Effective websites require regular attention to security, back-ups, software updates, and of course, your strategy.
Implementing a proper maintenance schedule ensures your website will continue to work for you as one of your most valuable marketing tools. We’ve developed a checklist of tasks to keep your site working great for website visitors and to keep you ahead of the competition.
Before you begin:
- Install Google Analytics
- Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools and confirm your site
- Set up a back-up service and set daily database backups and at least weekly full site backups. Store these on a separate web server. For back-up services we recommend Amazon S3 or Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Monitor website security with automatic scanning.
- Monitor website uptime. We recommend Uptime Robot and Pingdom Tools.
- If you’re not already on there, you should also set up your business on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. This is essential for new businesses and needs constant monitoring to make sure your business is getting found when people are searching locally.
Weekly Website Checks
- All pages on the front-end of the website are loading without errors
- Backups are performed daily and stored off site
- Update Content Management System software and plugins
- Check all forms to ensure they are working properly
- Review and resolve any issues with emails sent from the web server
- Check and remove spam comments, form submissions and user accounts
- Check for any broken links
- Check for 404 errors and resolve these by fixing links or redirecting
- Marketing: write one blog post and share it with your networks
Monthly Website Checks
- Check website loading speed. If more than 3 seconds then consult with your web developer to improve speed
- Review security scans and resolve any issues
- Review website statistics. What is your most popular content? What is your least popular? Where are visitors coming from? What is your best conversion source? Tweak your content to suit
- Review your local search visibility
- Marketing: send an update to your email list
Quarterly Website Checks
- Review website – what could be improved?
- Web Graphics and photos – are these up to date? Could they be improved to be more current?
- Check your website content – what is dated and what could be improved?
- Review and tweak meta title and meta description tags
- Test and tweak forms and automated messages to improve conversion rates. Ensure this automatically integrates with your CRM and email marketing system
- Improve automation: What tasks do you have to perform regularly? Could these be automated?
- Test the website to ensure that it looks and displays properly on the most popular browsers and mobile devices
- Validate your site. (CSS/HTML, Accessibility, Mobile-friendly)
- Review and adjust website advertising campaigns
- Check backup health by restoring the most recent backup to a separate web server
- Check the uptime logs. If uptime is less than 99.9% then consult with web host. Consider alternative web host if they can’t provide a solution
Yearly Website Checks
- Update the copyright date in your website footer and in any other references
- Review each page of the site for content accuracy
- Renew your website domains name(s)
- Review your website strategy to align with your business goals
- Consider updating the website design
Disclaimer: Some of the links contained in this article are affiliate links. We only ever link to sites and services that we have tested ourselves and would recommend to our grandmothers.
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Stuart is owner of creative and marketing agency Creative Sprout.