Did you just launch a new website this past summer?
A new website can be a huge step to moving your business forward and accelerate your growth. But once your website is live, what do you have to do to maintain it?
Regular Website Maintenance
Much like anything else, you don’t want to launch a new site and then just say “done”. That’s not quite how this works. In fact, there are a few things that you’ll want to ensure you’re updating on a regular basis to keep your website consistent with your business, sales tactics, and overall marketing strategy. The code that powers your website might need some love, too, over time.
I’ll walk you through the website maintenance items you’ll need to plan and budget for. The great news is that some of these things you might be able to handle internally.
Let’s start with the super technical and then I swear this will get easier! If your website is built on WordPress, WordPress itself releases main code updates every few weeks or so. Depending on what plugins you use, they’ll also release updates every few weeks. Sometimes updating WordPress and plugins is a matter of hitting an update button and you’re good to go!
Unfortunately, while those updates are vital to keep your website security updated, they can also cause conflicts. This is where a lot of my clients want a little help and opt to have me take care of their WordPress maintenance for them. I make sure everything is updated regularly and nothing breaks! Or if it does, I can fix it.
Basic Content Updates
What happens most often is that you’ve built a great website and something changes in your business. Maybe you’ve added a new service or you have events that you regularly post and update. Maybe you’ve had team members join the business or you want to showcase new testimonials from happy customers.
The entire point of a website is that it’s not meant to be static; it’s meant to be a living part of your business. It should be updated to reflect the inevitable changes in your business as they happen. Depending on how your site was built, you should be able to make simple content changes without the help of a developer. If you’re working on a website now or plan to have one built in the near future, make sure you talk to your web developer about the pieces you’ll know will change over the next year or two (and sometimes even just the things you’ll hope will change over the next year or two).
A few things that might change on a website regularly:
- Job postings
- Team members/bios
- New products
- Blog articles
- New services
- Even updated photography
Adding New Services
If you’ve added a wholly new service to your business, for instance, you’ll want to ensure that’s properly highlighted on your website. With adding a service, it’s not just about creating a section or a page for that service, but can include other updates as well.
For instance, say you’ve added a new group consulting service. You’ll want to create a new page for that, which includes writing some copy, getting pictures together, and putting the page together. Then, you’ll need to add that new page to your menus (top and footer, perhaps) so people can find that service. You may also want to get some testimonials for that service and maybe even update your homepage to include a section for your group consulting to lead people to that page.
See how those changes can add up? It may feel a little overwhelming, but it’s all about taking a step back to plan out how you want your customers to find the new service and what information you’ll want to share to sell it.
How Often Should You Make Changes?
Never look at your website and make changes just to make changes. It’s not going to help your SEO enough to make tweaks to your copy every month, for instance.
Instead, focus on making changes as needed. Whether that means reviewing your website internally once a month or once a quarter to double check it’s up-to-date or adding a process to your business that any time you make changes, you make sure those are reflected on your site.
Your WordPress maintenance items are a slightly different story. I typically recommend that you keep those updated every month. That will help to keep your site secure, but also prevent conflicts that can break your site. Small incremental updates tend to have fewer issues then when you’ve missed 10 versions because you haven’t updated your plugins in a year.
Reflecting Changes in Your Business
Updates to a website need to be consistent with changes in a business and reflect that growth and change. Your website is your business’s virtual storefront, so you want to make sure that as you make changes internally that you’re at least planning out and scheduling when you’ll make those changes to your website to keep it updated.
Nothing is worse and more frustrating then a potential customer contacting you to find out that your website doesn’t reflect what you actually do to help.
If nothing else, plan to sit down for an hour at the start of every quarter and read through your website. Make sure it’s all still relevant information and then plan out the changes you might need.
And hey, if you ever want any help with that, I’m here to make your life easier!