website maintenance

Many people are under the assumption that once you build your website there is not much that needs to be done to it unless you want to make changes. Websites are dynamic and they need attention. While it is true that some websites need more ongoing work than others, below are 4 critical tasks that should be done on a monthly basis.

Take a Manual Backup

It is always a good idea to have a backup of your website. Normally your hosting company offers this service. Assuming you are working with a good hosting company, you could probably rely on their backup just in case of an emergency. However, since I have had an experience where a hosting company lost all of my website files, I would also recommend taking a manual backup. You need to log into your hosting provider and  download a copy of the backup. With most hosting providers you can easily do this, so it pays to check with them.  Once you do it once, it will just take a few minutes each month.

Update plugins/ PHP Version / WordPress update

It is important that the tools that you are using to make your website work are updated. In WordPress specifically, on a monthly basis you should make sure that the WordPress version and all the plugins are updated. Having out of date plugins could could cause security issues. Additionally, you do not have the plugins updated features if you do not update the plugin, which could affect the functionality of part of your website.

PHP is coding language used to power your website to run. You want to make sure that your website is running on the most up to date PHP version. This is something that you can ask your hosting company about and if you are not on an updated one, then you can have them update it. You should make sure your website is still functioning properly when you update your PHP version.

Q/A Your Website

As I mentioned above, websites are not static, rather they are dynamic and need attention. Things happen to websites. It is a good idea to go through your website on a monthly basis and do a quality analysis check. Click on all the links, check your pages, make sure the functionality and design are as they should be. Make sure to check how your website looks on desktop and mobile.

Test forms

If you have a form or a contact page on your website, make sure it is working. You are working hard to bring people to your website, so they should always be able to get in touch with you. With a broken form, you may not know that someone is looking to reach you.

These items can be done in under an hour and they will keep your website up to date and healthy. Good luck!