Maintaining your website means more than just making sure it’s live! However, this can be a daunting task if you are a small-business owner, or if you don’t have the experience. So, here are a few tips to ease the process of website maintenance if you are handling this on your own
- Website Backups – Take the time to ensure that your website is backed up frequently. Keep a copy of your website on your local PC and back it up regularly. You may want to schedule weekly reminders to ensure your website is backed up locally. If your web server crashes unexpectedly, you can quickly restore your website and show your most updated content.
- Download, Then Update – Before revising a page from your website, you may want to download the page from the live website to your local PC. This will ensure that you are working with the latest version of the page. Once you make the changes locally, you can upload them to the server.
- Link Checker – If your website contains any outbound links, these should be checked often. Sometimes, the URL/link on the other website changes, and you will find that your outbound link is broken. Therefore, this leads your user to a “Page Not Found” error.
- Keep File Names – If you have files on your website, such as PDF, Word docs, Excel docs, etc., and you need to replace them with a newer version, you may want to consider keeping the original file name. This way, links to the file itself do not have to be revised and “Page Not Found” errors will most certainly be avoided.
- Keep SEO Terms – If your website has been optimized for search engine rankings (i.e., Google, Yahoo!), then you may want to consider keeping the same search terms you have embedded within your website. If your keyword search terms are changed or removed, this may have a negative impact on your ranking with the search engines.
- Test in Different Browsers – Once you make a change or an update to your website, you may want to review your changes using different browsers. These include Windows Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc. These browsers can interpret the same website code differently. This may negatively affect the layout of your web page, so performing a quick review of different web browsers may prevent any errors.
- Make Sure Your Online – From time to time, you may want to review your website as if you were the user and ensure you’re online. You may also consider hiring a website monitoring company which will monitor your website 24 hours a day. They will also issue reports with how much downtime your website has experienced. If you notice a problem with your website’s downtime, you may consider contacting your web hosting company so that they can rectify any problems.
- Monitor Your Stats – You can gather lots of pertinent information through your website statistics. This not only helps tremendously with marketing and advertising, but with your website maintenance as well. You can see if someone visited a certain page on your website more frequently, which keywords were used to get there, and so much more!