Sometimes a bit of maintenance and love on your current website can do the trick. But where do you start? Our website maintenance checklist narrows down everything you need to do weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly, into easy to complete lists.
Particularly useful for smaller businesses with little resource, this list gives you clear indicators of what to check, and some free tools to help you with some of the actions. Read the full article, or download our handy checklist for later
Of course, if you need a helping hand, and a friendly agency who can act as an extension of your own business, we are here to help.
These are the actions to complete every single week. Set aside 30 minutes a week as a recurring event, and book that time in to just focus on these tasks. It is a small amount of time, and will keep you on top of anything that may stop your website from producing conversions or leads.
- Actually visit your website - sounds super simple, but a lot of people miss it. If you’re never looking at your own website, how do you know if there are any problems?
- Check all pages load without errors - this can be done during your manual check, though you can also use various tools to monitor this automatically such as Search Console, or you can use a dedicated free tool like UptimeRobot.
- Check all forms work properly - Submit each version of a form you have (contact, newsletter, lead gen), and check that you are receiving those leads.
- Check for any broken links - As well as the pages, and forms, you’ll want to make sure that any clickable links within each page are working and don’t result in a broken page. You can use a handy chrome extension such as Check My Links to do this quickly and easily.
- Check comments and remove any spam - If you allow comments on your website, you’ll need to double check for any spam and remove them where possible. For any real comments take the time to respond if possible.
- Backup your website - Taking regular backups means that if anything goes wrong you do not have to worry, everything is saved.
- Apply any updates - Particularly if you are using a Wordpress site, make sure to apply any updates to keep things running smoothly.
These tasks still need to be completed fairly regularly, but can take place once a month. So with your weekly 30 minutes, extend one of those weeks each month to an hour session.
- Check website loading speed - Users want super quick loading websites, this provides good user experience and helps with your SEO. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to quickly get an idea of your site speed, and recommendations to speed it up.
- Review website statistics - Knowing how users who convert are acting on your website means you can replicate those patterns more to boost leads or sales. It can also help you identify underperforming pages, so you know which to work on first. There are many tools to choose from to do this, but arguably the most comprehensive and well known is Google Analytics. You can also get a lot of information from Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Add fresh content to the website - This should be done more regularly if possible. But depending on your service or offering, your content may be fairly static for most of the year. If this is the case, make the most of a blog, or resource information to add fresh content regularly.
These are bigger tasks that are very important, but can be done every quarter. You may want to set aside a day for this, which once a quarter isn’t all that much really. These activities may result in further jobs that can be completed across the quarter. This is where you can always look to outsource the bigger tasks such as writing content or updating images.
- Update your content - It’s very easy for content to get out of date - previous offers or specials, referring to certain years or months, or closure information. Have a good read through your content. Check that everything is in place, and note/update anything that is now out of date. If you’ve been looking at your stats monthly, you may have a better idea of which pages you want to prioritise for a bit of a content refresh.
- Update your imagery - It’s not just your content that can get out of date, imagery can be easily overlooked. Make sure anything with graphics on is still relevant to your service (think special offers with end dates), check your team pages, as well as just generally to see if there are any newer, fresher images you can use. Also, run your images through a compressor and re-upload them. They will look the same to a user, but take far less time to load.
- Change your passwords - Keep on top of your security, and make sure to do a little change up of your passwords. Use a secure online password storage such as Bitwarden to keep everything in place.
Finally, those jobs that are easy to miss because they only come round once a year. Depending on who else you work with, this could need just an hour or two to update, or potentially a few days. However long you need, make sure to time this just right. If, for example, you’re running a Jan - Dec year, and your busiest period is in December, maybe try and knock a few of the yearly jobs off in November instead.
- Update the copyright date in your website footer - A super simple change, but can be very easily missed off. If you work with someone else on your website, be sure to pop them a reminder to update the year.
- Renew your web domain - A well looked after website is no use if you don’t own the domain. Make sure to renew your domain, hosting and any other similar domains you would like. As with the copyright, if someone else looks after this for you, just double check they’re on top of this.
- Align your strategy with any agencies or suppliers - Here is where you need to spend a few days of time. Your website strategy should be factored into your overall marketing strategy. Are you looking to redesign your website? To add new functionality? Are you going to be running a campaign where your website may need extra server support to stop the website crashing? Work with your agency, your suppliers and your partners to make sure everyone has a rough plan of what is happening across the year. For the sake of a couple of days, this will help speed everything up across the year, and leave you with a smoother running plan.
One of our top tips is to remember your website isn’t just for you, it’s for your users. Focus on keeping your website running as smoothly and speedily as possible, with it being easy to navigate, and offering necessary and useful information to your users. Having a longer term view of how this will look will give you clarity of what to focus on, and checking data throughout will allow you to refine as you go. Doing all of this will stop any wasted time and effort on impulse changes that don’t really benefit users.
If you’re looking to work with an agency to improve your marketing, or lighten the load, then speak to one of our team. MMS is an all round agency with over 25 years experience of offering digital, print and strategy services across the UK. Download your handy checklist to keep, or read more about the work we’ve done previously.