No matter how a website is built, which language or platform it’s powered by, it’s necessary to do proper maintenance. Regular maintenance can help your site stay relevant, give users a great experience and make it more secure. It’s not as simple as building a website and leaving it like that forever.
A website requires a lot of work after it’s put online and as the expectations of customers and internet technologies change, your website needs to change as well. You need to keep up, especially when you consider the fact that Google loves websites that are always looking to adopt new trends, and for this they are rewarded with better search rankings.
Although website maintenance might seem very simple, a lot of people repeat the same mistakes over and over again. To help you avoid common rookie mistakes, we’ve decided to point out those red flags, so that you can learn from other people’s mistakes and not your own.
Getting ahead of yourself
As we mentioned, new technology is a very important asset for a website and many people get excited when they discover something that can be beneficial to their site. We all get tempted to quickly try and add new functions and features, especially today when there are so many options available.
However, you need to be moderate and avoid adding features and functionalities that your visitors don’t really need. Even if they are not used, the features that you added will take away your time, as you will have to maintain them. A lot of developers get caught up by their SEO plans and they end up adding many things that their customers don’t really want or need.
On top of that, they reduce the level of user experience on their sites, creating a cluttered platform that people can’t find their way around. This is contradictory because SEO and UX are very closely connected and you can’t have one without the other. Additionally, you will create a very complex maintenance process.
Avoiding regular maintenance
Making sure that everything is in order with your website takes a lot of work, technical knowledge and discipline. However, if you have a simple approach to your maintenance process, it won’t bother you at all. The average maintenance routine for a single day can last from 15 to 30 minutes, in case there aren’t any bugs.
You need to do maintenance at least once per month and your website will be in great shape. If you postpone regular maintenance, some small problems, changes or fixes could turn into a whole mess, where you will waste a lot of time determining what the issue is before you can even begin solving it.
Furthermore, your website and audience could suffer a lot before you finally get to do your maintenance and this can cause consequences that might hurt your website for a long time. This is why you need to create a maintenance checklist and a schedule to which you’ll stick with discipline.
Not updating your CMS
One of the most essential things that MUST be on your maintenance checklist is to update or upgrade your CMS whenever these are available. A lot of people avoid updating their CMS because it sometimes requires a bit of money. However, by overlooking upgrades and tackling issues as they come up, you can actually spend a lot more time and money trying to fix them, rather than letting your vendor take care of them.
On the other hand, some people simply feel that they are wasting time with updates and won’t do them even if they are free. For example, WordPress constantly releases updates and one of the biggest reasons for this is that they simply improve security.
On top of that, updates allow you to use the latest features properly and perform actions without any bugs. For example, if you want to change a WordPress Theme properly you will need the latest update that supports all themes. This way, they are implemented properly and safe to use.
Not updating content
One of the best indicators to Google that a website is properly maintained and active is to regularly update its content. As Google loves new, fresh, and original content, adding more of it and sharing with the public is only going to give your website’s SEO more green lights. When you add new material it shows Google that your site is up and running and looking to offer new things.
On the other hand, new content means more opportunities for engaging people, converting them, and giving them a better experience when on your site. Not only can this be good for business, but it can also improve your SEO.
Don’t let the “latest news” on your site date back two months, and avoid broken links across your site that lead users nowhere. This can reduce your ranking and the trust of your visitors as well. Show everyone that you care by updating your content and making sure everything is optimized.
A website is a complex platform that has many important parts working together. This is why it’s essential to maintain all of them constantly, so that they are coherent and work well as a whole. If one of the areas is neglected, everything will fall apart. Think of your website as a human body, if one organ fails, others will be put in danger too.