The Essential Checklist to Maintaining Your Website

 

Websites are an ideal marketer. They’re also effective in sales, customer service, and lead generation. But websites don’t run on autopilot. They need to be updated to stay effective, provide customers with accurate information and remain easy to find online.

Here are four essential points to check off your list during website maintenance:

Security

As you can imagine, security is one of, if not the most important feature of your website. And if you’re selling online or collecting any customer information, security is crucial to the success of both your website and your business.

Online security is more important than ever. Use secure services, https protocols, and strong passwords (we mean it!) as a start. You can also run security software that scans any uploaded files and checks your site for breaches or outdated software.

Even if you don’t collect any customer data or sell online, security is vital to your website’s health and effectiveness. Most web browsers will flag sites that have backend security issues. If your site gets flagged, potential visitors are shown an alarming warning page before they can even enter your site. To keep customers confident and prospects open, ensure your website is secure.

Backups

Often overlooked, backups are our second choice for most important maintenance task. You never want to be in the position to lose all your hard work, including not only content, but coding, customizations, and data. You can schedule regular backups to run automatically, just check on your system periodically to ensure it functions according to your needs. You’ll also want to create new backups immediately after making any major changes to your website.

Updated Software

Software is what most people think of when they consider website maintenance. You can usually set up WordPress or other website builder software to perform updates automatically. But you still need to manually approve of plugin or extension updates.

Many website owners become annoyed with frequent updates, but a plugin that updates often is one that is well-maintained and constantly improving. Plugin updates don’t just make visible changes; they often address potential security threats or optimize the backend of the software. Outdated plugins are usually a security threat, since they can contain loopholes that may allow outside parties to exploit your website. Don’t take the chance and update plugins whenever possible.

Updated Content

Keeping your website content up-to-date is our most straightforward tip. Naturally, you need to keep any company information, like phone numbers and hours, accurate so customers will receive the best possible experience. But consider also updating your site with company news, new products or services, and promotions.

Adding new content to your site and making changes, no matter how small, indicates that your website is active. And site visitors aren’t the only ones to impress. Search engine algorithms keep track of how frequently a website is updated to determine if it deserves a high SEO ranking. Regularly updating a blog is one way to improve your SEO. But small edits and changes to your content count too.

Broken Links

On the technical side of your content, don’t forget to check for broken links. You should perform a regular check to ensure that visitors have a positive experience on your site and that Google crawlers rank your site favorably. Several websites and software can scan your site and notify you of both internal and external broken links. Then it’s up to you to find the correct web page or if the page no longer exists, a suitable replacement.

Website maintenance is key to a streamlined workflow and happy customers. If you don’t have the time to maintain your website properly, consider outsourcing the job. Drip Drop Creative, a Houston and College Station/Bryan, Texas logo and website design firm, creates memorable yet simple, unique brands. We enjoy working with clients who like a minimalist approach with high impact to their design and website. Our experts at Drip Drop Creative offer website maintenance services – feel free to set up a consultation call here to see if we’re the right fit for each other.