Your business depends on your website running like a lean, mean, money-making machine. In order to do that, it needs to be secure and backed up on a regular basis. Dust off your website to-do list and get to work on these 5 maintenance tasks today.
Psst…don’t have time to roll up your sleeves and take care of these tasks? Let us take care of your website maintenance for you! Pfew…that feels better, right?
Now, on to the tips…
1. Change Your Passwords
Using complex passwords will make your website more secure against a data breach. Every user should have a truly strong password and update it at least twice per year.
Avoid using common phrases like street names or birthdays, as hackers will always try your personal information first. Instead, use an online tool like Random Password Generator to create hacker-proof passwords, then safeguard them with password managers like LastPass or 1Password.
2. Monitor Site Speed
How quickly do your webpages load? Page speed isn’t something the average website owner thinks about, but a bogged down website can affect your page rankings and conversion rates.
With all the regular updates made to your website, it’s important to make sure it’s consistently coded well. Doing so will eliminate (or at least reduce) code bloat and keep your pages loading quickly. You can perform a quick and easy health check on your site’s load time with free online tools like Google’s Page Speed Insights.
3. Fix Broken Links
Broken links (or dead links) lead visitors to a page or file that no longer exists. And honestly, they can make your site look unprofessional.
There are several reasons why these occur internally, such as a changed URL, removed file or short-term promotion. Externally, the website you linked to may have changed their domain without setting up protocols for redirecting old links.
Broken links create a bad user experience for visitors and leave a bad impression with search engines. Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools (free!), then run regular sweeps of your website and clean up any dead links.
4. Update Your CMS
Whether you use WordPress, Drupal or Joomla!, staying on top of updates is crucial for your website’s security. Not updating to latest version makes you more vulnerable to a hacker attack, and it’s far more costly to undo the damage than it is to prevent it.
Log in to your content management system and check for any updates to your CMS version, theme or plugins.
5. Back Up Your Website
If your website was accidentally deleted by a web host update, how quickly could you get it back online? Or what if you updated a plugin and lost key functionality in your site—how would you fix it?
Backing up your website will help you to react quickly in scary situations like this. However, doing it yourself isn’t always your safest bet. Though the beauty of CMS websites is their user-friendliness, the flip-side is they can break easily when not maintained correctly.
Outsourcing to a professional team is an inexpensive option that will give you peace of mind in knowing your website is up to date and completely secure. Investing in a maintenance program with a web developer is like a purchasing an affordable insurance plan for your website. Plus, you’ll have access to email and phone support, so you can focus on what really matters—and that’s running your business.
What are your website maintenance musts? Share your non-negotiables in the comments below.