A website is an essential asset required for the smooth running of your business. You need your website for advertisements, building brand image, and getting customer feedback. Most website owners think that web development is a one-time project. However, you must constantly care for your website to ensure that you continue enjoying its benefits.
Once you have built your website, take note of the various maintenance tasks you should do moving forward. Remember that you should keep up with the constantly changing technology. Your competitors have also moved their businesses online, and you must stay ahead of them. Your website is like an online store. The same way you maintain your offline business is the same way you should maintain your website. We will take a deeper look at website maintenance and what it involves.
What is Website Maintenance?
We can refer to website maintenance as the process of regularly checking your website for issues and mistakes, keeping it updated and relevant to search engines and users. Website maintenance is a consistent process that keeps your website healthy, traffic flowing, and strengthens your SEO and search engine ranking. This process can fall under those things that do not always present immediate issues. However, just like your health, it can fall apart if left unchecked for long. A well-maintained website is attractive and essential for both small and big companies
Why is Website Maintenance Important?
Here are some reasons why you should perform website maintenance.
Regular Content Updates
Not all visitors will click on your website looking to view and purchase your products. Some will visit your website when seeking relevant information. Regular content updates mean that you will get more traffic that you can later convert to business. New and regular content also attracts social medial shares and links, which are essential for SEO. Website maintenance helps you to come up with better and quality content for your audience. This process also allows you to fine-tune your existing content, review your keywords, and ultimately generate more leads to increase your conversion rate. An excellent place to regularly update your content is the news update, awards won, promotions, and appointments.
Improves Website Security
Hackers are always looking for security loopholes and vulnerabilities to exploit. You may have the best security features in place, but do you update or maintain them? Outdated security features are a perfect feature hackers look for in a website. With regular check-ups, you can identify and fix security issues before hackers attack your website.
A good website maintenance team can help you keep up with all security updates and install the latest security patches that keep your website protected. Regular website maintenance will also remove viruses and threats from your website. Some of the steps to take in this process involves removing outdated applications, replacing old passwords, and ensuring no sensitive hacker files are installed on the website. A secured and protected website also performs well in searches.
Makes Your Website Compatible with the Latest Tools and Algorithm
The online space is constantly changing. The tools and algorithms that work for your website may not work in a few weeks or months. Remember that search engines, like Google, will only rank updated websites that apply the latest measures in their settings. Updated and well-maintained websites have improved security, are mobile-friendly, and have enhanced performance. Failing to maintain your website will make its ranking challenging to achieve even after applying other SEO features. Website maintenance allows you to meet search engine algorithms’ demands.
Improves User Experience
Do you think your website meets users’ expectations? Does it load flawlessly and fast? If not, consider an upgrade. If you want to have more lead generation and conversion, you must maintain your website to the best standards. Slow loading pages will make you lose clients and even damage your reputation on the market. Most visitors will not waste their time waiting for a website to load. A website that is not mobile-friendly will also lose its place among the most reputable websites on the internet.
Improves Brand Promotion Strategies
If you want your website to perform better in the market, ensure you customise it with the latest trends. A website can influence how a visitor will view your products and company. Most web admins may not know this, but a well-maintained website can significantly boost your marketing activities. This will also improve sales since it satisfies your online clients. Failing to update your content, loading speed, plug-ins and themes, and other features will make your website invisible.
What Does Website Maintenance Include? Checklist
Website maintenance involves several different things. We have created a checklist that will help you maintain your website’s health. We have also broken the list into annually, quarterly, monthly, and weekly tasks that you should complete.
Annual Website Maintenance Tasks
Perform User Testing
The way people interact with your website evolves. A website design that feels right now may not work in years to come. If you want your website to continue making sense to your visitors across all browsers and devices, ensure you perform a usability test once a year by bringing people who are not associated with your website and letting them interact with your website. Ensure the testing includes all browsers and devices that your visitors use. This will provide you with a clear picture of how your website is performing. After the testing, turn the insights into action by making a maintenance schedule for any updates your testing determines are necessary.
Check Domain Name Renewal Status
If you do not check your domain renewal status, you may wake up to a page saying that your domain name expired or someone else purchased it. Losing access to your domain could mean losing all the work you have done to build your website. As a business owner, this is something you cannot let slip through the cracks. So, check your domain name renewal status at least once a year or set up an auto-renew.
Update Headers, Footers, and Legal Policies
Your header and footer are the primary parts of your website that stay the same across your pages. They contain essential information like your contact information, address, and opening hours. You must ensure that this information remains up to date. Your header may only have your logo and main menu, but ensure that the web pages and categories included are the crucial ones to highlight your business. The footer also includes your website’s copyright information. Keep this information up to date to protect all new updates you have made in the last year.
Quarterly Website Maintenance Tasks
Make Test Purchases
One of the most crucial functions on your website is the purchase function. If it stops working, you could lose significant profits. The worst part is that most of your customers will not alert you when the purchase function stops. So, make a few test purchases every couple of months to ensure the process works. Do the test on different browsers and devices to ensure the process is seamless.
Test All the Forms on Your Website
Always be confident that your contact forms are working correctly. Take time and go through the process of filling out all your forms on the website. Ensure you also try them on all devices and browsers your visitors might use. You should also ensure that the person on the receiving end can get all the information provided.
Fix Broken Links
Nothing is more disappointing than getting a 404 page. Broken links make your website look bad and may drive away leads. Broken links are common, and typically you will always end up with some. However, always ensure that they do not stay on your website for long. Check for broken links at least once a month and remove or replace them with updated links.
Monthly Website Maintenance Tasks
Check for Security Updates
Securing your website from hackers should be your priority. Check that all your platforms, plug-ins, and scripts are up to date. Developers release updates to improve the security or to patch up a vulnerability. Always check that your website still works properly after you make an update. Never procrastinate making these updates since you could be putting your website and visitors at risk.
Backup Your Website
If a hacker gets through to your website, they may wipe out everything in one fell swoop. However, if you have a website backup solution, fixing the problem will be easy. Invest in a backup system to save your work.
Test Your Page Load Speed
This may seem like a repetition, but you should always keep in mind that your visitors will get impatient if the page takes a while to load. People expect web pages to load fast so that they can quickly access the information they want. Perform a load speed test at least once a month to get a feel for how quickly your website loads. Test the speed on different browsers and devices. You can also use Google’s Page Speed Insight to see how your website works across various networks, browsers, and devices.
Weekly Website Maintenance Tasks
Review Your Metrics
The Google Analytics tool can help you determine how people find and use your website. Log in to your analytics to ensure your website accomplishes what you want, check if it is working well, and look for improvement areas.
Getting these website maintenance steps completed consistently and sticking to the timeline will benefit you, your website and your users. Although you can assume these responsibilities yourself, it is advisable to hire a website maintenance team to stay on top of it for you.