The Importance of Regular Website Maintenance
Once you have invested the time and money into developing a new website, it isn’t just a case of sitting back and letting it run. In order to make sure your website is performing optimally and driving sales or enquiries, website maintenance is incredibly important. Keeping your website running smoothly is key, so let’s have a look at what website maintenance is, the different types, and some tips on how to manage your website on a regular basis.
What is Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance is the process of keeping a website up-to-date and running optimally, ensuring links and contact forms are all working correctly, as well as regularly updating content sitewide. It also involves some of the more technical aspects like backing up your site regularly, as well as performing checks on the website’s performance.
Types of Website Maintenance
Website maintenance should be carried out regularly so that any technical issues are detected and fixed quickly, to ensure a positive user experience. It also helps improve your search engine rankings as Google will recognise that your site is regularly updated and secure. Here are the main types of website maintenance that you can carry out:
1. Security updates
Security patches are released by web developers to fix any vulnerabilities in their software. This is why if you have a WordPress website, there will be regular updates available to install to help protect your website from hackers or other threats.
2. Content & plugin updates
Plugins are great to improve the functionality of your website, but just like with all software, they need to be updated regularly. You should also ensure your website’s content is updated regularly as this encourages search engines to crawl and index your website frequently. Outdated content can also be very boring for potential customers too!
3. Backups & recovery
Regular backups of your website should be performed in case disaster does strike and your website becomes hacked. Disaster recovery planning means that you have a plan in place should the worst happen, allowing you to get your website back up and running quickly. Having backups of your website allows you to restore it easily.
4. Performance monitoring
Monitoring the performance of your website is a really good proactive measure to take. This means that the second any issues arise you can fix them, allowing your website to continue running smoothly. Things to keep an eye on are page loading times, optimising images so the file sizes aren’t too large, and also removing any unnecessary, bulky code on your website.
5. Security scanning
Security scanning is a really important part of website maintenance and will keep your website secure from any external threats. By carrying out regular scans, you will quickly identify any vulnerabilities before they become problematic.
6. Accessibility testing
Testing how accessible your website is ensures that everyone can use it optimally. You should check that your website is usable for screen readers, those using mobile devices, and also people who have slow internet connections.
7. Uptime monitoring
If your website isn’t live when people want to visit it, they will leave and most likely visit one of your competitors instead. There are lots of different uptime monitoring tools available that let you know the second your website goes down. You should always aim for an uptime of as close to 100% as possible.
8. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Website maintenance does also include things like SEO – regularly checking that your website is optimised for search engines. Landing pages should be keyword-rich and have a clear call-to-action for customers, and any structural issues within your website should be fixed.
9. Fixing broken links
All the links on your website should send visitors to a live page, but sometimes things get missed and they are sent to an error page. This gives users a bad experience as it indicates that your website is not updated regularly. Regular website maintenance should detect any 404 pages, allowing you to redirect them instantly.
10. Reviewing your website’s analytics
The performance of your website should be monitored regularly, and GA4 is a great way to do this. You can look at things like your bounce rate – has this increased or decreased dramatically over the last month? Have you had lots of returning visitors lately? Has traffic dropped off from one particular source? There is so much data available, use it to your advantage.
Why Website Maintenance Is Necessary
The main reason for regular website maintenance is to ensure your website performs optimally at all times. It should be carried out at least once a month, but this does depend on the size & complexity of your website. Lots of the security and uptime tasks can be carried out automatically, but plugin and content updates will need to be carried out manually.
If you are finding that maintaining your website is just too much of a time-consuming task, or you aren’t quite sure what you need to be doing, here at DBS Digital we provide a website maintenance service to help make your life easier. Call our team today to find out more – 01522 811688.
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