Website ownership is not a piece of cake; you have to be responsible for all updates required to enhance user experience. It is not just having a clean design and uploading random content stuff without taking care of other website maintenance responsibilities.
Consider your website as a vehicle that needs cleaning, tuning, oil change, and upgrades for smooth running. So, the inability to manage regular updates based on performance analysis can potentially ruin your website's impression among potential visitors. It is, therefore, imperative to perform website maintenance at regular intervals if the aim is to stay alive in the online competition.
In case, you face difficulty in understanding why and how to maintain a website, the article is surely for you!
Why Is Website Maintenance Important?
It might shock you, but the bitter reality is that outdated website plugins caused 25% of breaches in WordPress-based websites during the initial months of 2016. Search over the internet, and you will end up with more such statistics to help you understand the scope and importance of maintaining a website to avoid information threats.
Regular maintenance makes website functionality smoother. You will not be facing situations where customers may be disgruntled because they may have come across that didn't work for them just because it was a broken link.
Potential and long-standing visitors will often visit your website just to look for new arrivals; therefore, you must offer them elite, exciting, and trendy products, services, information, and features.
Web maintenance practices are not centered on one area specifically; tasks performed may be broader and whole in nature. It may be you who may carry out these changes yourself or get SpiralClick's professional website maintenance services from our industry experts.
Not convinced yet? Ask a question from yourself, if you visit a website that is outdated or rarely updated, what would be your reaction? Would you feel comfortable and continue with the hunt that brought you to that particular website? The answer definitely is going to be a 'NO'. Why shall your blog or website remain unattended, then?
How to Maintain a Website Considering Essential Elements?
The process of website maintenance is referred to checking your website for broken links, outdated information, vulnerable code scripts, and other relevant activities on a consistent basis.
A well-regulated and updated website not only allures more visitors but also helps you in getting higher rankings in search engines. So, the success of your business is hidden in the secret of website maintenance.
Let's consider all tasks and activities to maintain your website comprehensively:
1. Make a backup:
This is something that shall be done without gaps and regularly, especially if you own an online store with an ecommerce element that is set in place. Incidents of all sorts happen, and only those will not be bothered who maintain regular backups, while others may panic.
2. Update Website Content
Content for the website may comprise images, written text, paid or free downloads, typographies, videos, etc. You may use anything that is relevant and may drag the attention of new visitors and transform them into potential clients. You may consider the following ideas for content optimization:
Updating products is a crucial activity, especially if your website has an ecommerce setup and performs as an online store.
1. You may need to announce or add new products frequently.
2. You should not forget to update the navigation plan, i.e., when you add a product or service, you must add a page for them and add it to the sitemap immediately.
3. If it is a blog that you own, then it may have a sidebar for navigation, which means any updates added by you will be updated in that area, so it won't matter a lot as the visitors will see those changes immediately irrespective of the page on which they may land.
4. If you have planned to exclude or discontinue some products, a good practice would be to announce the new products that would be replacing them on the side navigation bar.
5. Changes in rates might be something that may require an announcement, too, as this may help in spurring rush sales too.
News bulletin for the company:
Has someone mentioned you in a newspaper article? A review may be about your website or products; this practice from them is known as social proof and helps you in showing off to your website visitors by sharing with them what others have to say about your website, its products, and services.
You may also feel the need to introduce the new size of your team now that you have seen some growth in the industry.
Giving out freebies, going for a giveaway, or contesting from time to time can be classified as a good approach because this creates a great buzz about the ongoing sales and promotions that may be taking place on your website.
Updating outdated content shall, therefore, always be on your website maintenance plan. This approach will send a strong message to your visitors that you hold an unshakable grip on the subject.
There are times when one may be out of budget at the time of website creation, and this may result in forcing one to turn down the idea of some products or services at that time, and at later stages, the budgets may be back to the desired levels and may allow one to afford the inclusions of those products and services that were leftover.
A frequent checking approach may enable you to see if there is space or room for improvement; perhaps you may add some of those items that were left out previously. It may also be some feedback from your clients which may require prompt action and implementation.
1. Fixing a broken link that may have been reported.
2. Adding a blog to your website in case it does not have one.
3. Subscription to social media channels that might have been done by you lately would require additional social buttons and relevant links to those social profiles.
4. How about adding an 'FAQ' section, as that may help in bringing down the volume of emails and phone calls with these frequent and identical questions. You might as well jot them down and place them on your website.
3. Website Outages Monitoring:
If you would like to be the first to know when your site went down or crashed temporarily, rather than someone else sending you an email informing you that your website is not working, then you might as well install smart tools like SiteUp. It regularly tracks your website up and downtime and sends you a notification so that you can take necessary actions.
4. Domain Registration Information Check:
Do not forget and keep a close look at your domain's expiry dates; you may check this information with the help of service providers like WHOIS. You must also ensure that WHOIS.com is showing the right and accurate information about your business, i.e., your business name, address, and other relevant data associated with your business website.
