A few months ago I wrote about the importance of improving the agility of your company and keeping up with the rapidly changing business environment. Since your website is a reflection of your business, it is also important to make sure that it is also keeping up with the pace of the world. Even if your website has a fresh, appealing look, it cannot be left alone to simply sit out there on the internet, hoping to get noticed. There are several aspects of your website that must be actively managed.
Obviously you will want to update your contact information when that changes. But you should also review the rest of your site’s content every quarter and update it as necessary. If you have a blog, you should maintain a regular posting schedule, whether that is daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. A blog that appears to have been abandoned may cause your site visitors to wonder if the business has also been abandoned. If you have found that you are too busy to write blog posts any longer, that’s okay! You can either remove the blog from your site or post a quick message to alert site visitors that you are no longer blogging (or taking a break). Invite them to continue to read through your previous posts if you’ve chosen to keep them present on the site.
While spam filters can greatly reduce the number of spam comments that get through to your site, some do inevitably get through. You should check your comment areas daily and remove all spam messages. You will also need to clear the spam comments that your filter collects from the back end of your site. While these comments are not visible to your site visitors they take up space and, over time, can slow down your website.
If your website was built in the past ten years, it was likely built on a content management system. This means you will need to update the plugins, extensions, or modules, (components that add features or functions to your site) that have been added to your website. Since most of the developers who create these components have embraced agile practices, expect to see frequent small updates over time. Developers release these kinds of updates about once a month, but sometimes more frequently. Often, not applying these upgrades to your site can affect the security of your website, so you will want to apply the upgrade as soon as possible.
However, sometimes developers release more involved updates that add significant new functionality to your site. When applying this type of update to your site you will want to backup the site, update the plugin, check the look and functions of your site, and restore your backup if you encounter any issues. You will then need to wait for a subsequent update in which the developer has (hopefully) resolved the issues you encountered.
As we all know, the internet is full of hackers and bots that seemingly enjoy attacking websites. There are plugins that can block those attempts and software that can monitor the security of your website. But hackers and bots are resilient and will adapt to find new ways to attack. Staying one step ahead of them can be time consuming.
Even the most actively cared for website can occasionally go down. Do you have measures in place for alerting you when your site goes down? Do you know how to quickly bring it back up if it does go down? How important is it to your business for your website to stay up and functioning properly? If you are selling products or services through your website then you could lose potential sales while it is down.
The pace of technology (and business in general) is generally pretty fast. Given the importance of websites to a company’s success, having a stable and properly-functioning website with fresh content is imperative. Whether you manage the tasks outlined above yourself or outsource them to someone with the expertise to do so efficiently and effectively, the success of your business depends on an up-to-date, functioning website.