Your website is an online introduction to your brand and what you stand for. It is also a direct line of communication with your customers. With such influential capabilities, it is no surprise that websites are powerful tools in growing your business.
However, even the most powerful tools need routine maintenance to operate smoothly and effectively. Websites are no different. Regular maintenance ensures your site stays up-to-date, functions properly, remains secure, and is easily accessible for customers. While Vervocity takes care of the following support categories, we’ve put together areas to maintain when you’re in charge of your own site maintenance.
User experience consistently improves as more options become available for web design and development. For example, an impressive website from 2008 won’t have the same effect on users now as it did then. Even websites from five years ago could have opportunities for improved user experience. Evaluate your current site and perform usability testing to better enhance layout, function, design, and user experience.
Mobile responsiveness is also important for a positive user experience. People access websites from a variety of devices – mobile phones, desktops, laptops, tablets, and more. If your site isn’t responsive to one of these platforms, you exclude valuable customers from being able to access your site. An optimized website combines both the functionality and technical sides of your website to provide audience satisfaction and peak performance.
Loading speed is one of the most important factors of your website. Online visitors have become accustomed to accessing websites at the click of a button. They don’t have time to wait for your site to load. In fact, Google research suggests that the probability a customer leaves your site increases 32% as page load time goes from one second to three seconds.
So how do you address slow loading pages? Google offers a free tool called PageSpeed Insights that analyzes the speed of your site on all devices. It generates a performance score and provides suggestions on how to improve your site’s speed.
Form Testing and Updates
Form testing ensures customers experience user-friendly processes and helps prevent bots from spamming your site. The last thing you want is a broken form when customers are trying to contact you or purchase a product. Customers could become frustrated with defective forms and decide to look somewhere else for a product or service. If you aren’t regularly testing your forms, you could be missing out on valuable leads and sales.
If you find yourself receiving a lot of incoming spam from your site’s forms, it’s time to update them. Honeypots, reCAPTCHA, and added security questions (like asking the answer for 2+2) implement an extra layer of security within forms. Sometimes form settings can be changed to prevent spam, also. For more information on stopping spam on your website, check out our post on 5 Ways to Stop Spam on Your Website.
Broken Links and Errors
Broken links and website errors are frustrating. They can lead to 404 error pages or prevent your audience from viewing content they’re interested in. Web maintenance on links and errors ensures that all buttons are working, links lead where they should, and viewers can access any and all information available on your website.
Your website is not only an online representation of your brand, it’s also a large project that requires a lot of time and hard work. Speaking of projects, have you ever spent a whole day working on a document, only to lose it somehow when it’s almost finished? The same thing can happen to your website – and it can be impossible to recover a site that wasn’t backed up.
Hackers, compromised plugins, and user errors can all cause a website to unexpectedly go down. If the issue is bad enough, an entire website can be erased. Regular website backups ensure you have a complete copy of your website data in case of emergency. This makes it much easier to get your website back up and running in a timely manner.
Security breaches are not uncommon. Like we mentioned above, hackers and compromised plugins can cause serious issues within a website. Unsecure websites compromise your brand as well as your customers’ data, especially if you collect email addresses or online orders.
Developers frequently push out plugin updates to patch vulnerabilities or improve security. If these plugins aren’t updated, they can become a security risk to your website. Make sure to routinely check any plugins on your site for updates and take care of them as quickly as possible. This counts for security plugins as well. If you’re not sure which security plugin is best for your website, check out our post on Our Top Five WordPress Security Plugins for a list of recommendations.
Routine website maintenance is critical to meeting the needs of your audience and keeping your site secure. At Vervocity, our hosting and security plans offer peace-of-mind and regularly scheduled maintenance. We’ll handle the task of routinely checking on your site so you can focus on running your business. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.