Website maintenance is crucial to ensuring a website’s optimal performance and security. Just as a car requires regular check-ups and servicing, websites need consistent updates and fine-tuning to continue providing users with superior function.
No matter how great your site looks or how beneficial the content on it is, if your website isn’t running smoothly, you’re losing potential patients.
So, how do you ensure you stay on top of your website maintenance? With our essential website maintenance checklist, of course.
Why Website Maintenance Matters
Regular maintenance ensures that a website runs efficiently. Outdated plugins, old content, and broken links can slow down a website, leading to a subpar user experience. A slow-loading site can deter visitors and potentially harm search engine rankings.
And let’s not forget the ever-growing necessity of security. It’s a paramount concern. The digital landscape is full of evolving threats. Regularly updating a website’s software and security protocols safeguards it against potential breaches and cyber-attacks. An unmaintained site becomes an easy target for hackers, putting sensitive data and the site’s reputation at risk.
Consistent website maintenance ensures that all its components work flawlessly. A malfunctioning element can lead to lost customers or patients, user frustration, and a tarnished brand image.
We’re breaking down your website maintenance tasks so you know exactly what needs to be done weekly, monthly, and annually, so let’s get to it.
Weekly Website Maintenance Checklist
⬜ Review your metrics (date ______________________)
Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you excellent insight into how your website performs and the actions your users take.
You MUST pay attention to your metrics. This is truly invaluable data that can differentiate between a successful business and a floundering one. Learn how your site is performing and address issues immediately.
⬜ Back up your website (date ______________________)
Don’t risk losing changes to your site or your site altogether. Back up your website weekly. It’s typically just the hit of a button on your hosting site and may even be done automatically, so look into this right now if you’re not sure how it’s done. Most website hosting companies offer automatic backup options (some even offer daily).
⬜ Check site security (date ______________________)
Malware and other harmful code can wreak havoc on your site, so ensure your website is free of threats and malicious behavior by scanning the site every week for malware.
And don’t forget to update your plugins and delete unused ones. Often, outdated plugins are vulnerable to safety issues; regularly updating them will help keep your site safe.
⬜ Respond to your comments (date ______________________)
Your comment sections may be full of love, and they may be full of… non-love. Your need to respond to both kinds. This tells your website visitors that you care and have time for them and their needs.
Monthly Website Maintenance Checklist
⬜ Find & fix broken links (date ______________________)
No one likes hitting a link that doesn’t take them where it’s promised to. Broken links annoy users, and they may leave your website because you can’t be trusted.
⬜ Test all forms (date ______________________)
If you have contact forms, question forms, booking forms, or any other kind of form, you want to test them regularly to ensure they’re working properly. These forms are designed for customer convenience, so they have to work.
Simply fill out the form from your website and provide all YOUR information to see how the forms behave.
⬜ Check site speed (date ______________________)
Bad page loading times are one of the most common reasons for a user to leave your site. This tells Google your site isn’t performing well, and it’s a key element in their user experience algorithm.
Checking site speed is quick and easy. Try this free tool from Google: PageSpeed Insights.
⬜ Create new content (date ______________________)
We’re putting this on the monthly task list, but, hey, weekly is better. Content keeps you relevant, allows you to use more keywords, and inspires your users to come back for more. It’s also a great opportunity to get in front of new faces.
New, unique, interesting, informative, and educational content is great for your users, the search engines, and you.
⬜ Check your website’s overall SEO (date ______________________)
Give each page of your site an SEO audit to make sure you’re conforming to algorithm updates and SEO best practices. SEO is a living thing, so you have to stay flexible and on top of impactful factors involving your online success.
Things to consider:
- Alt tags
- Meta titles and descriptions
- Page speed
- User experience
This is a lot, but doing this monthly rather than yearly won’t be nearly as overwhelming and time-consuming.
⬜ Check your social media links (date ______________________)
Ensure you have your social media links everywhere they make sense. In your footer, on each blog post, in images that are relevant, etc. And don’t forget to make the content you want easily sharable, easily sharable.
You also need to be sure each social media link takes the user to the correct place.
Yearly Website Maintenance Checklist
⬜ Audit your content (date ______________________)
Your content is essential to your SEO, so take some time to audit it properly. You may find incorrect or outdated information that can be deleted, or you may find that you can easily update a piece into something relevant and well-performing.
See if you can reduce image file size, check that all graphs and stats haven’t aged out, and consider repurposing great content.
⬜ Review your site’s overall look & feel (date ______________________)
Add images, change colors to match your new branding, update to your new logo, etc. Your successful website should reflect who you are and appeal to your target audience. A dated website can lose you potential patients, customers, and clients.
⬜ Update your About Us page (date ______________________)
Have you gotten more certifications, started partnering with new local businesses, hired a new employee? Your About Us page is super important to your website visitors. Think of it as a behind-the-scenes look at who you are. It personalizes your business.
Take a look at this page at least once a year to make sure it provides all the information your users find important and gives correct and current information about your company and the people involved in it.
⬜ Ensure your footer is correct (date ______________________)
You may never need to change your footer, but since it’s easy to forget about, just check on it annually to be sure it’s all there correctly, and the same information applies. You may have added pages to your site that are important to add to your footer, or you may have deleted items you link to there.
Common footer details include:
- Each piece of your contact information
- Link to your blog page
- Links to your most visited pages
- Links to forms
- Your certifications
And That’s Website Maintenance Done Right
So, that’s your essential website maintenance checklist. Print it out and give yourself a check next to each part upon completion.
Remember, updating content, security measures, and design elements keep a website relevant and appealing. As industry trends evolve, your website needs to reflect these shifts to remain competitive and resonate with your audience. Regular website maintenance is crucial to a site’s longevity, security, and overall success.
We know budget is always something to consider, but with practice and time, you can do all these things independently. However, if that’s not in your wheelhouse and you don’t have the internal resources to help, book your free discovery call with Propel Marketing & Design today; and let’s see what we can do together.