After months of preparation, your website is at last ready to launch. You can hit that publish button and sit back and relax. Well, you could if business websites didn’t take a ton of maintenance.
If you don’t make regular updates, you leave your small business website vulnerable to cyberattacks and a million other performance issues. As you can imagine, this will hurt your Google rankings. No one wants to interact with a website that’s not optimized to suit their needs.
Are you not sure how to manage a website? That’s okay, we have your back. Check out this guide to learn how to keep your site working like a well-oiled machine.
Figure Out Your Website Goals
Before you start optimizing your website design, it’s important to understand who you’re doing it for and why. To this end, you need to make a list of clear goals that meet both the needs of your company and your target audience.
If you veer too far toward one or the other, you’ll be met with failure. Meaning if you focus too much on your audience, you might not make some of your personal goals. If you focus too much on your personal goals, your customers will feel disconnected from you.
You need to have a good balance.
Back Everything Up
If you don’t back up your photos and other computer data, you’ll lose it forever if your computer decides to stop working. Your website works the same way. You should never let yourself be one cyber attack or glitch away from losing everything.
The problem might not even lay with an outside source. Accidents happen. Employees lose data all the time.
If you have backups, there’s nothing to worry about. You can reupload what was lost and get your site back up within a few hours or so.
This is important if you run an online store. Every second your site is down, you’re losing more money.
Having a backup will also stop you from having to rebuild your entire site from scratch if you were to lose all your data. Rebuilding isn’t that painful if your site hasn’t been up for too long, but if you’ve been running it for years, it can be pretty damaging.
Check the Analytics
Analytics will give you all the information about your website that you need. By studying it you’ll learn how much traffic you’re getting, where most of your users are from, what the user’s website experience was, and their normal browsing behavior.
You can also watch something called a session replay. It’s a video that shows users interacting with your website and apps. Study these videos carefully so you can make changes and maximize value.
Optimize Your Database
Your website’s database is all the information that you store into it. If your business is subscription-based or you run an online store, you have one.
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to clean things up and optimize your database. If you don’t, your website might run a bit slowly. Optimizing will also help with your site’s overall security.
There are many ways to start this process. The easiest way to do it is with software. There are plenty of programs on the market that you can choose from.
Stay on Top of Your Landing Pages
If you use sponsored social media ads, you have something called a landing page. This is the first thing that users see when they click on the advertisement. It’s going to see a heavy amount of traffic so you must stay on top of it.
If you don’t optimize it the right way, it won’t be able to handle the number of visits. You also want to make sure that you advertise your offer clearly and prepare for the moment when what you’re advertising sells out.
Speed Things Up
The average internet user will give a page 10-20 seconds to load before clicking away. You should check your site load speed every once in a while. If it takes forever to load, there are a few ways you can speed things up.
Every plugin you have is another line of code that has to be read before the page loads. Take a moment to go through and get rid of any of them that feel redundant.
The problem with having an online store is the amount of graphics you have to have. It’s a necessary evil. You need to show pictures of your products.
There are a few ways to reduce the amount of space they take up. The number one rule of thumb is to compress them all. You should also make sure to save them in the correct file format.
Check Browser and Device Compatibility
Since you’ve launched your website, you’ve most likely made a bunch of changes. You’ve posted new content for your customers to enjoy. You’ve installed plugins to make things run smoother.
While your website may have worked across all browsers and devices when you first published it, now that you’ve made all these changes, it might have issues. You need to test it every time you make a new change to be sure everything is still running the way it should.
A company that specializes in user experience can help you spot your customers’ browsing problems and address them appropriately.
How to Manage a Website Successfully
You’re not done with your business site once you hit the publish button. If you don’t take strides to maintain it, your users will notice. They’ll only wait for a site to load for so long before clicking away, after all.
Use these tips on how to manage a website to optimize for efficiency and keep people’s eyes on your site.
Having a functional website is only one part of having a successful company. Check out the business section of our blog for more tips that will help keep you running.