Website maintenance is important to keep your website functioning and running smoothly. This includes both keeping your site updated, backed up, and error-free. As a website development agency, we have seen many different types of technical glitches. Some errors are easy to fix but expensive mistakes can be a pain in the neck.
To prevent issues from ever popping up again on your site always make it a point to follow this checklist:
1. Website Backups – This includes making sure that you have backups of all changes, posts, and pages from the moment you began using your website until now. Even though some hosting companies offer automatic backups, we still recommend doing it manually so you can keep track of everything that was done to your site-this will be important when checking for any SEO related issues and is always good to use as a reference especially if something goes wrong after adding an HTML code or plugin.
2. Site Speed – There are many benefits of a fast site and for your user’s convenience, you should keep them in mind when designing your website or updating it. If you have any plugins installed like WP Super Cache make sure they are not slowing down the speed of your website; this might need to be removed if so. You can also try Google Lighthouse which is a free tool that tests your website’s performance and helps find ways to improve it. They give suggestions on how to get more stars on mobile page speeds, time to interact, as well as recommendations that will help you do so such as using image optimization tools and code validation tools.
3. Content grammar & readability – This should be done before publishing content on your website and also includes optimizing your images for SEO purposes to help you rank better in Google search results when it comes to using long-tail phrases related to the image or article itself.
4. Website Errors – Make sure to always check your website for errors often. When we say this, we don’t mean just checking on a daily basis but as you are making changes or adding files to the website, always check for any broken links (links that go to 404 pages), images not showing up, font issues, etc.; Most of the time it’s human error and takes only a few minutes but if one link is broken due to technical reasons then it could be something more serious. This can take more than an hour depending on how many clicks have been made with the broken link so it’s best not to skip this step unless you know what you’re doing.
5. SEO and broken links – If you are an SEO consultant then you should also be checking for broken or missing images that are loading up on your website because this can affect the rankings of all the pages it’s showing upon. Luckily, most search engines index the text of a webpage so having any keywords in your articles is always good but if there are no images to back up these words, they might not show correctly in organic search results.
6. Backing up site data – This should always be done before adding any form to your website to avoid errors and glitches; the best way is to back up the entire database first then upload only the new pages/posts that are being used for opt-in forms or anything else related to contact so you can test them out manually without having a lot of people submit their information (you never know how many submissions it could take). If everything works fine then don’t forget to back up the entire database before changing anything else on the website.
7. Website design – If at all possible try updating your WordPress theme and plugins as well as making any major changes such as adding new pages, posts, categories, etc.; this will ensure that all pages are working with no errors so you can avoid having 404s pop up on your site after publishing an article or blog post.
8. SEO and broken links – If you think about it, if one link is broken then there’s a chance that all these links also contain information that has been lost as well; this will be missed if the form breaks down because of technical issues so always make sure to check everything before publishing errors show up on your website. This is the main reason that we want to make sure everyone is actually checking for errors before publishing an article and also looking for any SEO issues such as images, meta descriptions, etc., that might be affecting how well you rank in Google search results for certain keywords.
9. Optimizing Images – This means removing all unnecessary image data so you don’t have a lot of bloat slowing down your site or backing up your images with keywords and then resaving them in JPEG format using Photoshop; this will help improve rankings because it gives Google more information about the image itself which is why you want to make sure every directory containing images have keywords attached to it.
10. Site Search – Always check to make sure your site can be easily searched for specific keywords by Google or other search engines. This includes checking if everything is indexed in Google Webmaster Tools.
11. Duplicate Content – You don’t want to end up having multiple posts about the same subject so always check every post for anything similar to what has been previously published on your website.
12. Broken Links – These are links that either lead back to a 404 error page or forward people who might be leaving your site from certain articles which will lower conversion because you lose visitors but it also lowers your overall rankings as well; always make sure that every link on your website is working properly.
13. Website Updates – It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest content on your site so always check for new posts, pages links, and broken images that might have been added or changed over time. Always check for any plugins that you think are no longer in use because they can impact search engine optimization if the plugin isn’t deactivated properly which is why it’s best to go through this list every once in a while just to make sure everything is working properly and nothing has been removed from the website without actually being deleted. In case you’re not able to handle all these technical issues successfully then it will be best if you hire web developers who know what they’re doing when handling websites.
14. Website Forms – Make sure forms are working properly, it be hard at first but if you want to make it easier on yourself then you can create a form for your website which will help cut down on the time you need to spend checking all of them. You want to remove any elements that are not necessary such as information for a captcha because it just wastes time and doesn’t really have an effect on whether or not a human being is actually visiting your site so there’s no point in wasting precious page space when you could be doing something more productive; also, don’t forget to check if the contact forms work properly by adding temporary emails through Gmail and Mailinator so bots won’t send messages directly to your inbox but they’ll still get sent successfully.
15. Optimize the site’s database – Backing up your site data is a good way to save your site data information in case anything happens to the files which could lead to some issues so you want to make sure you keep track of everything that has been changed and not just focus on images and text because there could be other changes made that might affect how the website works properly but it doesn’t have any effect on the content itself so if this happens then you can always restore previous backups using FTP or cPanel. If something goes wrong during an update then it won’t be a big deal because everything will go back to normal; at least there’s a chance for things to fix themselves instead of having them remain broken.
16. Cleaning up site data – As far as cleaning up the database goes, you want to look for spam comments that contain links because this kind of thing is useless and only messes things up so you’ll need to remove them by checking the messages that have been sent through both forms and can also be done automatically through services like Akismet which will cut down on a lot of time being spent in trying to correct problems associated with spam. This includes keyword stuffing as well because if it’s bad enough then it could potentially lead to penalties and there’s no point in trying to compromise your rankings when other things are more important.
Website maintenance may seem like tedious work with regular checks and testing. But maintaining it is as important as building a website. If you are not maintaining your e-commerce website then you are at a high risk of hackers and even your Google rankings can drop if the mentioned checklists are overlooked.