and/or outdated plugins installed on your website can be a tremendous threat to your site’s search engine performance—let alone the safety and confidentiality of your patients’ information. Depending on the total number of plugins and their levels of risk, having them removed and replaced with a smaller number of reputable and/or customized plugins via a backend rebuild may be needed to ensure optimal security and rankings.
Just as site speed and security can be impacted, overall site performance can take a hit as a result of excessive, poorly built, and/or outdated plugins. For example, too many plugins can not only be difficult to manage and keep up-to-date, they can actually lead to conflicting code that cancels out the desired effect(s) on particular pages—or worse, breaks the entire site. Additionally, improperly designed or outdated plugins containing coding that’s no longer supported have the potential to make a website crash, creating the need for a massive (and often costly) cleanup effort.
Dysfunctional page features and full website crashes are undesirable for obvious reasons, so in the event current or potential plugin issues are detected, a backend rebuild may be in your best interest for long-term site performance—even if your site looks and works just fine at present.
Will My Website Be Rebuilt Without Plugins?
As previously mentioned, not all plugins are bad—and the right ones can add considerable value in the form of user experience and functionality to your website. When a backend site rebuild is advised by Rosemont Media, our aim is to achieve optimal website speed, security, and performance by using a limited number of reputable and/or custom-built plugins that can be easily maintained over time for lasting online success.
A Rebuild Can Also Involve an Upgrade
In addition to ensuring your website is equipped with plug-ins and other technological tools to make the user experience fast and secure, you can take advantage of a site rebuild to upgrade your website overall. Giving your site a refresh every now and then can be good for SEO and enhance it with the latest advances in website design and navigation. These occasional upgrades can be relatively minor, or they can be a more comprehensive revamp to provide your site with an inviting new look while giving viewers even faster and easier access across your site’s pages. Consistent replenishing of content, utilizing good plug-ins and removing the bad or unnecessary, and maintaining both the look and navigation of your website can not only help you see rewards from the search engines, but also make the user experience a consistently pleasant one!
If you have any questions about the rebuild process, or if you would like to speak with one of our knowledgeable consultants about anything digital marketing-related, please contact Rosemont Media today. We are happy to help!
Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on September 9, 2020.