Everything requires maintenance. It’s something we need to do to keep things running well. Your website is no different, having thousands of lines of code, it needs a maintenance plan.
Hi there, today we’re going to discuss Website Maintenance. Say you’ve just finished building your brand new company website. Your designer is likely to ask you if you’d like to consider a maintenance plan.
Most professional designers are likely going to offer you some sort of monthly plan to up keep your site. If they do, this is likely a good sign that they are capable of more than design. Since they built the website in the first place, they’re likely the best guys to support it.
What is Website Maintenance ?
Website maintenance is when someone checks out your website for any issues that may have cropped up. This person, often part of a support team, will check for any errors and important updates on the website. They’ll correct the issues, update the website and make any changes that the site may need.
It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s more or less what website maintenance is.
For those of you who are in a rush, here’s a quick list of website maintenance tasks that your site needs on a regular basis. If your web developer gave you a similar list, keep him. He knows what he’s talking about;
Maintenance Plan – 21 Point Guide to keep your website in good shape.
1. Are your pages loading correctly? Are there any error messages when a page loads? Does all the content load correctly or are there missing sections of the page?
2. Are your links working correctly? Are there any broken links? Or do any pages need to be re-directed? Broken links are when a link is pointing to a web page that doesn’t exit. Broken links are important enough that you want to deal with them immediately.
3. Are your contact forms working correctly, are you receiving requests from these forms? Are they user friendly and intuitive?
4. Are there any comments needing approval? Do any of the comments have bad language or is there any spam associated with some comments?
5. For e-commerce sites, is the check out process working correctly?
6. Are you able to login to site? Has the login been hacked? Are you utilizing two factor authentication?
7. Are there any pending updates? WordPress updates or which ever cms you’re using? How about plugin and theme updates? Sometimes your template designer may surprise you with an update!
8. How’s your security? Is your site using ssl encryption (https)? Run a malware scan and make sure there’s no infections and no blacklists. Check that your security package is up to date and perform a lock down. This is so important.
9. Have you taken a recent backup of the website? If not please take one straight away and keep it off site in case something happens.
10. Hows your site performance? Are your pages loading quickly for desktops and mobile phones?
11. Is your website rendering properly on mobile devices and on tablets? Are there any misaligned headings on these devices that could put off your visitors? Any issues with your web design not rendering properly is an issue that must be dealt with quickly.
13. Are all you images the correct sizes? Have they been optimized and compressed?
14. Have you checked your account on Google Search Console? Has Google flagged any issues on your website? Some issues include web design issues where the page may be wider than your mobile screen or links being too close together.
15. Have you submitted a sitemap lately? If you’ve added new content to your site, you might want to update your sitemap and submit it to google as soon as you can. You might want to create accounts with Yahoo and Bing as well to submit your latest sitemaps.
16. Have you checked your robots.txt file? Is it blocking search engines from indexing any part of your website?
17. When does you domain expire, and when is it time to renew your web hosting?
18. Have you checked your pages for spelling errors and correct heading tags (H1 to H6)? Does each page layout make sense?
19. Have you checked your website database and removed any unnecessary data? Is your database protected?
20. If you were a visitor to the site, do you feel that the design is good? Do you have the right content on each page? Does navigating the site feel intuitive and easy? Does the page answer all the questions your visitors might ask.
21. Does you website have some form of funnel and how do you know if your page has resulted in some form of action from the visitor? Is this system functioning properly?
9 GOOD REASONS TO DO REGULAR MAINTENANCE ON YOUR WEBSITE
1. Your Reputation depends on Website Maintenance
Your website is your most valuable digital marketing resource. If you site is not working or there is malware on the site, it reflects on you and can cause a loss in sales. Search engines are likely to flag sites that have been infected.
A visitor trying to access your site for information will likely to move on if they see your site has been flagged. Since your corporate image is attached to your website, you won’t want to have a bad review attached to your image. This is especially important for small business as losing a potential client is a huge deal.
2. Page Speed or Rendering Issues
A lack of a maintenance service agreement usually means that your site is not being attended to. Over time, performance and rending issues might crop up as technology advances.
When this happens you can be sure your visitors will turn to your competition. You might not be aware but the costs associated with loss of business from your site may be very expensive.
3. Website Security
Again, without website maintenance, your security plugins won’t get updates. Sooner or later you’re likely to get hacked and your website could become part of a botnet. Your site will get flagged and to undo this type of damage is costly.
4. Unsupported Plugins
With time, some of the developers may stop supporting certain plugins. Not only is this a security risk for your website, but as other features may get updated, eventually unsupported plugins may begin to stop functioning properly. This could cause some issues for your audience, which again are likely to not come back if the site doesn’t perform properly.
5. Poor User Experience
Your visitors and customers may begin to get frustrated from poor user experience. This will cause higher bounce rates and lower rankings. A vicious circle that can turn into a nightmare pretty quick.
This is not good news for you as you want to maintain a good flow of traffic to your website. More traffic is equal to more business and the opposite applies as well.
6. SEO Rankings – Search Engine Optimization
If your site is left unattended, your content becomes stale and outdated. New websites are being created every day. New competitors come onto the market who want take market share from you.
Unattended sites begin to lose their ranking as content becomes stale. Your ranking suffers and you lose opportunites you would have otherwise captured.
Creating new content on some type of schedule will help maintain rankings and even improve them.
7. Updating your own information
If you have moved your business to a new location, your site should reflect your new details on the contact us page. Other things that need consideration are copyright notices and legal disclaimers.
When was the last time you checked this information and does it still apply? Keeping tabs on these issues and making sure the information is up to date could be crucial for your business.
8. Traffic Data
Keeping tabs on the traffic you’re getting and their sources is paramount. You’ll be able to see where most of your traffic is coming from and create strategies to improve that source.
You can also use this information to try and figure out how to improve weaker sources of traffic. You can optimize your page ranking and your domain authority.
As part of your website maintenance you may want to tweak some of your posts. Create links to boost other posts that are not performing as well. You can also update design and images and make use of alt tags to attract more traffic.
9. Data Recovery
It goes without saying, that there will most likely be a time when your site crashes. It could be that the website has been hacked or something major has gone wrong.
It’s times like this that having your entire website backed up can save you a lot of time and hassle. Keeping a fresh copy of your website, including your database, on the cloud, can save the day.
If your website is not maintained, then often it will be a loyal customer that may point out to you that your site is down. Whilst some customers are understanding, not all are, and this can damage your credibility.
Sometimes it may be impossible to recover the site, which means that without a backup, the site will need to be recreated. This is very expensive considering the alternative is cheaper.
I hope this short post helps you. If you like what you see and you think to yourself that you’d like us to take care of these things for you. Please feel free to give a call on 0782 004 522. We’ll be happy to help you.