Website Maintenance Checklist: How to Keep Your Website Functional, Organized and Search Engine Friendly
We are into checklists. We keep extensive ones ourselves. It seems only fitting we offer our clients some advice and a checklist of their own. Our website maintenance checklist is designed to help you keep your website running smoothly and efficiently.
It includes tools for your content, your data, domain name, security and your marketing efforts. Our website maintenance checklist gives you a clear, goal-driven approach for managing your website even if you have a fantastic website maintenance company helping you. Of course, if you don’t maybe you should call us! But, even if you do work with a great webmaster, this website maintenance checklist will make that process more efficient.
We recommend looking over your checklist on a regular basis. We prefer monthly, but quarterly or bi-annually will work. At the minimum, take a look every year.
Website Maintenance Checklist
Managing Your Content
From text and photos to your company’s information, content is king and keeping it accurate and fresh is critical to the success of any website.
- Update your company information.
- Have a recent address or phone number change? Someone leave the company? Make sure that information is reflected on your website.
- Scan the website for typos and grammar.
- Even in the best situations, typos happen. Occasionally read through all your website text for errors.
- Refresh the existing website content.
- There is nothing that says “I don’t care about my website” like stale content. Update your text and images with regularity, even if they are only minor changes.
- Generate something new for your customers.
- Always be thinking about new text, images and opportunities to engage your customers through your website.
Handling Your Data
Any website maintenance checklist would not be complete without safeguards for your website data.
- Store all the pages of your website in Word documents.
- By keeping all the text from your website in Word, you can replace, change or add at any time quickly and easily. Want to be really cutting edge? Use Google Docs instead.
- Store all your website photos and files on a local computer or in the cloud.
- Having a file library on your company network or cloud is an outstanding safeguard. It also gives you access for offline use in brochures, ads, etc.
- Backup your website content, code and database.
- Most hosting companies and maintenance providers do this to some degree – we do it for our customers EVERY DAY! Make sure there is a good plan in place or have us do it for you!
Your Domain Name is Part of Your Website Too
People often forget that the domain name you use for your website is absolutely critical to your success, so don’t ignore it.
- Know the date your domain renews and keep it on your calendar.
- Far too often, we have had customers forget to renew a domain name and see the website go down. Do this now!
- Utilize auto renewal.
- To save the hassle, engage auto renewal for your domain names and keep that credit card updated.
- Update your domain name contacts.
- Your contacts on your domain name should be current and, preferably, generic. If your contact is a former employee with an old email address, it can be harder than you think to regain control of your domain name.
- Make sure all your domain names point to where they should.
- If you have multiple versions of your domain name, make sure they ALL point to your website.
Safeguards for Security
Most websites require only minimal security to remain safe and stable, but small steps can keep your website healthy and secure.
- Update your passwords.
- We cannot stress this strongly enough. Using STRONG passwords and updating them frequently is your BEST defense against hacking.
- Maintain good security software.
- Be informed about hacking.
- Knowledge is power and understanding technology empowers you to provide better safeguards for your website.
- Have a plan in case of a disaster.
- Along the Gulf Coast, that means being prepared for a hurricane, but any natural disaster can be a nightmare for your technology including your website.
Keeping Your Marketing Goals Integrated
Whether you are trying to stay at the top of the search engines or just want people to find you online, occasional reviews of your websites marketing efforts can bring real ROI for your company.
- Track your analytics.
- Google Analytics is one of the simplest and most powerful tools for learning about who is visiting your website and why. Use it! Or have us do it for you.
- Update your website when you update internal marketing and collateral.
- Don’t forget about your website when creating a print ad or developing a new brochure. Those things should be integrated into your most important marketing tool: your website!
- Add new content regularly.
- As we mention above, stale content makes your website appear unused. Add something new. We can help if you need it.
- Do searches for your website.
- It’s never a bad idea to see how you are doing. Hit Google, Bing and/or Yahoo and see where you rank. Then, find out how to improve.
Keeping a good website maintenance checklist and schedule can keep your website healthy, safe and doing its job. Of course, when in doubt, consult the professionals and contact us today!