Maintaining Your New Website

By the time your new website goes live, you have put in a lot of work. You’ve approved designs, written content, and selected photos all with your customer in mind. This new site will be used to gain access to previously untapped markets, improve your brand’s credibility, and catapult your business ahead of competitors.  

But is a website really ever “done”? Now, it’s time to think about the next steps.

Your new website (and the internet, in general) is not a static entity. We see new trends coming to the market daily, with things getting updated and bugs getting fixed, and we want to make sure you are equipped to keep your website fresh and relatable.  When you’re looking at your new website, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Keeping Your Site Updated

Developers are constantly updating their products to make sure they are the latest and greatest.  Which means you will need to be on your toes to keep up. Before you go clicking update buttons on your site, make sure you have a current backup with all your files saved in a safe and secure location. While updates are necessary, they aren’t always pretty. You’ll want to make sure you have that backup in case one of the updates breaks your site. 

Updating WordPress Core

WordPress updates every two weeks, usually minor bug fixes, things you don’t generally notice.  However, every six months, WordPress drops a major update.  These major updates tend to feature things that will streamline the backend of your website and speed up processes that make life easier.

Updating WordPress Plugins and Theme

One of the best features of having a WordPress site is the ability to add functionality and ease through plugins and templates. However, like most software, there are frequent updates to these as well. These things are constantly evolving and we want to make sure your website evolves with them.

If it’s been a while since you have done any updates, you may want to reach out to a WordPress development team so they can assist with this step. Clicking a buttons seems easy, until you realize that button didn’t work with something on your site. 

Keep it so fresh and so clean, clean

Editing your website is another important factor to keeping it relevant. 

Blog + Informational Content

Having updated blogs and content is critical to you SEO, and it helps to ensure that your keywords are up to date as well. We recommend that every 6-8 months you go through your content and ensure that it is up to date.  That article about the “Top 10 Fashion Trends of 2015?”  It is very out of date and needs to either be updated or removed. 

Landing Page Content

The content that you focused most on during your build process will also need occasional updates. Every few months, scan through your site and remove old team members, add new team members, update bio and titles, change out pictures, and in general just make sure the site reflects your business at that moment. Also, it’s always good to check that your contact form is going to the correct person.  You certainly would hate to miss out on business because a potential client was unable to reach you through your out-of-date contact form!

eCommerce Updated

Maintaining an eCommerce site has additional maintenance required. As new products get added and old ones removed,  make these changes to your site. 

Check that items colors,  sizes, shipping options, and availability match your current listing. It’s also a good idea to update with new imagery and new product descriptions. 

All these things are important to keep your website looking shiny and new.

Analyzing the Data: Is this thing on?

Perhaps one of the most important functions of your new website is its ability to drum up new business.  New business can come about through several processes:

  • Using keywords for SEO
  • Understanding how users with Google Analytics
  • Utilizing heat maps 
  • Monitoring website speed 

Using Keywords for SEO

SEO (or search engine optimization) is the process by which you can increase traffic to your site by using organic search engine results.  Which that may sound complicated, it ultimately comes down to what kind of words you use in your content. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, you should strive to use words such as “personal injury” or “lawyer” or “Atlanta” in your content.  This bumps you up on the Google page when people search for those words. 

Understanding Users with Google Analytics

A great (and free!) tool to track website traffic and user behavior on your site is Google Analytics.  Once it is installed, you can begin to see and understand how long users stay on certain pages, what they are clicking on, and what they are drawn to on each page.  This will help you to craft your site into a more user-friendly experience and help convert more sales.  This will also allow you to see exactly who is viewing your site, and you’ll see that it is broken down into demographics such as age and gender.

Utilizing Heat Maps

CrazyEgg is a heat map tool.  This shows you exactly where, and at what frequency users are clicking on things.  Do you have a random image on your page that people click on frequently, yet it’s not clickable? CrazyEgg would show you that, and you could make it clickable.  

Monitoring Website Speed

Pingdom, on the other hand, shows you how fast your site loads, and how you can increase its efficiency.  Studies show that if your site takes too long to load, users lose interest quickly, and will find a faster site. 

Conclusion

Don’t let all your hard work on your website go to waste! 

Make sure that you are regularly applying updates to both WordPress and any plugins that you have. This will help maintain site functionality and security. Before you update, MAKE SURE YOU DO A COMPLETE SITE BACKUP! Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it will work perfectly on every site. Have a backup, do the update on a staging site if possible, and if it’s been a while, ask for help! 

Keeping content up to date is key to being news and not noise on the internet. Articles from 2015 can either be trashed or updated. You spent time on that article, don’t let it go to waste. Make sure that your contact and company information is checked regularly so you don’t miss out on business.

Monitoring and making adjustments based on your analytics reports can help new business find you and make sure your website is working for you. Adjusting keywords, CTAs, and content target will bring in people that you want to reach.

If you manage your website with these few steps, after going live, it will continue to be an asset for your business in the weeks and months that follow!