Owning a website comes with certain responsibilities. You can’t just build it and forget it. Well you can, but regular website maintenance is a must if you want your site to be successful. Regular maintenance can:
Keep your site secure. Websites get hacked, and hacked sites lose visitors and traffic.
Prevent you from losing everything by keeping a regular backup schedule.
Prevent disgruntled users because something doesn’t work or you provided a broken link.
Keep regular visitors happy by giving them fresh, updated information and exciting news.
There are all kinds of things that need to be done when maintaining a website. Whether you decide to do these yourself or hire out the work, it still needs to be done.
Here’s a quick list to get you going on keeping your website humming:
Keep secure: monitor for malware, viruses, hackers, and errors
Hackers don’t usually announce themselves on the front page of your website. You could be infected and not even know that your site is being used to send spam emails or links to nefarious parts of the web. Setting up a regular monitoring service will ensure that if you do get infected or have site errors, you can fix them fast.
Keep a regular backup schedule
Backing up your site is something that should be done regularly, especially for those who update their site often. Things happen. Do not expect your web host to be keeping a scheduled backup for you. While they may be, it could be old, and not on track with your latest site updates. If the server crashes for some reason, or your site gets hacked, or you make some major mistake, your edits could be gone.
Keep updated: Software
Most websites are built on a content management system, which means it’s software that can potentially be exploited. We use WordPress for many reasons, but one is that it’s constantly being updated, improved, and made more secure. When WordPress releases a new version, it’s a must to update your site. Failing to do this leaves you vulnerable. Plugin updates should be treated in the same way – all software updates are a form of protection.
Keep updated: Content
This isn’t strictly a maintenance issue, but we feel it’s so important to keep your site fresh and updated on the content front that we’re including it. A regular blogging or publishing schedule that pushes out relevant content will keep your returning visitors happy and engaged. The search engines will like you a whole lot more too. If there was one piece of SEO advice we had to give it’s this: Publish relevant content, and publish it often.
There’s a few other tasks that we should mention too:
Check for broken links – nobody likes broken links. Nobody.
Check site speed. A fast site is a good site.
Track your site statistics. We set up Google Analytics on every site we build, but if you don’t check you don’t know.
We’ll be continuing to publish articles about maintaining websites. Follow along here: Web Maintenance