Just like a well-oiled machine, a well maintained website is the key to your success online. Many business owners fall into the trap of thinking that a website is set and forget, but like all marketing channels regular health checks are essential to continued success.
Even though platforms such as WordPress make it easy for you to manage your website, there is still a responsibility for you, or by engaging your web developer in regular maintenance, to keep your site performing at its best.
From our experience with over 100 websites built and deployed, these 5 steps are a great starting place to keeping on top of your websites performance.
It seems like every time you shut down your computer (yes, if you’re anything like us, that might only happen once every 3 months) it has a billion updates to download and install. Well, your website is no different. As the crazy world wide web evolves, the platforms we use must adapt to ensure that they are compatible with different devices, browsers and protected from security threats.
It is therefore crucial that you regularly backup and update your WordPress website. Whilst this process might seem relatively easy, things can and do go wrong from time to time! We would always recommend you contact either your website host, or website developer to conduct these backups and updates for you.
Checking Contact Forms
Contact forms are a great way for consumers to reach out to you, especially if your business is within a service-based industry. However, a broken contact form can spell trouble, especially if you are missing important leads!
In the last month, we have had a number of clients who have discovered a broken contact form, due to their email system changing its receiving settings or the plugin being updated and changing its testing settings… imagine all the missed business!
We would recommend that once a month you visit your website as any consumer/client would, and submit a test contact form. Ensure you fill in every field, whether it is required or not, and double check that auto-responder emails (if they have been set up) are working correctly.
Using your Store’s Checkout
So, your website contains an e-commerce store, great! But have you ever ‘purchased’ something from your own store?
We recommend to all our clients that they complete a demo order once a month, to ensure the checkout process is smooth and fully functioning. This isn’t only a great way to guarantee that customers will have a great experience whilst using your website, but it will also give you insights into ways you can improve your site’s functionality, styling or simplify your customer checkout experience.
Security threats are a very real danger online, and it is important that you safeguard your website from potential harm.
A great way to minimise the risk of security threats is to change your website password approximately once a month. Additionally, ensuring your password contains more than 8 characters, capital letters and numbers is another way to help protect your site from brute force attacks.
Check Your Analytics
Lastly, keeping check of your website’s analytics is a great way to be sure that your website is working hard for you.
Checking statistics such as your bounce rate and dwell time are great indicators that allow you to unmask any functionality issues your website may be having. Additionally, monitoring user flows gives you a gateway into the minds of visitors, do they visit your homepage and drop off, or do they click to an internal page? Knowing this can allow you to address any design or interface issues that may be effecting your websites performance.
If you need a hand to undertake a Website Health Check, get in touch or, if you’d like us to regularly check your site, let’s talk!