Website Maintenance Guide: Key Issues to Watch Continually

Website Maintenance Guide: Key Issues to Watch Continually

Your website is perhaps the most important checkpoint between you and your clients. It’s the digital face, the presentation of your company and brand in the virtual world that can impact your business’s success.

Unfathomably, it seems that some website owners haven’t grasped this concept yet and think that having a website created and published is sufficient in itself. In the words (and voice) of the Don – It’s not, capisce?

You’ve got to put in the right amount of time and effort to cultivate your digital headquarters. To make it easier, you need a plan, a good plan, with scheduled website maintenance activities. Whatever you do, just don’t skimp on it. Invest in your digital presence and you’ll be reaping the rewards of your hard work in no time.

Your website is the digital face, the presentation of your company and brand in the virtual world that can impact your business’s success.

Wondering where to start? Good thing you asked. Here are the top website maintenance aspects to watch out for continually.

Security and Other Important Updates

Unfortunately, there are not only flowers and unicorns on the Internet. There are malicious users, and it is not rare to hear about major and minor security breaches affecting companies of all size. So, securing your website from attacks is your number one concern.

First things first, the security of your website needs to be your top priority.

When it comes to website maintenance, security comes first.

You need to check and keep all your platforms, plug-ins, frameworks, scripts, and, if you have access, servers up to date to make sure your website is as hackproof as possible. New updates usually contain security patches or bug fixes that web developers make when a vulnerability or security issue has been identified. And this applies to any other software updates of the operating system, database, content management system (CMS), etc. Updates are even more important if you’re running an eCommerce business/website and have access to your customers’ private data.

New updates usually contain security patches or bug fixes that web developers make when a vulnerability or security issue has been identified.

Online security is important for both you and your clients and attending to this monthly or as needed is imperative. Conclusion – update, secure, and stay ahead of the game.

Next up – Website Backup

There are a plethora of worst-case scenarios, from a hacker managing to get through your security to a breakdown caused by a component incompatibility. In any case, it is crucial to have a website backup ready because that means you can recover quickly.

For the majority of websites, there are two main things you need to back up and document in a known location: the site files and the database. The first one includes website framework, plugins, theme, design, customization, and the latter storage engine your website uses to store site content and configuration. Remember to check the backup to ensure it’s working and that your website data is retrievable.

Doctor’s orders – do this once a month and you’ll be fine.

Website Maintenance - Backup

Domain Name Renewal

When you register your domain name and hosting, you do that for a limited time, most often for a period of one year. That is why you have to make sure to renew them regularly. Especially your domain name. You don’t want to wake up one day and realise someone else moved to your address just because you forgot to renew your domain, right?

When you register your domain name and hosting, you do that for a limited time, most often for a period of one year.

When choosing a registrar to get hosting from and register your domain name with, make sure to pick those who will be able to provide you 24/7 support along with other benefits. As for choosing a domain name, we at .ME Registry try to maintain the trust in the .ME domain space, putting certain practices in place that protect it from abuse as much as possible. In addition, there are some optional services that .ME domain holders can make use of, such as DNSSEC and Registry Lock.

Not to mention with .ME you have a great domain name that appeals to your customers by creating a call to action out of the name of your business. 😉

Run Tests

You’ve created a great website that’s intuitive and enjoyable for your users. If you want to keep it that way, you need to schedule annual user testing to maintain the good user experience aspect of your website. Organize a group of people outside your business and ask them to browse the site. Include:

  • Website and browser compatibility – Test how your website is running in different browsers and on different devices because website layout or technology may become incompatible as browsers get updated.
  • Test purchases – If you have an eCommerce, the purchasing function is the most important aspect of your website. Make a few test purchases to see how everything is going. Also, test this on different devices and in different browsers to see if there are any glitches or malfunctions.
  • Test all the forms on the website – The fill-out, contact forms have to work flawlessly. Otherwise, you risk missing out on valuable leads.
  • Test load time – Apart from being a characteristic of good web design, site speed is an important factor of user experience which also adds up to your SEO. Google, for instance, attributes a special tag and better rankings to mobile-friendly websites. Having in mind that the average Internet user expects a site to load in two seconds, load time is an important aspect that needs to be tested regularly.

In terms of test frequency, it would be best to perform these checks quarterly.

Website Maintenance - Backup and Test

Website analytics

By monitoring website analytics and reviewing your KPIs and SEO reports, you can get valuable insights into how people are finding and using your website. Also, this is a crucial step for website owners because the information about the traffic they get from ads, posts, videos, social tools and such, can tell them how to steer their marketing efforts and improve their SEO and site engagement.

If something like a sudden drop in metric or traffic occurs, that usually points to an issue with a marketing channel, or a technology change, or that is time to rethink your digital strategy, so checking the website metrics with a tool like Google Analytics weekly also needs to be a part of our website maintenance.

Check for Broken Links

Maintaining your website in terms of tracking down any broken links is also a part of your preventative maintenance. Whether you’re a business owner, a nonprofit or a lifestyle blog, providing your clients and readers with reliable links and information will contribute to your reputation and credibility.

There a lot of free tools like the Google Search Console that can help you with this task and check your website for broken or dead links. The entire process is usually straightforward and simple, and once you’ve identified the broken links, work on removing them or replacing them with up to date ones.

Legal Disclaimers

Perform security updates, backup, website tests, monitor analytics, fix broken links, comply with laws and regulations, and renew your domain name.

Staying compliant with laws and regulations is a necessary part of your website and business maintenance. You need to review and update your Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions of Use and Service, Terms of Sale, and any other disclaimers. Remember GDPR?

E-commerce sites also need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI). This is a security standard that controls credit cardholder data to prevent and reduce fraud. In this way, you stay compliant with the laws and maximize the security of cardholder data.

It may seem that website maintenance is a load of work. However, your website IS your brand’s most valuable asset, so invest in the process and you will reap the benefits.

Author:

Goran Bogunovic

Now, you're probably wondering how I got here! Running a marketing agency, educating people about branding, and helping you to develop your own presence online. To understand, you’ll need to follow me @Domain.Me

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