Your website is your virtual storefront, allowing you to get found online by prospects and delivering the important first impression that’ll help convert more customers.
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t understand how important it is to maintain their website properly and ensure a seamless customer experience, maximize uptime, and optimize conversions.
Keeping your website in tip-top shape requires ongoing maintenance that can help you avoid costly downtime and data losses.
Having a maintenance schedule is the key to keeping your website running smoothly. Here are five essential activities you should incorporate to ensure peace of mind:
From natural disasters to malware attacks, there are many unforeseeable circumstances that can lead to data loss or even worse: completely wipe out your website. Having a disaster recovery plan allows you to restore the website as quickly as possible to minimize the impact.
Website backups are an important part of a disaster recovery plan. They consist of three key components: an off-site backup that’s independent of your hosting provider, a regular backup schedule including at least a daily database backup, and an encryption protocol that’s utilized before the data is stored off-site.
There are many moving parts in devising a disaster recovery plan, so it’s often beneficial to work with an expert team to make sure you have all the pieces accounted for.
If your website runs on WordPress, you probably have quite a few plugins installed for added functionalities. These plugins, in addition to the WordPress software, release regular security updates, and it’s important to install them as soon as possible. In addition, you can use a plugin (i.e., WordFence or iThemes Security) to improve website security.
If you have been hiring third parties (e.g., website developers) to work on your site, make sure you don’t share the “master passwords” (main login) with them. Create a unique login for each contractor, which you can disable when the work is completed.
Keeping your website up-to-date helps you prevent it from getting attacked, going offline due to an error, or lacking proper functionality when future updates are applied.
Set up regular website maintenance activities to cover these four key items: WordPress Core updates, theme updates, plugin updates, and backup health checks. Before performing any updates, you should run a backup—if anything goes wrong, you should restore the latest version as quickly as possible.
If you don’t want to incur the overhead of hiring a full-time IT employee to perform these tasks, you can work with an external team at a much lower cost that can provide the right expertise to help ensure that your website is functioning properly at all times.
Most low-cost hosting packages put your website on a “shared environment,” where thousands of websites are squeezed onto the same server. This can lead to performance issues, such as slow load times, that can turn your website visitors away instead of turning them into customers.
Don’t penny-pinch on your hosting solution. Use a service that’s secure, reliable, and offers 24/7 support. In addition, host your email separate from your website’s server to minimize deliverability issues (i.e., if you’re on a shared environment and one user sends out a lot of spam, the entire server’s IP can be blocked).
Monitoring the health of your website allows you to nip any issue in the bud. You can avoid major problems that would not only be expensive to fix but also damage your reputation and cost you sales.
Download our eBook “Five Essentials To Keeping Your Website Safe” to learn how you can design a plan that will keep your website in tip-top shape.