Wouldn’t it be great if your website looked as good today as it did on the day you launched it? How nice would it be if everything worked as well as it once did? Sadly, that’s not the way it is. From cars to laptops to ovens and websites, you need to monitor your assets, repair them when something goes wrong, and update when there are new features to add.
Like anything else, this task becomes a much bigger headache if you let everything pile up. Instead, it’s better to take the hassle and stress out of website maintenance by doing the regular, small things that keep the big fixes at bay.
Here’s a handy list of tasks and responsibilities to help you turn web maintenance into a regular routine on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.
Weekly Web Maintenance Tasks
1. Review Your Metrics
Your website produces valuable data. It can (and should) tell you what parts of your business are really working and where you need to focus your attention. But data is only valuable if you use it. That’s why you should make sure that every week the data is being integrated into your automatic systems and shared among your employees so it can influence their decision-making.
2. Create and Store Regular Backups
You’ve probably heard the saying “Two is one, and one is none.” In other words, if you only have one copy or version of something, then you could lose everything at any moment. Backups can feel like a chore, but they’re a simple and vital insurance policy that should only cost a few minutes of your time.
Automating your backup systems takes away the pressure of remembering to do a backup, as long as you check in and make sure that the process is working.
3. Moderate Your Comments
A busy, lively comments section is great for search engine optimization (SEO) and usually reflects well on the health of your business. But things can go wrong quickly — people say ugly things, and if you’re not aware of it (i.e moderating), then it can reflect poorly on you. Besides, there are often business opportunities and customer questions in the comments.
Daily comment moderation is best, but if that’s not possible then, at the very least, it should be part of your weekly routine.
Monthly Web Maintenance Tasks
1. Review Your Loading Speeds
The performance of your site has a huge impact on its success. If your web pages take more than three seconds to load, you need to figure out why and fix it. Studies suggest that 40% of people abandon pages that lag for longer than that, especially if it happens over and over again. Slow loading times are also a negative indicator for search engines and will push your page lower in search engine rankings.
Set a reminder to make an overall loading speed check a regular part of your monthly schedule.
2. Review and Resolve Security Issues
Cybersecurity should always be top of mind. It’s important to keep abreast of any new threats that may have emerged, scan for malware residing on your site, and ensure that all your security systems are still doing their job. Otherwise, a ransomware attack can bring you down in seconds.
Make sure you know where your data resides, who has access, and how it’s protected. Make backups and have contingency plans in place for when problems do occur.
3. Create Content and Market It
Your website needs to be fresh to attract SEO attention and keep customers interested in what you offer. On a monthly basis, make sure that your content plan is on track. New blogs, newsletters, social media, deals — whatever you have decided should be in the mix — make sure it’s been delegated out to the creative team and that they’re delivering and sharing content properly.
Annual Web Maintenance Tasks
1. Renew Your Domain Names and Annual Subscriptions
Sounds obvious, right? But you’ll be surprised how often brands simply forget that they need to keep paying their domain fees to keep their valuable URL. There are few calls more embarrassing for a webmaster to receive than one from the boss saying they can no longer get onto the website. (File that under “You had one job!”)
Set yourself a reminder that you need to update the domain names and remember to make sure the credit card associated with payment hasn’t expired.
2. Change Your Passwords
It’s easy to get too comfortable with your cybersecurity and to start thinking that what worked in the past will work in the future. But that’s dangerous, especially when it comes to passwords. People share them and forget or use unfamiliar computers and leave them open. At some point, a hacker will stumble on your old passwords, and it’s up to you to make sure that doesn’t turn into a Code Red.
Consider changing all your passwords at least once a year or having a separate password for financial accounts as opposed to general access to the website.
3. Update Your About Page
It’s one of the most visited pages on your site, so make sure that your About page reflects where your company is and what it’s doing right now. No one wants to hear the same foundational story when you’ve been in business for five years — they want to know what’s changed and where you are focused right now. An annual update to the About page fixes that problem and keeps the site feeling fresh.
Ensure Your Website Is Well Maintained
Website maintenance is not the glamorous work of the web, but it separates good websites from great ones. Don’t go by the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Get on your site regularly and make sure it’s operating at peak level.
There is one way to make sure it’s done without having to think about it, and that’s to bring on a web maintenance partner. At Orpheus, we pride ourselves on running great web maintenance for our clients. We have a range of plans available that determine how much we do, and how frequently. Our maintenance plans ensure your websites and mobile apps run smoothly and effectively at all times. Your site stays fresh, and your customers stay engaged.