Do you want to know the real reason your website is not as safe or as fast as it could be? It’s the real reason you need website maintenance. And it has nothing to do with technology, knowledge or content.
It’s the same reason my garden isn’t the best garden in my neighbourhood, although there’s no reason it couldn’t be.
It’s the same reason my time to run 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) is unlikely to get better than 26 minutes any time soon.
And it’s the same reason I’m completely helpless if my motorbike breaks down on top of some Swiss mountain.
Website maintenance is not what you do
It’s because I’m not a gardener. I’m not a pro runner. I’m not a mechanic.
And the crucial thing is: I don’t want to be those things and that’s okay!
I don’t want to be a gardener. It’s fun and I enjoy learning how to grow my own veggies. But I only want to spend as much time as it takes to get to the point of harvesting those vegetables.
I enjoying reaping the benefits of exercising and feeling fit and healthy. Being fit is good enough for me. But I’m no elite runner and don’t have any desire to be the fastest runner on my block.
I enjoy driving my motorbike through the Alps or the Jura on a sunny day. I enjoy swinging into the corners and feeling the G force when I pull out of that corner with a smile on my face. I can ride the bike pretty well and I’ve never had an accident. But if it breaks down, God help me! I used to be able to dismantle the engine on my 1995 Shadow and put it back together. But it’s all electronics nowadays! I know nothing about modern bike electronics and don’t have any real drive to learn about it.
And that’s all okay! I don’t have to be ANY of those things.
The professionals can help me
Because if I need gardening advice I’ll go to the garden centre. I’ll ask one of their well-trained staff what kind of soil is best for this vegetable or how much water this shrub needs.
If I need advice on fitness training I’ll consult one of the health bloggers I respect. He or she obsesses enough with this stuff to spend most of their time on it. They don’t get caught up in the latest fads; fundamentals are the things that matter to them and that’s why I trust them.
If my bike has problems I’ll call the guy who sold it to me. I trust him. He’s very professional and he’s completely obsessed with motorbikes. That’s why he owns and runs a very successful bike shop.
But if my website speed drops or if I suspect there’s a security gap somewhere?
I’m a wordpress maintenance guy
Then I’ll happily spend hours poking around the server myself. I’ll analyse every bit of data a page loads to see what’s going on. And I’ll happily spend another few hours doing whatever it takes to fix it. I’ll read as much as I have to; I’ll experiment as much as I have to and I’ll spend as much money as I have to to get to a point I’m happy with.
But I’m a trained computer scientist. I’ve worked in that domain for 25 years because I love it. I really want to learn all I can about it. I really want to keep up with the crazy pace of change. I really want to see how far I can push a website to shave another millisecond off its’ loading time!
I do that because I obsess about it. It’s what I enjoy, it’s what I know very well and it’s what I’ve chosen to do every single day. I lie awake at night thinking about how to get a client site loading just that little bit faster (just ask my family!)
Because that’s what I do.
For the other stuff – I hand that over to people who know and care about it well. Finances, graphic design and motorcycle mechanics are some of the things I can’t or just don’t want to deal with. I pay other people to deal with them.
So, what are you obsessed about and spending your time on? Building a business that will genuinely help people and leave you feeling satisfied at the end of every day?
Or are you obsessed about learning the technology so you know exactly how to make your website that little bit faster, that little bit more secure?
If you aren’t obsessed about that, it’ll never be as fast and as safe as it can be.
And that’s okay. You should be obsessed with building and growing your great business. Leave the other stuff to other people.
What do you think? Do you delegate any of your tasks to others so that you can focus on what you do best? Let me know in the comments.
You're not a pro, but you want a super-fast WordPress website anyway?
No problem! This checklist will show how I get load times of 3 seconds or less. Even on cheap shared hosting!