By a show of hands, who is guilty of building a website or investing in someone else to do it and then not touching it for months, even years. Anyone? Bueller? We’ve all been there. It’s easy to do with all of the things required daily to run a business. However, your website should be treated with the utmost care. After all, it is an extremely powerful tool in your business. And what that you have invested a lot of time and money into. I wanted to share with you how to run regular maintenance on your website. And so you can begin putting it at the top of your list instead of it simply being an afterthought. Or not even a thought at all.
I divide up the maintenance between monthly and quarterly to-do’s. Let’s begin with the monthly list.
Monthly Website Maintenance:
- Run a backup of your site, export and store. You never think it would happen, but it is possible for sites to crash and for everything to be lost. Speaking from experience here. To do this in WordPress, you will simply go to Tools > Export and then choose to export everything.
- Check all menu links. You will want to do this on both your desktop and mobile site.
- Check for broken links. Simply browse your entire site and check links throughout your footer, sub-menus, sidebars, etc. To take this further and ensure a thorough look throughout your site, you can use online tools to scan your site such as this free broken link checker or you can install this plugin to run a test for broken links and missing images.
- Run update on all plugins and software. It is known that the way into a site that hackers used is outdated plugins. We just dealt with this last month, actually. It happens all the time. It is so important to ensure everything is up to date for the best security and for your website to run as good as it can.
- Test contact and subscription forms. The last thing you want is to miss messages from potential clients. Be sure and fill out all forms on both your desktop and mobile site.
- Test checkout. If you have an online store or any type of e-commerce, be sure and go through the checkout process and fulfill a sample order. This will allow you to make sure everything is functioning as it should.
- Test your site on multiple devices and screens. It is very easy to assume your site looks great on the screen that you usually work from. However, with many screen sizes and devices, it is important to visit your website and browse it from multiple devices to ensure functionality, spacing, etc.
- Review analytics and record data. Your Google Analytics are very telling as to what content is reaching your audience, what they are connecting with and also what isn’t working on your site. Reviewing these monthly should be a big part of your marketing efforts.
- Review your Google search console. This is another powerful web tool from Google. Register your site and use it to be alerted on issues your site might have as well as how your site is performing in searches
- Check page speeds. Again, using one of Google’s tools, test your site to see how your ranking is. Site speed is everything for visitors coming to and browsing your site. You want to ensure you are running at top speed.
- Update contact info. It’s easy to forget to update details like this on your website. Make sure to double-check your contact details to ensure that everything is current.
- Update social media links. Have you joined another social media platform? Have you decided to leave one? Did you change a user handle? Make sure that all links are current and will get your site visitors where they want to go.
The quarterly list involves bigger ticket items, but they are just as important to visit every three months. Remember, your website is one of your most valuable tools as a business owner and keeping up with these things will help you yield the power of it.
Quarterly Website Maintenance:
- Review all calls-to-action. Your goals will change from time to time and you will offer different offers and freemiums. You always want to make sure that your CTA’s are relevant to what your current goals are.
- Review your home page. This is the most important page on your website. You want to ensure that it is always guiding traffic and potential clients/customers where you want them to go. Your home page should be based on the goals you have so when these change, your home page needs to change.
- Update about page. Perhaps you hired another team member, or you had new headshots taken, or maybe you moved and your bio includes details about your old location. You never want your website to be out of date so revisit your bio and about page and make changes as needed.
- Update services/pricing information. This is the info that potential clients will absolutely look at when browsing your site. Be sure that your pricing is up-to-date because there is nothing worse than a potential client surprised by what you tell them on the phone versus what they just saw on your site. And make sure that your services and offerings are current.
- Update your portfolio. This is so easy to let slide by since it can feel tedious to prep new imagery/media with your fresh work. However, you always want to be sure that visitors to your site are only be greeted with your latest and greatest work.
- Enhance SEO on older content. A plugin that you want to ensure and install is the Yoast plugin for WordPress. This will guide you through optimizing all pages and posts while will increase your rankings and searchability. Spend time every quarter visiting old content and enhancing the SEO so eventually, your entire site will be an SEO powerhouse.
- Clear out all spam comments. You should be running the Akismet plugin to help catch all spam comments. However, keeping that area of your comment section cleaned up will help keep up your website speeds.
- Remove old plugins. There will be times when you will deactivate plugins you don’t need anymore. However, you want to be sure and officially remove/delete any old plugins to keep the backend of your site cleaned up and running smoothly.
- Change all passwords. This is a big item of business to ensure the security of not just your website, but also your social media accounts. Hacks happen all the time so changing your passwords often is a very smart administrative item to have on your list.
- Run a UX test. UX stands for ‘user experience’. You always want to make sure that your site is serving those who visit it well, that the functionality is what it needs to be for others to get to where they want to go. Ask a few friends to take time to visit your site and let you know if they came across anything concerning and tell you how their experience is.
Whether you built your website yourself or you invested in a professional, don’t ever let your website go by the wayside. Because cobwebs and dust never looked good on any business. Always have your best foot forward and make sure to add these monthly and quarterly to-do’s to your administrative goals. It will not only enhance the online experience for your users, but also enhance your SEO and overall online performance.
Want my free checklist that includes both of these lists?
And if you have any questions about your website maintenance, leave a comment below. I am more than happy to help where I can!