Just like all precious things in life your website will always need maintenance. A website definitely isn’t one of the one-time things – if you want it to keep serving its purpose, you need to give it lots of care via ongoing website maintenance.
After building a website, keep a track of the maintenance tasks by making a list and performing them regularly. Even better, let us help you in guiding how often you need to perform these tasks.
So let’s get started with…
Annual Website Maintenance Tasks
Yes, 2 years back when you worked hard on building a website, it was easy to use and users were taking actions according to your objectives. But the way people access your website evolves over time. A website design of today compared with that of even 3 years back would be different – preferences and trends change and you have to keep up!
To be on top of your game i.e. ensuring your website makes sense to all kinds of users on all devices and browsers, perform a usability test annually.
A way to go about is to take feedback from fresh people i.e. ones who don’t know about your website or brand. All kinds of browsers or devices your users might use must be included in this testing.
Based on this feedback, making changes is very essential. Turn the insights into actions by creating a maintenance schedule for incorporating these updates.
Checking your Domain Name Status
One of the worst things that can happen is finding out your domain name has expired or someone else is in the process of buying it – yes these things can happen especially to busy businessmen!
If you lose access to your domain name you lose your authority and visibility on the web that you worked so hard to build. Hence once a year check the status of your domain name renewal.
Note: you can set it up for auto-renew, just keep the payment information up-to-date.
The Header, Footer and Policies must be Updated
Since your header and footer carry important information and remain the same for all your website pages, you need to make sure they’re always up to date. Whether they have your contact information or just the logo and main menu, whatever changes come in your brand must be reflected on them.
Make sure to utilize your header and footer for information you want the user to pay most attention to but don’t let it contain outdated content!
Now let’s move on to….
Quarterly Website Maintenance Tasks
Keep testing your ‘purchase’ function
For eCommerce websites, the purchase option is the most crucial. Even a slight glitch in its functioning will cost you a lot of business. The user will simply move on to your competitor’s website to buy the product not to mention, he/she will probably inform a few people about the site not working hence causing more damage to the business.
To avoid this situation, once in a few months get some people to make test purchases from your website and see if everything is in place.
These should be done from different devices and in different browsers so you can see if a particular problem is occurring anywhere. Use this test run to fix the issues if they pop up.
Test the Forms on your Website
The contact forms that you want your customers to fill out must be working perfectly at all times. Hence just like test purchases, test out the process of filling and submitting these forms. Again make sure you do this through different devices and browsers. Also follow up if the person at the receiving end is getting all the information or not.
Forms not working properly means losing out on valuable leads so get the issues sorted sooner than later!
Repair the Broken Links
A dead link on your website is a recipe for disaster! It’ll lead people away from you and leave a bad impression of your business. Preventative maintenance is key here.
Broken links will pop up on your website from time to time because of being linked to other websites that can change domains or move so this can’t be avoided completely. However you need to make sure through regular maintenance broken links don’t stay on your website for long.
Keep checking for broken links and fixing or updating them. You can use a lot of available free tools to find these broken links easily.
Now let’s discuss….
Monthly Website Maintenance Tasks
Update your Security
Securing your website and its data has to be a major priority especially for eCommerce websites since they deal with customer’s private data. Security breaches occur all the time to big and small scale businesses. The most important task in website maintenance with regard to security is to make sure all your platforms, plug-ins and scripts are updated.
The updates that developers offer for these security software are usually because they are improving on a function and patching up a vulnerability so take full advantage of that. Don’t procrastinate and put your website at risk!
Note: after making an update do check your website if it is still working properly. Sometimes compatibility issues may occur but they can be resolved.
Backup your Website Regularly
You know how when writing a really long document you forget to press ‘save’ and something happens and you lose all your hard work? Worst feeling ever right? Don’t let that happen to something as dear as your website!
In case your website gets hacked, it’ll only take minutes for all your data to disappear so you need to have a current website backup data solution to fix the problem easily.
Invest in a good backup system or create an updated backup of your website once in a month at least.
Improve your Website Speed
All the hard work goes into the drain if your web pages take ages to upload! The visitors will get impatient and leave the site. We’re living in a world where websites are expected to load fast so don’t risk losing your customers.
Once a month test your website speed and check how fast it loads but do this from a different browser and device than yours. You can also use a tool for this task.
Weekly Website Maintenance Tasks
Check your key metrics
With the help of Google Analytics find out how people are interacting with your website and if your site is accomplishing the objectives it was built for. Figure out what’s working and what’s not by checking your analytics at least once a week.
Keeping an eye on your website’s growth is important and you need to keep finding ways to improve it by various means such as SEO and site engagement.
Don’t ever be laid back about website maintenance – it’s very important for your brand and your customers. It’ll save you time and trouble in the future!
At 4M Designers we offer a one-stop solution for all your website needs – get in touch with us today and we’ll take it from there!