Building a high-quality website or application for your business is a huge step toward sustained success. However, it is only part of the battle.
Website code and design patterns are continuously evolving. And over time, with new features and functionalities, a website’s code and design will become more complex and this could lead to compromised user experiences. Websites require regular upkeep and maintenance to function optimally.
Ignoring website maintenance will have profound effects on UX outcomes and ultimately, profits. A poorly functioning website will discourage repeat customers and can even be more vulnerable to cyberattacks. In worse case scenarios, you can even lose your site entirely, forcing you to start over at square one.
To help you avoid these pitfalls, we address five invaluable website maintenance tasks that are essential for optimizing your online presence. They are categorized as daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual website maintenance tasks.
1. Daily Website Maintenance: Backup Your Data
Your website could be completely wiped out by a pinpointed cyber-attack. This could force you to redesign and develop your website from the ground-up, which is costly. And arguably worse, you might lose invaluable data.
The financial impacts of a total website loss are compounded as clients will be unable to connect with you online during the outage.
It’s arguable how often you should conduct backups of your web page, but no one will argue that the more frequently the better. If you do them only once a month, and your website is compromised on week 3, you would lose 3 weeks worth of data and codebase changes.
Our recommendation is to set up, at the very least, daily backups of both your data and codebase. Many of the leading hosting solutions provide very easy methods to create backups. Check in with your host to ensure this is configured properly. Of course, this can be done manually as well.
2. Weekly Website Maintenance: Analyze Web Metrics
Website maintenance is all about keeping your page performing at a high level. In order to understand how your website is performing, you need to analyze the data. Generally, this should be done about once per week.
While this is a more indirect form of maintenance, it will serve as a good starting point for other tasks. If your website is not performing as well as you’d like, it’s time to revise SEO practices or other aspects of the page. Analytics software is one of the most useful sources of analytical information for continued maintenance. And it doesn’t have to be complicated to set up.
For essential metrics, Google Analytics is free and easy to set up.
3. Quarterly Website Maintenance: Test Forms
Contact forms are a popular and proven means of facilitating customer interactions. Incorporating these forms into your webpage allows potential clients to leave contact information and receive a call-back at a later time. While these simple plug-ins often function flawlessly, they can experience problems.
This quarterly website maintenance task is not very time-consuming but is an easy way to ensure that you are not missing out on potential leads. Do not just complete the form on a single browser. You should fill out every form on your page from different browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
Since form plug-ins interact with computers and mobile devices differently, you should test them on this format as well. As with regular testing, use different types of mobile devices, including both Apple and Android.
4. Quarterly Website Maintenance: Fix Links and Make Purchases
In addition to testing out forms, you should check all links on your site. Both internal and external links should be followed to ensure that your clients are not being routed to the hated “404” page.
While customers may be willing to forgive a single broken link, multiple failed attempts to navigate links can quickly lead them to search for a different provider.
During your quarterly website maintenance, you should also make test purchases. Even if your purchasing features are working, they may be glitchy. The only way to find out for sure is to run these tests. Any maintenance should make use of multiple platforms or methods.
In terms of test purchases, you should use traditional card-based payment methods and alternatives like PayPal. If anything does not work like it should, you must make needed corrections immediately.
5. Annual Website Maintenance: Usability Testing
In terms of website maintenance, usability testing is one of the most important if you want sustained success.
This annual practice is intended to keep your website relevant and intuitive. It is necessary because technology and website designs are always evolving. Failing to perform usability testing can leave your site feeling dated, which leads to higher bounce rates and a poor customer experience.
During usability testing, you should present your site to several people that are not familiar with it. The testing process should include accessing the site from various devices and browsers to ensure that users get a complete picture of its capabilities. Gather think out-loud feedback from the test participants and apply this information to make meaningful changes to your site
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Performing the website maintenance tasks listed above will save you both time and money while also optimizing the experience of your clients. Many of these maintenance steps, such as analyzing metrics and usability testing, provide you with invaluable data that should be applied to improve your website.
If you need help performing website maintenance or want to boost enagement on your websites, With Pulp can help.
Our collaborative team of artists, designers, and computer engineers can revitalize outdated websites and optimize their performance. If you are ready to get started, contact us for more information.