5. Speed test of your Website:
This is one of the important elements of your website maintenance plan that you must perform regularly; you will need to check the speed of your website. Visitors will always be short of time; if they realize that your website is slow in efficiency and speed, they will simply pop out because the word 'wait' will always be missing in their dictionary. So, avoid this trend and tendency if your goal is to rule the market.
6. Check Links and Update
You may not have left any links unattended at the time of deployment; however, with the passage of time, when changes are made, some links may get disturbed, and they may break. Frequent checks may cap this gap for you within no time. Try to find broken links and get them fixed as your earliest.
7. Updating Software
If you are using third-party software and ecommerce software, i.e., Joomla, OpenCart, WordPress, etc., then you must not forget that this software tends to update on a regular basis. This may affect your website's functionality or performance. You must, therefore, keep a close check on these updates and must shape things accordingly in order to ensure smoother proceedings.
8. Improve Browser Compatibility
Websites must work perfectly well on different browsers. It is because not all users access your website from the same browsing application. So, compatibility for cross-browser is essential to be ensured for augmented usability. It simply means that the website must support different browsers, such as Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape, along with Internet Explorer.
Nevertheless, many modified CSS capabilities widely support prominent browsers, but a few are not recognized. So, it is essential to maintain websites for increased browser compatibility. For this reason, you need to check the "doctype" of your web pages to inform the browsers of the rules to be monitored while loading the website. Here is the code:
If "strict mode" is set in the CSS design, the website will be loaded in Internet Explorer 6 and higher versions in the same way as it is loaded in Safari or Firefox.
However, it is better to take assistance from our professional web designers because they are experts in handling compatibility for browser issues.
9. Website Responsiveness
Over the years, tech gadgets are transformed from large screens to tiny tablets and smartphones. According to a rough estimation, more than 67% of users prefer to buy a product or service from mobile responsive websites. It clearly indicates that you should pay increased attention to maintaining a mobile-friendly website.
No doubt, responsive designs have become a prime requirement for all website owners. So, your web maintenance plan should incorporate essential tasks to make your website adjustable to different screen resolutions and sizes. Sync for mobile and the use of Bootstraps can help you to maintain the site for mobile usability.
10. Update Website Cart
If you are running an online shopping portal, it is essential to perform regular maintenance processes for eCommerce carts. Generally, this includes updates in technology and payment gateways. So, you have to consider upgrades for Visa, Master Card, PayPal, and other authorized payment modes depending on your web interface.
Many people misunderstand ecommerce maintenance with uploading products detail and other stuff solely. It is a part of maintenance, but technology upgrades, checking for design structure, and shopping cart improvements are the primary elements. Not only this, security scripts and validation should also be done regularly.
11. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Results:
Where are your core phrases or keywords standing when it comes to ranks on major search engines? If you have been optimizing them for a few months to get them on the first page, then it may be the right time to revise some of the content and update it with the latest version of products and services offered on your website.
Generally, it is recommended to periodically review and update your website content to ensure that it remains relevant and up-to-date with the latest products and services you offer. This will help you improve search engine rankings and ensure that potential customers are finding the most accurate and current information about your business.
12. Status or Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Google Alerts will perform this task of monitoring your brand and website name, the content on the website in a better way than any other tool. You will be aware of who is talking about the brand, your products, services, and your website.
It will ultimately offer you an opportunity to join the conversation. Appreciate those who have brought your attention to the problem that may be associated with your website. Thank all those who have been praising and advocating your brand regularly.
1. You may also track your website URL with the help of Google Alerts:
2. You may learn who is connected or linking to your website, and you appreciate and thank them for this.
13. Visitors' Traffic Stats
Going through your web server stats will show the status of visitors' traffic. Most of the web hosting services are backed with this feature; however, if yours is missing out on this, then you might as well get one installed.
AWSTATS is one good tool that may help you in monitoring the traffic of visitors and their origins; it, in addition, will provide you with the following information:
1. Entry and exit pages (pages on which the user landed and pages from which they popped out)
2. Total time spent by them on your website
3. Bounce back rate associated with your traffic
4. What were the sources from which there were referred (referring sites)?
5. What number of visitors visited from which part of the world?
6. What were the phrases or keywords used by them?
Another approach or tool that can be utilized is Google Analytics; however, it may not be as complete as the stats program that is available on the server on which your website is hosted.
A good example here would be hot-linking (linked directly to your website images); it is not covered by Google Analytics, while the stats tool offered by your hosting provider may provide you with an in-depth and complete picture.
Who can help you?
While carrying out these website maintenance responsibilities, you will definitely be learning a lot. However, if you are not confident about your skills and classify yourself as a layman, then you might as well get in touch with us for web maintenance services to keep your website well-maintained and up-to-date with the latest website design trends.
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