In most cases a website is not something that you can simply add to the world wide web and let it sit there unattended. For it to be effective in serving whatever purpose you had for adding it to the internet in the first place you will need to monitor it, fix any issues that might come up, and update the content once in a while. That’s why it’s important to either make time in your workflow for regular website management or hire someone to take care of it for you.
Keeping Your Website Alive
Obviously, the most important concern regarding your website is keeping it visible on the internet. Likely the first thing you had to do when thinking about building your website was register a domain name. Without an active, registered domain name you won’t have a place on the internet. And once you have that name you need to make sure it stays registered to you, or you could lose it to someone else. Unfortunately, with so many accredited registrars in the world, and with sometimes lengthy registration periods, it is easy to forget when you need to renew the registration or even who your registrar is. (And of course there are even scams out there that prey on that specific vulnerability.) Keeping an eye on your domain name is critical to the success of your website.
Another requirement for making your website visible on the internet is a place to host the website code and content. You need to find reliable hosting services who can provide quality uptime and security monitoring. No hosting provider’s servers are one-hundred-percent reliable, of course, and websites do occasionally go offline. That’s why it’s equally important to take regular backups of your site in case of interruption or attack. This means that if your website were to become disconnected, you have a copy on hand in order to restore it quickly.
Keeping Your Website Healthy and Secure
Since all websites are digital entities, they are built with computer software and associated code. As with any other software that you have used, updates are released frequently. Some updates offer additional functionality, some are in response to an update of a related piece of software, and some are in response to a new, potential security threat. Any good website management service will handle all updates of the software associated with your website.
With the popularity of contact forms (and sometimes other types of forms) a security certificate will ensure that any sensitive data that is passed through the form will be secure and accessible to only you and those who have access to the back end of your website. Not to mention that most browsers will now alert users that your website is nonsecure without the presence of a certificate. This gives the impression that your website is not trustworthy, and can even damage your SEO rankings.
Helping Your Website to be Found
An updated, secure website is a great thing to have. But it will not be of much use to you if potential customers or fans cannot find it. With all the time and money you put into registering a domain and developing, hosting, and maintaining your website, you might want people to actually find it. Along with basic website management, you will want someone to check that your site is visible to search engines and is properly indexed.
Taking that a step further, use Google Analytics to monitor the traffic to your website and across its pages to further ensure that your content is being found easily. Site traffic data can reveal unusual patterns that might signal a need for content revisions, such as the indication of visitors selecting an unintended page from the menu.
Managing your Content
Managing website content is probably the thing most people think of when they think of website management. As you can see from above, this is nowhere near the only thing to take into consideration when taking care of your website. In fact, many people make few if any changes to their content once their website is launched (with the exception of a blog, which you should definitely have!). But as you can see, just because you may not need to update content doesn’t mean you don’t have other things to think about.
As you may have guessed, we at ThirdSide are ready to assist you with website management. Whether you are looking to build a new website, refresh your existing site, or want to keep your existing site in place for a few more years, we would love to start a conversation about your website needs.