This is part 1 of my website maintenance series. For part 2 please click here.
So many times I have people ask me why they need to pay for someone to regularly maintain their website. It seems that some folks think that once the site is created that it will run like gold for many years to come. And they only need to pay $10/year for their domain name.
Well, that would be nice, but sadly that’s not the case.
Just like our bodies need certain things on a regular basis for peak performance, so does your website. In this post, I will break this down, and hopefully explain in it a way that you can understand.
#1. Domain Name.
This is the address that your website (home) is located at.
Usually, the domain name ends with .com. So, for your business website, you will need a domain name that most closely represents the name of your company or brand. I recommend buying your domain name from Namecheap.com. We have tried many different domain registrars, and Namecheap is the best that we’ve found so far.
Your website files need to be hosted somewhere. That means the files need to be kept on an air-conditioned hard drive that is always connected to the internet 100% of the time. You can not afford to have your website be up some of the time, and down some of the time. We partner with some of the best hosting technology in the world to provide a fast, and reliable hosting service for our clients. If you are wanting to get hosting yourself, then I recommend Bluehost. They have excellent pricing, and industry leading technology.
Email hosting is also very important along this subject. With email hosting you can have your own customized email address, like [email protected]
With our maintenance plan we take care of both website hosting and email hosting for our customers.
#3. Regular Backups
Please read Part 2 for a more thorough explanation of why you need to perform regular backups. However, I will say here that the perfect backup plan would run backups of your site on a daily basis.
#4. Regular Updates
You CANNOT afford to have a website that has not been kept up to date. Your site will be hacked. It’s not a matter of if, but when. (In Part 2, I actually break this down into 3 different sections.)
I recommend that you run these updates on a weekly basis.
#5. System and Security Scans
It’s important that you scan your website regularly and monitor both your website’s performance, and security. It’s much better to find an issue that needs taken care of right away than to let it fester for a long time.
I recommend scanning your website on a daily basis.
#6. Content Updates
You should be updating your website’s content regularly. I mean you should be creating a blog post, or updating your pages and pictures. That is what Google is looking for as well. Google likes it when you ping them with fresh content. It lets Google know that your site is alive, well, and ready to serve. You can post once a week, once a month, or every day if you like. The most important thing is that you update the content on your website.
With our maintenance plan we offer an hour of our time every month to our customers to help them get their site updated. For some people it’s a newsletter that needs uploaded or a sales ad that needs to replace the old one.
The perfect maintenance plan has content updates built in.
#7. Analytics & Metrics
Install Google Analytics and you will have all the reporting, metrics and analytics that you can handle. You’ll be able to see where your visitors are coming from, and what pages are your most popular pages. It will take a few months to get enough data to make good comparisons. After that, you should pop in there regularly and see how your website is doing, and who you are serving. We install Google Analytics as part of our maintenance plan. It’s vital. It’s important. Just do it.
After, you analyze the data you can…Make any adjustments that you need to make to fine tune your website, or pivot in a direction that your visitors are showing you they want you to go.
I recommend that you look at quick Google Analytics report once per month.
Bonus Tip: Support Desk
You have questions we have answers. So many people would love to be able to login to their website and make simple changes. With our maintenance plan, that is absolutely no problem. We not only give our customers access to their website, but we are also available to answer any questions that they may have about it. We strive to answer our customer’s questions within 24-48 hours.
Well, there’s more that could be said about what to include in a perfect website maintenance plan.
However, I have hit the 7 most important items in this post. Please visit part 2 now.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.