YBC Academy : Website Maintenance

You’ve just spent a huge amount of time and money, or just the weekend and gone for as much free stuff as possible, to build your business website and it’s looking good.

The thing is, just like your car, your business or even your own body, if you don’t look after it problems can start to arise.
When it comes to website maintenance, you have two options – do it yourself or get a company to maintain your website for you.

Besides your time, doing it yourself will cost less, but, of course, how much is your time worth, is changing the oil something you really want to be doing and have you the skillset to do it properly?

Presuming you want to do this yourself, here are three areas you should definitely concentrate on regularly to keep your website running as sweet as a Veyron Super Sport.

Security:
No matter who you are or how your website was built, it’s online therefore it can be hacked.
That said, there are steps you can take to minimise that risk.

Monitor your website for hack attempts
If you are using a CMS (WordPress, Joomla or similar), there are a few plugins you can install to let you know when some dirty oik is trying to break in through your back door – for this you’ll need to check through the platform’s plugin repository.

Of course, never simply install the plugin and sit back, it needs configuring for maximum effect and regularly checking up on any issues that arise.

If you’re not using a CMS, it might be best to speak with your web host to see if they can recommend a monitoring tool.

Back-ups:
As mentioned before, if you have a website, it can be hacked into, also files can become corrupted or, human error leads to files being deleted or overwritten.
The best route to take, when it comes to backing up your website, is to regularly, manually download all the files and database but, of course, that takes time and effort.
If you can and want to go this route, I totally recommend it BUT don’t just download to your work laptop – that can be stolen, the hard drive gives up the ghost or, like your wedding video, can be overwritten.

If you have a decent web host they should offer a back-up service, sometimes free, but you should only use this as part of your overall back-up strategy.

There are plenty of companies offering website maintenance but always ask your associates for personal recommendations.
Also, backing up the core and theme files is fine, but pay particular attention to the CMS database as without this you have nothing.

Uptime monitoring:
Like calling the operator to check your phone line is working, is your website actually still online?
If not, it could be hours, weeks or more before you realise and then you have a panic on to drop everything and deal with it immediately – how much business have you lost because you didn’t realise?

You can use various online services and methods that tie into either messaging services, txt or email but one online service I recommend is Uptime Robot.
Uptime Robot can be set up to ping you if your website is offline for at least 5 minutes – it could be a simple bottleneck in the traffic, it could be that your server has melted, but either way you will be alerted.

If you do get a ping, the next steps would be to check your website is actually reachable via your browser and use DFEOJM – https://downforeveryoneorjustme.com

So, these are crucial tasks to start you off maintaining your website, but, of course, we’re only just skimming the service – there’s a whole mass of other areas that need to be considered to get yourself fully secured.

If you prefer, you can download this article as a PDF.

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