Are you managing your own Wordpress website? Remember, it needs regular attention and some TLC.

Now that your website is up and running, there are a number of things you need to know as a website manager. For starters, you need to understand that just because your site is live DOES NOT mean everyone will easily find you. There are a number of steps that need to be taken in order to be found online. In addition, it’s very important that you take care of your website just as you would your car. Building the website was quite a task, but it’s not over. Every good website manager knows that regular maintenance and lots of attention are not only important to grow your website, they are a must. After working with dozens of clients and designing over 50 WordPress websites, I often see new website owners lose focus on their website shortly after it’s launched as they get back into the routine of running their business. Many problems can arise from a neglected website, such as outdated plugins causing a conflict, running an old version of WordPress opening the site up to hackers, not to mention little attention can lead to your website basically disappearing as far as search engines are concerned. Here is a list of what you as the new website manager need to know now that your website is live:

  1. Be sure your website is backed up regularly. Some hosting companies offer daily backups of your website. Many do not. If yours does not, be sure to make database backups to the site, or contact me about performing regular maintenance checks on your website.
  2. Make sure WordPress is always running the most up-to-date version. When logged in to your backend, you will be notified when there is a WordPress update available. It’s important to make these updates because what WordPress does is list out the issues that were fixed with each update. This shows potential hackers a list of vulnerabilities that they can use to hack into your site. For this reason, it’s important to add some protection to your hosting account to help safe guard your website against hacks. Different hosting companies offer different options. Speak with your hosting company if you need more information.
  3. Keep plugins updated on your website. Outdated plugins can cause problems, so it’s important that you check when updates are available. But, be careful. Never just blindly make any updates on your website without FIRST CREATING A BACKUP OF THE SITE. If there ends up being a conflict that causes something to break on your site, you can easily restore the old site from the backup. If you do not have a backup, you’re in trouble. Also, before making any plugin updates, be sure to check the details of the update, making sure it’s compatible with the version of WordPress your website is running.
  4. Add to your website regularly. It’s important that you keep content fresh on your website. Adding new content, either new pages or through a blog, is a great way to attract search engines. When you keep static content on a page, search engines tend to skip over something they’ve already seen. If you freshen the site up with some new content, search engines take notice! Not every website includes a blog, so adding updated content to an existing page, or adding new images using appropriate file names are strategic ways to easily optimize your website.
  5. Make sure your branding is consistent across all platforms. As a graphic designer, if the client doesn’t already have established branding, I spend alot of time designing the look and feel of the websites that I build. But that look and feel shouldn’t be limited to the website alone. I highly recommend updating your social media profiles and your marketing, both online and offline, to reflect the look of your website. Brand consistency is key when we talk about your online presence.
  6. Follow Erin Sweeney Design online. I use my business pages on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter to connect with small business owners, offering a variety of useful information. Focusing on a different topic each month, from blogging tips to time-management tricks for the solopreneur, I post information daily that is related to the goals, both professional goals and personal ones, of a small business owner.
  7. Sign up for The Small Biz Bulletin. I publish a monthly newsletter called The Small Biz Bulletin just for small business owners. I think the Bulletin offers some really solid advice and guidance for small business owners. I’ve learned alot from my clients and colleagues over the years, and I like to share things that I find helpful with other solopreneurs trying to grow their businesses. No one person knows everything, so every little bit of advice helps! To sign up for my newsletter, click here.

See how important it is to stay connected to your website? Try and view your website as a work in progress that you can’t forget about, or a sweet teddy bear with open arms, waiting for your attention. Take good care of your new website. It needs you!

Also, now that your website project is done, please know that you can always contact me, either via email or by phone, if you ever have a question or need anything. The majority of my clients come back with either website related issues or are in need of some of the other services that I provide. I enjoy working with repeat clients year after year.

Specifically for Erin Sweeney Design Clients

In addition to website design, I also offer other services for your website such as maintenance checks, search engine optimization, and mobile-friendly options. And since the bulk of my portfolio is website design, many of my clients forget that I’m first and foremost a graphic artist. So small business needs such as marketing collateral, as well as design work for social media pages are also services that I provide.

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