It's not what you want to hear. However, in order for your website to remain effective over the long haul, you must regularly give it attention. If you don't proactively maintain your website, you may be subject to not only security issues but also costly marketing or support problems as well.
Some examples of website neglect we have run across:
No one realized the contact form has not been submitting for months, resulting in dozens of lost business leads
Google Analytics code was either moved or improperly embedded, resulting in inaccurate website data
The WordPress admin passwords were not strong enough, resulting in a website hack
Of course, having a reliable and trusted host for your site that monitors it regularly is very important. However, there are several things that you (or your developer / agency partner) can take a look at on a regular basis to ensure your website stays in tip top shape.
Below are a few of the key areas that should be reviewed regularly to maintain a healthy site
1. Google Search Console and Webmaster Tools Review
Google Search Console is a free service that helps you monitor and maintain your website for search engines. You should regularly check search console for crawl errors, ensure your sitemap is up to date, check site speed and more. All of these factors can not only impact your search rankings, but also the user experience on your website. Learn about integrating Google Search Console with your site in this easy setup from our VP of Marketing.
2. Google Analytics Review
Google Analytics is only as helpful as the data it is set up to track. If it is not installed correctly or is not tracking the appropriate metrics, it will not be very useful to your business.
Aside from reviewing your reports regularly, you should also make sure that all metrics relevant to your organizational goals are being tracked (page views, custom events, goal conversions, etc.).
3. General website / WordPress review
Most open-source content management systems (including WordPress) are constantly being improved and updated. These software updates, as well as your own content updates, can often cause unpredictable changes to your website. Always ensure that you're using the appropriate version of WordPress, testing forms or other functionality on regular intervals, checking password strength and more. Additional note: before you implement plugins, be sure to vet them fully.
4. SEO review
In order to increase your website's visibility, you always need to ensure that your website is serving up content that is relevant and optimized for your audience. If you use SEO plug-ins such as Yoast SEO, be sure to check it for any alerts or issues across your pages. Keywords, calls to action and backlinks should be reviewed as well.
In reality, there are dozens of items that should be monitored and checked with your WordPress website on a regular basis. Most of this work is often preventative, which can make it seem unnecessary at times. However, just like going to the doctor, proactive maintenance will eventually save you time, money and headache by preventing future issues.
We regularly perform proactive maintenance very similar to the items above for own clients. This service is great for organizations that don't have full-time digital / web staff. If your organization is interested in learning more about our proactive quarterly maintenance plans, please contact us today.