Okay the title may be a little overboard, but a website malfunction can seem like the end of the world. Websites can go down for a variety of reasons; it’s what you do to avoid it or bounce back from a meltdown that makes all the difference.
We have had client’s websites malfunction, and needless to say we have fixed the problems, but sometimes these mishaps could have been avoided by some quick fixes and maintenance on the part of the client. We aren’t here to say that our clients tackle their website battle alone, it’s simply a few things that can be done that can eliminate the cause of a panicked phone call and lost revenue, that are caused by a down website.
The proper phrase for keeping your website up-to-date is website maintenance.
What is Website Maintenance?
In the simplest of definitions, website maintenance is ensuring that your website is up-to-date with the latest software updates, backups, quality checks and content updates.
Backing Up Your Site
Website backups are essential in the cases of data breaches or server meltdowns. A quality web maintenance plan should include regular backups. Nightly, weekly and daily website backups are the most ideal. These procedures make it easier to get your site back up if something goes awry. Be sure that the maintenance plan actually works, because what good is a backup if it doesn’t work when you absolutely need it? Your website host should be performing backup tests to ensure they work for you when you need them to.
Quality/ Content Checks
Have you ever been on a website and a link or image is broken, or worse, the website’s formatting is off? These can be warning signs of bigger issues that are brewing. Your website’s content is just as important as the back-end. A quality maintenance team (yourself included) checks for hiccups on the site and make them right quickly and efficiently. The last thing you want is for a visitor to be be deterred from an action because your website looks unkempt.
Many websites contain some sort of software. With content management systems, blogging platforms and everything in between, a software update is inevitable. If software isn’t updated it can cause several problems with your website. Luckily, in most cases, updating software can be as simple as clicking update. When software is out-of-date it can lead to leaks in your website’s security, in turn costing you hundreds if not thousands of dollars if your information gets into the wrong hands.
Even if you are a one-man business, eventually you will need some assistance in maintaining your site. Many website hosting companies offer packages that include website maintenance. Your website is like a car, every once in awhile it needs to be taken in for a tune up and a maintenance check. Take care of your website so that it can take care of you.