My new website is live.. now what?
Congratulations! Your new website is complete… There are many moving parts to a build, from coding to design and lastly to the content itself.
However, if you want to attract and retain customers, which let’s be honest… we ALL want. Then you cannot have a “set it and forget it” mentality. Marketing your business is not only about creating a presence on the web, it’s about maintaining it too.
It is therefore vital that you implement a ‘Website Update Schedule’ for your business.
Here are 4 reasons why a WUS is a wise decision:
1. Your business deserves to always shine in the best light.
Broken links, 404 pages, half-baked landing pages, slow loading times… your visitors will go elsewhere if they don’t find what they’re looking for… and FAST. The last thing you want is potential customers to become frustrated. It never ends well, and worse yet they’ll probably tell their family and friends not to come too.
Building trust is vital to operating a successful online presence. But at the end of the day, who’s going to want to enter their credit card or contact information when your website looks neglected? Ask yourself… would YOU trust this business?
Your website is the face of your organisation online, so invest the time and energy into keeping it current.
Actively monitor for bugs whilst simultaneously adding fresh content like blogs, articles, events and reviews. This way you kill two birds with one stone. We would recommend you do this at least once per week in order to keep your visitors engaged and to reap the long-term benefits of SEO.
2. Keep your website safe and secure for everyone.
You are not only responsible for protecting your own data, but you are also responsible for protecting your visitors’ data too. Security requirements are always changing, and nobody is safe – even big brands are targets for cyber-attacks and data breaches. To make this all the more challenging, if you are accepting visitors from countries within the European Union or US states such as California you are legally obliged to implement enhanced data security practices.
Towards the end of 2016, Uber announced the personal information of 57 million of their customers information and over 600,000 drivers had been hacked. To make matters worse, the company tried to hide the breach rather than report it.
In November 2018, Marriott International the hotel group came forward with information that cyber criminals had stolen the data of approximately 500 million of their customers.
Since hackers get smarter all the time, you need a program you can trust to keep your online assets safe.
Being proactive and protecting your website now is so much easier than dealing with the devastation, disruption and huge costs of a hacked site, lost data and destroyed Google rankings. And make no mistake, all of those negatives strike at once so it can be a scary time.
3. Secure backups, made regularly, will literally save your business.
A backup is a saved copy of your website, whether it’s from a day ago or a month ago. Backups are stored in files or in the cloud and can be restored if needed. There are two types of backup, full and incremental. They both have their benefits, but the full backup is the one you need to ensure is operating automatically and regularly.
If you don’t have a backup readily available and your website is hacked and wiped, you’d need to start over from scratch. You wouldn’t want all your hard work to disappear, would you?
4. Software updates are rarely automatic, but essential.
Software is ever-changing, whether it’s plugins and themes that need updating or security programs.
Your site isn’t going to run smoothly and will also be vulnerable to hackers if you don’t stay on top of software updates. The more often you update, the less likely you are to have problems.
Keeping your software updated also ensures your site loads quickly when visitors arrive; speed does have a direct impact on SEO.
Don’t miss vital leads or sales by neglecting content, security, backup and regular software updates.
Remember, spend a little money now and it will save you a fortune in case the worst happens tomorrow!
So, to recap. Ensure your ‘Website Update Schedule’ includes:
- Continuous state-of-the-art monitoring and “next-generation application firewall” protection against spam, malware and other malicious attempts. 7G firewalls are particularly effective.
- Ongoing automatic backups of your site in case it ever needs to be restored. Daily backups are expected these days as a minimum, in some cases hourly is recommended. Ensure the backups are stored away from the webserver itself and in a cloud location for further resiliency.
- Check every page of your website for broken images and links so it runs smooth and fast. As you intend for your visitors to experience it. Have your Web Developers’ phone number handy if you spot something amiss (in many cases quick fixes are free of charge anyway so why wouldn’t you).
- If you’re website is running on WordPress, make sure the ‘core’ is updated regularly (the latest is version 5.8 as of posting) and ensure your plugins are updated too for optimal performance and security. Make sure your webserver is running PHP version 7.4 or above. Many of our clients are now running on PHP version 8 for the enhanced security and performance benefits it brings.