Website maintenance. Don’t ignore it. We like to say that website maintenance is like a car. If you don’t tune ‘er up consistently, you’re in for some big repair costs. In the maintenance world, those repair costs often come from scripts that scour the internet for poorly managed websites they can hack. Today I will be showing you how to keep your website well maintained, and thus keep your business running smoothly online without having to worry about your website imploding.
The Big Wins
The biggest thing I tell people is that updates are a must. I don’t want to go into a long rant. It’s simply just insecure to ignore this.
Have regular backups. UpdraftPlus is a free plugin allowing you to schedule recurring backups.
If you don’t have an agency maintaining your website, have the phone number of one ready to help you out. Although, it really is cheaper to have an agency maintain your website than it is to try to spend time figuring this stuff out on your own, and then having to fork out the money when something breaks.
Take It One Step Further
This is where I dump all of our secrets on how we maintain websites here at SiteSmash.
Updates — This is pretty cool. We create an exact replica of each websites, and then, once a week, we test updates on the replica website before applying them to the actual website.
Renew SSL certificates, domains, and hosting — It’s never fun to find out your website went down because someone forgot to renew one of these. We check in on a regular basis to make sure these items aren’t going to expire.
Backups — We use Backupbuddy to schedule backups. Backupbuddy allows us to send a copy of our backups to an offsite storage location on Amazon S3 storage.
Uptime monitoring — The only thing worse than having your website go down is having your website go down and not knowing it. I get a notification on my phone whenever a website goes down thanks to Pingdom.
Google Analytics — If you’re not already using Google Analytics, take a quick moment to remedy this. Even if you don’t have a need for the Google Analytics data right now, marketing and SEO professionals (and your future self) will want to see that data.
Password management — There’s a lot to keep track of. Make sure you have on record the passwords for your domain registrar, hosting, ftp credentials, and WordPress credentials.
Security and Performance
Security and performance need to be done on a continual basis as well, and should be a part of your maintenance plan. You may want to bookmark these security and performance guides to read through tomorrow.