Your website is the face of your business, on call, on show and accessible to the whole world. It’s like you, dressed for work and presenting your best face to your clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
And in the same way that you have a regular haircut, make sure your suit is dry-cleaned regularly and polish your shoes, your public website needs regular maintenance, routine clean-up and a timely polish to ensure that the face you are presenting is the one you want the world to see.
There are a number of tasks which are necessary to complete on a regular basis to ensure your public website is working for you. The following is a comprehensive checklist you can print out and use to ensure your maintenance is completed on a regular basis.
1. Keep A Copy - Back Ups
Having a current and reliable backup gives you peace of mind that should the worst happen, you can quickly restore your website to its former glory.
- Make a complete backup of your website including your database, themes, plugins and uploads
- Set up a regular and automated schedule which runs hourly, daily or weekly depending on how often you update your website
- Store your backup on an off-site platform such as Google Drive or Dropbox
- Test and verify your backup files regularly to ensure they are up to date and working
2. Site Safety - Security
Keeping your website safe from hackers or would be vandalism is imperative to ensure the complete continuity of your business and protect your hard won reputation.
- Change your passwords regularly and require anyone else who has access to your website to do the same. Passwords need to be strong and not easily identifiable by other team members, friends and family
- Check that everyone who is set up as a user should still have access to your system. It is easy to overlook this step when a team member leaves your company
- Set different permission levels depending on the level of access each user should have.
- Develop a reset plan that will quickly get you back on your feet should a breach occur.
3. Full Speed Ahead - Optimisation
If you are always accessing your website from the same device, then you may not be aware of how quickly, or slowly, your website loads for your visitors.
- Check your website speed on multiple devices including mobile. Internet speed varies between providers and location, so it’s important your site loads quickly even with a slower connection
- Remove any unnecessary code or script and use shorter variable or function names
- Ensure image uploads are at optimal size for quick loading
4. Clear The Clutter - Unused Areas
As technology changes there are often codes or settings that are no longer necessary so decluttering will help you optimize and improve the smooth running of your website.
- Remove any unused tags that are not connected to any posts
- Clear out any functions or short codes that are no longer relevant
- Uninstall or delete any unused plugins or themes
5. Browser Blind Spots - Widget Refresh
Regular users of your website will become blind to your ‘call to action’ widgets – changing them up to make them more visible will improve your conversion rates.
- Change the position of your widgets to improve visibility
- Alter the colours, fonts and imagery regularly
- Create a new widget area to refresh the look and feel of your site
6. Maximise Efficiency - Update
Keeping your software version, plugins and themes up to date will dramatically improve the efficiency and security of your website.
- Check for messages from your software supplier and install updates immediately
- Look out for theme updates which will optimise the look and functionality of your site
- Update your plugins or replace with ones which fulfil your needs more efficiently
7. Who Are You - About Page
It’s easy to forget about your ‘About Page’ but this is where you tell the world who you are.
- Update qualifications lists to reflect your latest achievements
- Refresh your testimonials as you complete new projects
- Add case studies or upload new images which reflect your latest work
- Check to see that any team member profiles are current and correct
8. Connect With Me - Social Media
Connecting with your readers or visitors on social media is a necessary part of building an ongoing relationship.
- Make sure your Social Media widgets are up to date
- Showcase different profiles to encourage a following across different platforms
- Update your Social Media profile to reflect the direction of your business
9. What’s New - Content
Keeping your visitors engaged begins with the relevance and originality of your content.
- Check to ensure all links are working
- Produce and post new content regularly
- Link articles and website pages together to keep people on your site longer
10. Reach Out - Email Lists
For any relationship to work, it must be a two-way street. Give your customers a reason to return to your site and stay engaged with you and your company.
- Clean up your list by removing any duplicate email addresses
- Delete any addresses which bounce
- Use surveys to create engagement
- Send a regular newsletter which includes links to blog posts, special offers or latest news
11. Bring Customers To Your Door - Search Engine Optimisation
Having a website that works for you is largely about how visible you are in a search engine.
- Research to find out which search engine your ideal customer uses most. Different regions in the world use different sites for their default searches.
- Check your ranking regularly by entering your keywords into the search function of various search engines
- Use your keywords in multiple places to improve your relevance score
12. What’s Working – Reporting/Analytics
Success comes by replicating what works and eliminating what doesn’t and therefore reviewing reports is vital if you want to maximise your investment in your website.
- Install Google Analytics to track your visitors
- Check conversion rates and tweak or split test any sales pages for improved results
Maintaining your website is like keeping your car on the road. You must clean it, give it a tune-up or service, ensure it has a current warrant of fitness and give it the fuel it needs to keep you moving. If you ignore any one area, then the value of your investment will be compromised.
If you would like to know how you can ensure that your website serves you as technology and the market changes,
contact me to book your FREE discover call with me today