Do you have a website or an e-commerce store?
If you have one. Then do you follow a website maintenance schedule according to a checklist?
You may think, oh! Why should I do that?
I will ask you:
Don’t you floss your teeth?
Don’t you get your car serviced?
The same way your website needs maintenance. Daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Your website needs one comprehensive maintenance program.
Because.Every website goes through problems like…..
- Domain name expiry
- Stale or old content
- Broken links
………. And many more. The list is long.
If you do not carry out regular maintenance of your website, you put your business at risk.
The consequences. Lost customers. Lost Sales.
In this age of cut-throat competition can you afford that? Definitely not.
So get cracking at the ultimate checklist that I have prepared for you.
Follow it and reap the benefits.
Here it is.
- Review your domain names
Maybe you have one or more websites. So know the different domains you own and when they expire. Check the registration information and date of the domain(s) and associated email addresses.
Go through all the notices, announcements and renewal information about your domain(s).
- Update your content. Keep it fresh and current
Content is the pulse of your website. Update content, replace the outdated content with fresh and current. Visitors, readers, buyers have something new content to consume whenever they visit your website.
Update the content over the time. Otherwise, stale and outdated content gives an impression that you have abandoned your site.
If you blog, create a timely blog posting program. Update it regularly – once or twice a week or in a month or whatever suits you the best. But follow that zealously.
Tweak website content, now and then. You will attract more readers or visitors.
Check the website content, on the home page, product page and other pages too. Fine read the content, regularly examine its credibility, and check the hyperlinks in them.
One thing not for forget – update your copyright date in the footer. Your website will look old with last year’s numbers showing on it. Keep all your dates current.
The content should look alive and ticking, all the times.
- Check, re-check every link on your website
You click on to the link, hoping to find a great reference content, but lo! The ugly 404 page pops up.
Don’t you find that annoying?
Wouldn’t your customer feel the same?
Yes. The 404 page is a big spoiler. See to it that there is none of those on your website.
You are helpless if someone removes content from the external URL that you hyperlink to.
But you can do one thing. Remove the hyperlink and replace it with the new one that has the relevant content.
I recommend you do it on a weekly basis and make sure that all internal and external links are working fine.
- Check all the forms
Check all the contact forms on your website.
Fill up the forms – contact, sign-up, check out, account registration, etc. Test them.
See they all lead to your right email address and do not end up in the spam folder.
Take notes of any changes you make and update.
Refill the form and check again to confirm that the changes are a success.
Keep a close vigil on all your website forms.
- Create Backup copy of site
It is a good habit to keep the backup copy of your website with you all the time.
You never know when your website may crash or get hacked.
Be on the safe side and preserve the latest backup copy. You never know when you may need it.
If you have outsourced your website maintenance, ask your vendor to send you the copy. Save it in the folder on your desktop or in a CD.
You can also test the copy on your computer and see how your website works. You rest assured that in an event of breakdown your backup copy will get your website up, working.
- Check your website accounts information. Keep them in once place
Many of you outsource your website development and maintenance work.
Some of you even do not know website’s account information like username and passwords. You are dependent on your vendor.
God forbidding if he or she expires or falls sick then whom to, you will turn to run you online business.
You will find yourself on the dead-end.
So keep username and passwords of the following accounts with you:
- Website Domain Name Registration Company Info
- Website Hosting Company Info
- Website Administration Access Info
- FTP Access Info
- Social Media Accounts Info
- Email / CRM Account Info
- Any 3rd Party Website Extension Info
Check the usernames and passwords for each of the accounts. Ensure they are valid and foolproof.
Take control of your website. It is your asset.
- Check critical website parameters
Load speed, software updates, website uptime, and security are some critical areas. Keep vigil over them even if you outsource to the maintenance vendor.
7.1. Load Speed:
Any loading speed under 3 second is good and anything over it requires a professional help.
7.2. Website uptime:
Frequent website outage or downtime spoils reputation and erodes customer base. You lose sales to your competitors. Your revenue goes down.
Use tools that help you find the reasons behind outages and improve the uptime.
Do this on a daily basis. Automate a service to provide a website downtime warning in your email or on your smartphone.
If uptime is less than 99.9% then consult the web host.
7.3. Website security:
Use the best website scan tools and check the website for security shortcomings.
Get a detailed security report on your website and server.
Test malware, SQL Injection, XSS and other vulnerabilities. You should do this on a daily basis
- Tweak the front page now and then
The front page of your website always greets your repeat visitors. The same look and feel, over the time, dampens the interest.
To keep your website enticing all the time, you should tweak your front page now and then. I am not asking you to completely revamp it; just freshen up the page with some new update. For an example, splash a time-sensitive, irresistible offer or deal.
Add a new photo, video or text. For some days make the services page the default view instead of the “about us” page.
You know the famous saying “Change is the spice of life”. Same is true for your website visitors too.
They also want some change on your website. Give them.
- Review all company contact information on your website.
Double check all the names, addresses (physical), email address, telephone numbers, and extensions.
Ensure that all the email addresses listed on the website lead the mail to the right person. Update all the changes made and check them over.
- Review Website design
Review your website design.
Answer the following questions.
Is your website design outdated and needs a complete makeover?
Does it need minor tweaks?
Check how it fares on different devices like smartphone, laptop, desktop, etc.
Is the design, web responsive or not?
If not take, remedial action. You cannot ignore usability.
Does your website reflect your brand?
If not figure out the way or seek professional web design help.
- Review Website SEO
Take time to compare website traffic with yester years. Think of ways to improve the SEO to increase the traffic.
Examine your current SEO tactics for increasing relevant traffic. If not talk the help of the expert.
Get technical, even if you do not like it. It for your own good. Ask for previous year website stats from your vendor and compare with the current one.
See the difference. If the traffic is on the downside, think about what remedial action to you can take.
It is your primary responsibility to keep vigil on all its crucial parameters. Ensure that it keeps functioning in the best manner. Follow the above-mentioned checklist and reap the rich benefits of a successful e-commerce website.