Web maintenance that you can execute to ensure your WordPress website is running smoothly.
We all know what the past two years have done to businesses across the world. Pennies are tight right now for most companies and entrepreneurs and business owners are taking on extra workloads to make things work. Maybe web maintenance isn’t on your priority list?
At Create, we put some time into helping our readers benefit from the knowledge not always readily available online. And without too much of the confusing lingo you often find.
In this blog, we are going through some of the simple steps to WordPress web maintenance. This is level one stuff, you know, like the first pretty levels of Mario where you only have to jump on the heads of the little mushroom guys? Well, these are those steps, we are miles away from fighting Bowser, but with our help, you can get there too!
These steps will help you ensure that your site runs at peak performance whilst remaining safe and secure.
Back it up
Backups are a critical procedure in the WordPress world, you want to stay on top of them all year round. To keep the whole thing simple, there are plenty of brilliant applications that will automatically backup your website for you. However, if the worst happens and this stops working, there’s a chance you may not even know it’s happened.
We advise manually running your backup application just to make sure that your website is stored safely. When you manually do something weekly or monthly, it makes you look at the system you have in place to make sure it’s running smoothly and accurately. It’s better to know if it’s gone wrong before you need it than afterwards.
Control the trolls and spam
Keeping spam away from your website is important all year round. Spam can make your business look unprofessional and potentially alienate customers from using your company.
Most WordPress websites will be running Akismet as their spam deflector, and in our experience, it does a brilliant job. Occasionally, anti-spam software can mismark non-spam comments. Checking what the application has and hasn’t blocked will ensure that you don’t miss any questions or comments from real clients whilst keeping the spam at bay.
Keep testing performance
The truth is, when a website is initially built, businesses will immediately check to see how smoothly it’s running and then fail to check again until something goes wrong that they notice. Every time you add content to your site, whether that’s a blog, a plug-in or a new theme, your website’s performance will change.
Why should you want a fast website? Well, first impressions are crucial for conversions online. Having a website that is reactive to your customer’s behaviour will encourage them to spend with your business. A fast site also increases your SEO (search engine optimisation) as search engines prefer to show high performing websites to those who run searches.
So all in all, speed is important to keep people on your site, satisfying their curiousness and searches within your products and pages.
Don’t just be fast; stay fast.
Website maintenance at Create8
If base-level web maintenance isn’t what your business needs, we offer various web maintenance packages to help your business stay fresh and responsive. We understand the value of your time, and we know first-hand that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why we are a great choice. We have a plethora of experience in the web development sector, meaning there’s nothing we won’t be able to help you fix.
If your business is far too large for basic web maintenance, or if you’re struggling with time, get in touch to discuss web maintenance packaged with Create8.
Changing your passwords
It’s well known that older passwords can decay, even the most complex password can be compromised. That’s why WordPress suggest changing your password frequently and keeping it more obscure. We would never advise having the same password for your WordPress as you have for Facebook and so on.
It goes without saying that a complex password of random numbers and digits can be incredibly difficult to remember. This is where you can take advantage of a password bank; there are plenty of great ones out there, just have a look around and see what suits your needs.
Testing your forms!
When it comes to capturing leads and data, your WordPress forms are integral to the performance of your business. There are some brilliant plug-ins such as WPForms that make your life as easy as possible. These plug-ins allow a virtual web development novice to insert elegant and straightforward forms within their website.
However, once a form malfunctions, your business misses out on potential leads. This really isn’t a situation that you want to be in. It’s essential that you continue to check your forms to make sure they are working correctly. The simple way to do this is to fill them in yourself to make sure you are receiving the leads; if this fails, it’s time to have a proper look into why it’s broken and how to rectify the issue.
There is nothing more frustrating as a user than clicking on a broken link or receiving a 404 error from a website. Although the two are different things entirely, they are similar problems to solve, so we will keep them together to help you out.
A 404 error occurs when a user attempts to visit a page that doesn’t exist on your website. This can be due to either a mistype by the user or if you have deleted a page altogether. To resolve these errors, there are plenty of website skimmers on the market that will highlight the problem pages and help you weed them out and delete them.
Broken links occur when a link you have attached no longer exists or becomes corrupt. For example, this can happen when you link to an external source within one of your blog posts, and now that source page no longer exists. However, broken links don’t only occur externally; they can also appear internally where an image has become corrupt, or you have accidentally mistyped a URL. Check these problems as much as possible as they also affect your SEO, not just the way your client views your business.
Audit your SEO and content
Your website content is partially responsible for how well or poorly your website ranks in terms of SEO. Therefore, you should be auditing the content you produce and the internal data of your website on a regular basis. For example, duplicate content taken from another online source will score poorly compared to new, keyword optimised content.
You can be forgiven for not using Google Analytics and Search Console as much as you probably should, but if you’re reading this, now is the time to start! These two programmes provide you with all the granular data your business needs to understand performance. Whether you are looking to address your lack of traffic or your company’s struggles with converting the traffic it generates, Google has a product to help you along the way.
If you are interested in checking the SEO score of your business or analysing what keywords it would be worth optimising for, there are plenty of options out there. SEMrush is one of the most accessible platforms to understand and manipulate; give it a try and see what you think.
The truth is when it comes to maintenance; there are lots of other things to address too. Problems may also arise where you’ll need an expert to rectify the issue. However, following the steps laid out in this blog is a great way to start your website maintenance journey.
Websites that stay on top of the game often out-perform the competition, creating more leads and, in turn, more profit, which is, of course, the end goal. Think of your website as a car; if you never took it to the garage, it wouldn’t work as well as it should. In fact, if you’re never checking your website or inputting new content, you’re not even putting petrol in the car in the first place.
Don’t run on fumes; maintain your site.
If you want to speak to us about anything you have read in this blog or if you would like to see how we could work together on a project, follow the link below. We can’t wait to hear from you.