Now that your website is up and running, there are a number of things you need to know as a website owner. First and foremost is knowing that taking care of a website is like taking care of a car. For it to run smoothly, it needs regular maintenance and attention. This is not only important to grow your website, this is a necessity. So often I see new website owners lose focus on their website shortly after it’s launched as they get back into the routine of running their businesses. Say you just bought a new car. Would you put gas in it? Would you make sure to get the oil changed? Would you wash it? Would you take care of it? Of course you would. And the same goes for your website. Many problems can arise from a neglected site. Below are some important reasons why you should be making sure you are paying attention to your site:
- Website backups. Having a recent backup of your website handy is a huge relief if and when the site is in trouble. While some hosting companies offer daily backups of your website, others do not. Most have the option to purchase backup protection. If yours does not, be sure to make database backups of the site from time to time. I perform website backups as part of my website maintenance check. You can never have too many backups!
- Keep software up-to-date. Keeping the software on your website up-to-date increases the WordPress website’s security. Outdated software can often lead to cyberattacks as updates often fix the loopholes in older versions. WordPress will regularly launch new versions as they fix issues. The same goes for numerous plugins, as well as theme files. You will be notified when logging in to the backend of your site if an update is available. However be sure to check that the update is compatible with the version of WordPress that you are running, as well as the PHP version your hosting server is running. Incompatibility issues can cause havoc. Another reason to keep everything up-to-date is because it will enhance your website’s performance by increasing loading speed. The faster your website loads, the more visitors you will retain.
- 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.
- Make sure your branding is consistent across all platforms. A visitor should be able to jump from your website to your Facebook page to your IG page to your Twitter page and know that these are all the same company. The way things look and feel is your identity and keeping it consistent will increase the strength of your brand identity. Make sure, as you add your new website address to your marketing materials, that everything looks the same. Follow the design of your website since, at the end of the day, your marketing efforts are meant to drive potential customers to your website. It’s said 71% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product or service from a brand that they recognize. Consistent branding will make you memorable.
Keeping up with regular website maintenance and updates can keep your site running smoothly for years to come. I offer all of my website clients the opportunity to sign up for quarterly or even monthly website maintenance checks. Take the worry out of taking care of your site. Contact me if you have any questions or would like to get your site on a regular maintenance schedule.