Running a successful website is an ongoing process. Setting everything up, getting the right hosting services, buying the perfect domain, designing a beautiful website – all this is just the start. It’s everything you do after you’ve already launched that ensures everyone has the same great experience with your website. Maintenance is, therefore, crucial to your online success; it cannot be neglected. In fact, some website maintenance tasks need to be performed regularly to keep your website running smoothly. You should incorporate these tasks into your routines to ensure peak performance.
Why Are Some Website Maintenance Tasks So Important?
Think of your website as a home. Designing it, building it, and moving in are all monumental achievements. But once you’re living there, the work doesn’t stop. You will still have to clean regularly, replace old appliances and furniture as needed, even do renovations every once in a while. The maintenance tasks ensure that your home is always in peak condition and that people who visit your home enjoy their stay there. You can apply the same logic to a website. If you want to offer a good user experience to those who visit it, designing, creating, and launching a website won’t be enough. You’ll need to regularly fix errors, update files, and even overhaul parts of the website if necessary to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Which Website Maintenance Tasks Should You Perform Regularly?
Running a website definitely requires dedication and hard work. This doesn’t mean you have to do absolutely everything every single day – nobody expects you to perform a complete website audit with your morning coffee, for example. But there are certain maintenance tasks that you do need to perform with some regularity.
Making Regular Backups
You can never predict everything – even the best servers crash. And if your server doesn’t, you’ll eventually install an update that messes up your coding somehow. It happens to everyone at some point, but that is why you need to store a copy of your website somewhere. That way, you can restore a working copy if something goes wrong and you won’t lose all your hard work! This is one of the most important maintenance tasks that you should get into the habit of frequently doing.
Updating Your Website
If you’re not creating your website entirely from scratch but using a platform like WordPress or Wix, you’ll want to ensure that you have the latest version. Similarly, if you’re using plugins for optimization, you’ll want to keep those updated too. Running the latest software on the market minimizes the odds of running into bugs, security issues, incompatibilities, and the like.
Testing Page Speed
People expect your pages to load fast – in less than 3 seconds, to be precise. If your website is too slow to load, you could lose users. Things like server changes, too much media content without optimization, outdated software, and more could cause your pages to slow down. By the time you notice your bounce rates going up, it could be too late. So check your website speed regularly to prevent any issues. Remember to the page speed for both desktop and mobile versions of the website.
Testing Browser Compatibility
At least half of your users will come from mobile devices. This is in part due to mobile devices becoming more popular. But it is also a question of accessibility as some people simply don’t have access to a desktop computer. And although most people use Chrome on both their computers and phones, a portion of your visitors will be using Safari, Firefox, Edge, or Opera. You don’t want this to have any effect on how they experience your website. So you want to make sure that all your content looks good on every browser and every version of the website.
Fixing Dead Links And Errors
Few things are more frustrating for users than clicking on a link that leads to an error page. Simply, broken and dead links and errors don’t belong on your website if you want to keep your users happy. But even if your internal linking practices are perfect, the websites you link to externally could change URLs, go down, or delete the content to which you are linking. You won’t know about this unless you regularly check that all links are still working. If you find any that aren’t, replace them!
Checking Your Rankings And Analyzing Your Statistics
It’s essential to track the progress of your business. Otherwise, you won’t know if your SEO and marketing strategies are working. One of the ways to do this is by regularly analyzing the performance of your website. Check if you rank for your main keywords and use Google Analytics to see how many visitors you get daily and to which pages. This information can help you identify any issues early on. It’ll also be helpful as a guide for coming up with further development strategies.
Auditing your website
Regular maintenance of your website will certainly get you far. But every once in a while, you need to do a more thorough check of everything. So do a complete website audit once every three to six months. This will give you detailed information about the performance of your website.
How Does Regularly Performing These Website Maintenance Tasks Benefit You?
By regularly performing website maintenance tasks, you can notice and prevent issues like slow loading, errors, incompatibilities, ranking plateaus, and more. Most of the things you need to do for maintenance don’t even take very long, especially when you do them regularly. So you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of time on this. And yet, it will be incredibly valuable in ensuring that all your users have a pleasant experience.
Emily Dodd is a professional web designer and occasional blogger for WP Full Care. She frequently posts about her profession in the hopes that her tips will make web design and website maintenance easier and more accessible to others. Her goal is to one day start her own business where she will offer high-quality website design and maintenance services at affordable rates.