This is Block 81's archive of past articles. Once in a while we may add more, but it's rare.
Block 81 is a design studio producing beautifully crafted websites and brands for independent businesses and startups.
November 29, 2015
You had a website designed and you upload content regularly. You’re done right? Wrong.
A website is similar to a business or even a car. It takes regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
Skimping on the maintenance could leave your visitors unimpressed or even worse, ruin your business’s reputation. It’s far easier to maintain than clean up after the fact.
Security is a top priority when it comes to website maintenance. This includes updating your site’s software and security plugins, adding in new protection as new threats are exposed and performing backups often. It doesn’t matter how small or large your business is. Hackers love inserting malware into websites whenever they find the tiniest flaw.
If this happens, it could hurt your brand’s reputation and even get you blacklisted by search engines and browsers. If the malware affects your visitors’ computers, they’re not going to trust your site anymore. If you store sensitive data, a breach could cost you hundreds of thousands or even millions depending on the amount of data you have. Staying on top of security now saves you time and money from cleaning up a hack later.
Web design trends change often. If your site looks outdated, visitors might move on to the competition. After all, if you don’t have the time or money to update your website, what kind of products and services are you really offering? While this isn’t usually the case, an outdated or glitch filled site makes you stand out from the competition in a bad way.
Your website is the face of your business online. It should always look fresh and be competitive with other top websites. For instance, a trend many businesses are hurrying to embrace is responsive design. If you’re not mobile friendly, you’re missing out on millions of potential visitors who prefer using tablets and smartphones to browse.
Google loves a well maintained, fresh looking site. This means blogging, updating outdated information and even checking for broken links. Having a static site isn’t going to help your business much. To stay near the top of search engine results, you have to give search engines new information and make sure your links are working. For instance, if a top search result for your site leads to an error message versus the correct page, your site’s rank could suffer.
Most websites have some form of analytics software, such as Google Analytics. This helps you learn more about your visitors, see which pages are performing best or worst and even see where your visitors are coming from. If you’re never checking this data or you’re not using analytics at all, you’re missing out.
Checking your analytics data could help you pinpoint an erroneous page or feature on your site. The data could show you if one call to action works better than another. You’ll even learn which online marketing strategies are leading more visitors to your site.
The same features you loved five years ago aren’t likely up to today’s performance standards. Test your page loading speed and check your site on different browsers to ensure it’s still compatible. While you don’t have to do this often, you still need to check how well your site is performing. If it’s too slow, visitors will leave. If it doesn’t load well on their browser or requires too many plugins to function, they’ll leave.
Maintaining your website is just another crucial part of running your business. From updating your content and design to locking down security as much as possible, your site needs to be maintained or it’ll fall into disarray. Having a maintenance checklist helps or you can hire someone to help out so you never miss an important task.