Six Easy Steps to Effective Website Upkeep

Congratulations, your new website is up and running with attention-grabbing graphics, great content, and easy to use features. “Now what?” you may ask. You can sit back and monitor the analytics and see what happens, or you can be proactive and perform regular maintenance on your website. Here are some ideas for the proper upkeep of your site and when the task should be done.

Check Your Metrics

Checking the metrics on your site seems an obvious task to undertake, but it can be forgotten when pressing, time-sensitive issues arise. You want to make sure that your website is getting the sort of SERP results you expected. Metrics should be checked once a week. Knowing what works and what does not is imperative to ensure your website gives you the ROI you want.

Back Up Your Website

Backing up your website also seems an obvious point, but it bears examination. If the server your website is on has a catastrophic failure and your data has not been backed up, that could mean rebuilding it from scratch. If your site deals in e-commerce than it is possible that you could lose customers or even your business. Make sure you have a reliable, easily accessible backup system. There are a number of quality backup services that automatically backup your data and restore your website to exactly where it was before the failure. Backups should be undertaken at least once a week, or more.

Check Security Updates

Hackers continually get better at circumnavigating website security; the constant security patch updates that abound today are proof of that fact. It should be a top priority for your company, especially if your website deals in e-commerce. You want to make sure not only your company’s data is protected, but the private data of your customers as well. All platforms and plugins should be checked at least once a week, or more. Remember, all hackers do is find a way around security. They work every day to find a way into your system; you should try and keep pace.

Look for Broken Links

Nothing turns potential customers away like dead links. Not only does it dissuade a customer from continuing to search for your website, but it also gives the impression that your company is less than professional. Broken links are inevitable; it’s unavoidable. Performing quarterly preventative maintenance should be sufficient to keep all your links active. Replacing the dead links should be part of your routine website upkeep, checking for dead links annually is too late.

If you have dead links that sit unattended for too long not only will your potential customer base be reduced, so will your company’s reputation. There is absolutely no reason you should miss dead links with the assortment of free tools available; Google Search Console and Xenu’s Link Sleuth to name two.

Make Purchases and Use Forms

It stands to reason if your website sells a good or service you want to be sure a purchase can be made. Any problems big or small with your sites ability to do e-commerce could mean a substantial reduction in profits. You should check to see if purchases can be made through your website at least once a quarter; if your company only make sales through the site it should be tested more often.

Making sure forms work goes hand in hand with making sure that transactions can be made on your website. If a customer can’t fill out a form, they will be unable to make a purchase. Broken forms can be just as devastating to your company as a sale not going through. Forms should be checked quarterly, but just as with sales, if e-commerce is the lifeblood of your company forms should be tested more than once a quarter.

Use the Website Yourself

Few websites stay the same, with notable exceptions like Berkshire-Hathaway, because technology and the way people use the internet are constantly changing. Once a year you will want to sit down and navigate your website to gauge usability and anticipation of user needs. You may find that your site has fallen behind others in your field or industry.

Following these six simple steps will keep your website in good working condition all year.

For all your website needs, reach out to MosierData.  We’re serious about the web!

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About the Author

Though his chief ambition is to one day control the entire Internet, Jim busies himself in the meantime running our little web development and marketing agency. He's a certified super nerd who ranks coding in old, outdated languages and watching Star Trek reruns just a bit too high on his list of fun things to do. Outside of work, Jim enjoys Hockey (Tampa Bay Lighning, to be specific), more genres of music than most people realize exist, riding his Harley (he calls it "two wheel therapy") and exploring the world through travel.