Your website is a crucial part of your business. Every time people access your business online, they see your website first. Your website can determine the kind of impression they have and how they feel about your business.
Is it fast? Are the fonts user-friendly? How is the website mapped? And many other questions.
Often, a website will require maintenance once it no longer performs optimally. For example, if the bounce rate is high or the conversion rate is low, there could be a problem with the load speed, or the theme no longer appeals to your target audience.
It requires consistent maintenance to guarantee that your website remains relevant and engaging to your audience.
With that being said, here are some top dos and don’ts when maintaining your website:
Dos Of Website Maintenance
The best practices in website maintenance will help keep your website performing smoothly. If you’re using it for business, a good website can guarantee high traffic and a reasonable conversation rate.
This leads to higher revenue for your business. Here are some best practices to follow:
1. Keep Your Website Software Up-to-Date
The software you build your website should be up-to-date and contain the most recent features and security patches. This includes the content management system (CMS), themes, plugins, and other third-party tools you may use.
For example, if you’re using a particular theme for your website, having it updated can help with responsiveness and performance. A plugin may also have new features to help you improve your site.
Updating your software will help you take advantage of the latest features and security fixes and enhance your website’s overall performance.
2. Choose The Right Web Hosting
Web hosting is a vital part of maintaining a website. Hosting may seem like a minor deal regarding search engine optimization (SEO), but it can significantly impact your site’s conversion rate, ranking, and overall traffic. Here’s how web hosting can affect your website:
- Load time: Local hosting for businesses has proven to increase website load speed. Each request has to travel some distance before sending a response. Therefore, if you host your business overseas, it may affect the load speed of local customers.
- SEO ranking: Search engines like Google use hosting servers’ locations to crawl and index your website. If your website is hosted elsewhere, there can be problems with indexing your website, hence a lower ranking.
With website hosting affecting your ranking, picking a domain host is crucial to your website maintenance. If you target local audiences, then go for local hosting. This will ensure faster load time and better performance.
3. Regularly Back Up Your Website
Backing up your website is a critical step in website maintenance. In this era where cybercrime has taken center stage, your website can be a prime target for hackers. However, if you regularly back up your website, you can restore it in case of technical issues or data loss.
It’s advisable to back up your website at least once a week or after making any significant changes to your website. You can use a backup plugin or an external service to automate the process or manually download a copy of your website files and database.
4. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
Your website needs SEO to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Therefore, you must incorporate the best SEO practices in your website maintenance project.
There are various aspects of your website that you need to look at that affect your SEO. They include load speed, site responsiveness, structured markup, page titles and headers, and URLs.
Regularly auditing and optimizing your website for search engines will help you attract more traffic, improve your visibility, and increase your chances of success online.
When working on your SEO, you should audit it regularly by checking on factors such as conversion rate, bounce-off rate, and time on each page. Finding ways to improve your SEO would be best if it falls below your key performance indicators (KPI).
5. Monitor Your Website’s Performance
Monitoring your website’s performance is an essential part of website maintenance. It helps you identify and address issues affecting your website’s speed, security, or functionality.
Different analytic tools can help you monitor your website’s performance, track visitors’ behavior, and analyze your website’s metrics.
Additionally, you can use audit tools that can tell you any errors on your website. These include issues such as compatibility, SEO, and usability. By monitoring your website’s performance, you can make informed decisions, fix problems, and improve your website’s overall quality and user experience.
6. Keep Your Website Content Fresh and Relevant
Updating your website content regularly is an effective way to keep your website fresh and relevant. When search engines crawl your website, they look at how user-centric it is.
The best way to achieve this is by using relevant, informative, and authentic content. Besides being picked by search engines, fresh content shows your audience that you are active and engaged and provides valuable information.
Your website will be reliable, relevant, and authoritative in that particular niche. Whether you add new blog posts, product updates, or testimonials, updating your website content will help you keep your website relevant and engaging.
Also, do keyword research to get all the relevant phrases people use to search for similar topics, products, or services. This will drive traffic to your site.
Don’ts Of Website Maintenance
While many practices will optimize your website for business and functionality, there are also many others that you need to avoid. Here are the following:
1. Neglect Your Website’s Security
Security is an essential part of any website. It helps keep your business and customers’ information safe, preventing hackers and the costly fees of cybercrime.
Neglecting your website’s security can have serious consequences, such as data theft, malware attacks, or website downtime.
It would be best to implement security measures to prevent any security breach to your website and keep it secure. They include using strong passwords, keeping your software up-to-date, using a secure socket layer (SSL), and using a web application firewall (WAF).
You should also regularly scan your website for vulnerabilities and take action if any issues are detected.
2. Overuse Plugins or Add-ons
Plugins are essential to any website as they add functionality, usability, and efficiency. They can make your website more user-friendly and help drive traffic. However, overusing plugins or add-ons can slow your website and make it more vulnerable to security threats.
Some plugins are not patched properly and could be the entry point of security breaches and underperformance.
It would help if you only use plugins and add-ons that are necessary and relevant to your website’s goals and functionality. Before installing new plugins or add-ons, research their compatibility, performance, and security and keep them up-to-date.
Additionally, it’s essential to regularly review your plugins and add-ons and remove any that you no longer use or that may be causing issues.
3. Ignore Your Website’s Design and User Experience
Your website’s design and user experience (UX) are critical factors that impact your website’s success and performance. When customers visit your website, the impression they get is what they’ll have for your business.
Customers’ feelings can determine whether they’ll buy from you or see your business as unprofessional.
A poorly designed website can be confusing, frustrating, and unappealing to visitors, while a well-designed website can provide a positive and memorable experience.
To maintain a good website design and UX, you should regularly evaluate your website’s layout, color scheme, typography, and navigation and make necessary changes. If you are still determining your website design, you can employ a professional graphic and web designer.
You should also pay attention to your website’s usability and accessibility and ensure that your website is easy to use and accessible for all users. Remember to test your website’s responsiveness on different devices. Keep in mind that a responsive website means more accessibility and better SEO.
4. Neglect Feedback And Reviews
Ignoring customer feedback and reviews on your website maintenance can be costly for any business. Remember that customer feedback can help you identify and fix issues with your website.
If several customers are complaining about a particular issue, it’s a sign that you need to fix it. Ignoring these complaints can lead to poor customer experience, thus affecting your reputation and future sales.
Furthermore, customers who feel that their feedback is heard will likely to become loyal customers. You can build a strong relationship with your customers by showing that you value their opinions and are willing to make changes based on their feedback.
This may make them return to your website in the future. However, if you don’t listen to them, you’ll lose more customers as new prospects will be reading their reviews.
Website maintenance is an essential aspect of website ownership and management.
Considering the dos and don’ts outlined in this article, you can ensure that your website remains functional, ranks highly in search engines, and leaves a lasting impression on its visitors. Because of this, it’ll be optimized for SEO and have a high conversion rate.