Launching a brand-new website is always an exhilarating moment. Of course, that just-live site represents a whole lot of work out of the way too, from hours spent uploading pictures and listing products to assembling a dazzling portfolio, and much more besides! At this point, it might be easy to think that the work is done, and that your website does not require any more thought. To a point, you can certainly shift some of your focus to building your brand in other directions. However, it is important to avoid letting the digital destination that you have created slip from your mind all together.
Scheduling a steady website maintenance strategy moving forwards is the best way to ensure that your site stays thriving for the long haul. In fact, going for a little-and-often approach to keeping your site up to date is an absolute winner when it comes to trumping your competition, and keeping your costs down. With that in mind, read on to discover our top tips for website maintenance and why it matters. With the right approach, you can ensure that your digital offering continues to pay off into the far future.
Keep It Functional
The technology that allows your beautiful website to be brought to life is something that is constantly evolving. With each new generation of updates, the possibilities of what we can achieve online becomes greater, which is exciting. However, this also means that as a website owner you need to roll with the times, or risk getting left behind! Staying on top of updates, from installing the latest version of WordPress to checking for new iterations of your plugins or modules will mean that your site functionality remains tip-top.
So, what would happen if you never updated your site? As the brainy third-party developers behind each of your website’s features create better and brighter versions, eventually support for the older components of your site would cease. Neglecting this area of website maintenance can lead to compatibility issues, gaping security holes, and even your site breaking all together! Happily, running updates is not a vastly time-consuming undertaking. The best bet is to check in with your web developer and get a recommendation for a support schedule to implement.
Keep It Secure
Beyond the functional aspect of your polished site, keeping everything up to date is also the best way to ensure that your site remains secure. Your customers trust you to safeguard their data, whether they are paying through your site, or simply signing up to your email updates. Security breaches can come about when this area of site maintenance is neglected. The good news is that staying abreast of the latest security fixes and resources is easily achieved through paying attention to updates and guidance from your host, content management system, and third-party providers, or simply by turning to your trusted web team for a periodic maintenance check-up.
Of course, another aspect of maintaining website security is to protect yourself legally. Checking in on the latest legal developments that impact your site, such as regulations for selling online, or compliance with 2018’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is a good discipline to stick to. With an up-to-date website that ticks all the boxes in terms of legal obligations, you can build your customer base with total confidence!
Keep It Fresh
Speaking of customers, a loyal customer base is the holy grail for businesses everywhere and something that your website should encourage. Keeping content fresh, contemporary, and interesting is a must if you are to delight returning visitors on an ongoing basis. Updating images, creating enticing blogs or articles, featuring promotions and new product lines, and rejuvenating your pages works magic, luring your audience back for more! Not to mention, it also demonstrates that your business is vibrant and busy and helps to enhance your SEO, bringing in new site visitors too.
Reinvigorating your site’s content and design on a regular basis means that you can keep its look and feel right on the cutting edge. Your website’s design elements can be coordinated with your online marketing efforts, and by enacting a partial periodic overhaul you can make sure that your site remains responsive, reflecting modern devices and user expectations. For your visitors, stumbling onto a tired and out-of-date web page is likely to be a turn-off, so keeping things tight and fresh-faced is key!
Harness That Resource
One of the most underappreciated resources that comes with having your own website is the insight that it can provide about your audience. With basic analytics, you can stay abreast of what elements of your site are working on behalf of your business, and which are not doing so well. This means that over time you can identify areas for improvement and align your website’s content and design with exactly what your customer base want from it. Combining this effort with your ongoing SEO improvements is certain to reap rewards!
Stay Ahead of The Competition
A fantastic website provides an instant step-up within a competitive market. It is vital to remember that just like those website plugin creators, your competitors will always be making updates of their own! Keeping an eye on your market-peers’ websites and social media will help you stay attuned to shifts in audience expectations. You can examine factors such as site performance, promotions, aesthetic changes, and the type of content being produced. If your competitor is launching weekly how-to guides and getting a lot of engagement, you might want to consider jumping on that train too! Meanwhile, having a finger on the pulse of everything we have discussed above will help you to keep your brand not only relevant, but trusted and attractive to existing and would-be customers alike.
So, there you have it. While the initial creation of a website can certainly be considered the big push, implementing an ongoing site maintenance plan is the best way to avoid having to do a major overhaul down the road. If you would like to explore how Teapot Creative can assist with keeping your site up to date, contact our team today. Ensure your site stays shining at its brightest and experience the boost in returns that a top-notch digital presence can provide!