So your business has just created a state-of-the-art, innovative website, congratulations!
Now it’s time to sit back and let the leads and conversions roll in, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Despite popular belief, a website is never truly done. Continuous updates and optimization are key for keeping your website relevant. These continuous updates include performing regular website maintenance.
Let’s discuss some must-know tips when it comes to maintaining your business website.
1. Perform Usability Testing
How users interact with websites is constantly changing. When you first create your website, your web design will cater to the design trends of the time, but how your website visitors engage will evolve and as expected your website will need to adapt to these changes as needed to keep it relevant.
One way to make sure your website always makes intuitive sense to your users is by performing usability testing once per year. Of course, having fresh eyes on your site will be the most beneficial. Recruit users who are not familiar with your business or brand. Have users test on all browsers and devices so you can get a full picture of how users interact with your website.
Once testing is complete, create a schedule to make updates as needed based on the test’s findings.
2. Test Website Elements are Functioning Properly
Nowadays websites have so many elements that it can be easy to miss if one does not work properly.
If your business sells products online, the most important website element to test is how a user will complete a purchase. When this aspect of your website breaks, it quite literally costs your business revenue. It is crucial for your business to make test online purchases every couple of months to ensure your eCommerce site is functioning properly.
If your business does not offer online products but has forms users can complete to find out more information or be contacted by one of your team members, these forms should be checked as well. When these forms are broken, there is a good chance your business is missing out on valuable leads, and testing these forms will help you catch the issue sooner rather than later.
When completing user testing, forms and purchases should be tested on all devices and browsers.
3. Perform Security Updates
Security breaches, both big and small, happen daily. Keeping your business’s website secure, especially if sensitive information is collected from customers, should be your top priority.
Performing security checks and updates is one of the most important aspects of website maintenance. Normally, when a new security update becomes available it is to help improve upon areas that were previously not as secure. Updating your website security as soon as a new version is available ensures your website will always have the most protection against hackers.
4. Consistently Back Up Your Website
It’s happened to everyone, that sudden computer glitch that causes you to lose all of your hard work. Well, it’s possible for websites too.
Backing up your website consistently can help you get back up and running with an up-to-date version of the site if a hacker does somehow get through. Depending on how often your business’s website is updated will determine how often you should backup your site. If your site is constantly being updated it would be beneficial to perform a backup at most monthly, if not quarterly. If your site stays fairly similar, backing up for site annually will suffice.
5. Listen to Your Users
Allowing your users to interact with your business via comments and forms may help shed some light on how your website could be improved or notify you of an issue that you otherwise might have missed.
Part of your routine website maintenance should include checking customer interactions and making any updates deemed necessary.
6. Analyze Website Metrics
Collecting website metrics is beneficial for multiple reasons. Not only can they help to see if your website is performing well, they can also help with maintaining your website.
Continuously reviewing the metrics for your business’s website will allow you to see what is working well on your site and what needs improvement. It is best to check website metrics frequently so you can accurately monitor website growth.
Perform regular website maintenance is necessary to keep your business’s website both relevant and secure. Many businesses end up putting website maintenance on the back burner until it becomes a daunting task. Setting calendar reminders can help your business keep on top of it.
If website maintenance seems too intimidating, your business can always choose to partner with a web design agency that specializes in hosting and maintaining websites. Working with a web design agency ensures your business’s website will always be up-to-date and performing optimally.