Why is it necessary to spend time maintaining a website?

Apr 26, 2019 | Web maintenance

First of all, people¬†take into account a website’s design when deciding whether or not the site is credible. Outdated websites that don’t look professional are likely to make visitors question if the business is actually professional.

Another large issue is the security of your website. In 2018, 44% of hacked websites that Sucuri cleaned were outdated. Website maintenance is crucial to avoid hacking and to effectively bring in consumers.

Continue reading to learn about essential tips for taking care of your website.

Maintaining your website is vitally important

Make a Schedule

The easiest way to ensure you maintain your site is to set a schedule that you can follow each month. Making one for each week would also be helpful.

They should list every aspect of your site that needs to be checked or updated. This will prevent you from missing anything. Staying on top of the schedule will keep hackers away and also make the website look more professional by being up-to-date.

A weekly schedule could include saving local backups, checking all forms, monitoring uptime, processing form submissions and spam comments, check for broken links, checking available space on the server, and updating plugins.

A monthly schedule could include testing the speed of the website, running security scans, reviewing SEO and site analytics, making any updates, and implementing the weekly maintenance schedule.

There are other schedules you can create. A quarterly schedule may include reviewing graphics, checking page titles and descriptions, replacing any outdated content, checking conversion rates, testing the site on various browsers and on mobile, checking HTML and CSS, and reviewing backups and uptime.

A yearly schedule includes reviewing content for accuracy, updating references, checking SSL certificate expiration, considering changing the web design, and reviewing your strategy to better match your goals.

 

Update When There Are Updates

Updates are essential to keeping the utmost security. Check your platforms, scripts, frameworks, plug-ins, and servers for any updates. Anything that’s outdated will make your site vulnerable and give hackers a way in.

An outdated site will also turn away visitors. 94% of people who go to an outdated site won’t trust it.

Updates usually contain bug fixes and patches that correct any errors in a code, which would have made the website a target for hacking. It’s also important to keep track of software updates for the OS, database, and CMS.

Vulnerable websites are even more dangerous when they have access to customer’s private information. It would cost you a hefty amount of money if a hacker were to intrude and steal customer data.

 

Save Regular Website Backups

Another crucial part of site maintenance is backing up all of your site components. Websites can come crumbling down with a single accidental component incompatibility. If the website crashes or breaks, or if a hacker intrudes, you need to be able to quickly recover.

Backups must contain the database and all website files. Specific files are theme and design, framework, plug-ins, and any customizations. You also need to back up the place that stores website content and configuration.

Checking the backups should be done once a month to make sure you can readily retrieve the data. Keep the backups in a known location.

 

You Can Never Run Too Many Tests

After an update, yearly, monthly, or if you’re unsure of something, test your website.

Thorough tests in which you go through every page can be saved for a yearly or quarterly review, but it’s important to run a test after updating any part of your website. There could be an incompatibility that makes the site work improperly.

Here are things you should pay attention to during a test: broken links and features, features that need improvement, load time, outdated or missing content, formatting, typos and grammar, and missing page titles and descriptions.

If it applies to you, consider if the site is accessibility-friendly. Make sure the site works on all browsers. Fill out and submit any forms you have on the website, and look for any errors.

It’s important for those with eCommerce to check that purchases run smoothly. Test the purchasing function multiple times and on different browsers.

 

Renew Domain Name

Domain names don’t last forever. The owner usually has them for a year and then they’ll expire.

Losing your domain name can deal a huge blow to business, so you have to remember to regularly renew it. Make sure you don’t forget about hosting renewal either.

Choose a provider that has 24/7 support and other benefits such as optional services. You want to avoid a provider that doesn’t give protection over your domain space because you could lose some available space, and that could drastically change how much you can do with your website.

 

Monitor Website Speed

Monitoring the speed of your site can let you in on anything problems. A lagging website could mean that something is up with your website that needs to be fixed. You can also discover the site is down from checking load time.

Having a site that loads in 2 seconds or less will keep visitors exploring, and anything more than 3 seconds will have people exiting out of the site.

 

Check Analytics

SEO reports and KPIs will tell you if your website is effective in pulling in customers. You can track how visitors find the site and where they go on the site.

This tip is geared toward improving marketing strategies. Analytics show how much traffic the site gets from videos, ads, and posts. For example, if zero visitors click on a certain ad, you may consider deleting it or changing it so it’s more appealing.

SEO reports give information on search engine ratings. A low rating indicates you should improve the site’s SEO, such as changing keywords.

 

Follow the Laws

Make sure your website complies with all standards and laws. Terms of Services and Privacy Policy should be reviewed and updated at least every year or whenever there is a change in standards. Websites may also have Conditions of Use, Site Terms, and Terms of Sale.

If your website is eCommerce you have to abide by PCI, or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This standard keeps the buyer’s card information more secure in order to stop fraud.

 

Don’t Neglect Website Maintenance

However time-consuming and scary website maintenance may seem, it’s a necessary part of running a website. You have to avoid the worst case scenario and also be ready for it.

Maintenance not only keeps your site updated and secure – it makes your site more credible. Visitors are more likely to stay on a site that’s regularly taken care of. Check the look of your site by getting a free design quote.

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