Buds, Flowers and Website Maintenance
by Sarah Warlick, content director
Look around you and you can’t help but see signs of spring everywhere. Here in Atlanta it’s that glorious season of dogwoods, cherries, azaleas…and spring cleaning! Your early-blooming flowers may be different but the annual post-winter maintenance of home and yard is pretty much the same wherever you are.
While you’re at it, be sure to do the same for your firm’s website. Don’t worry, this job doesn’t require a wheelbarrow or mop, but it’s important nonetheless. Performing periodic cleanup maintenance operations is the best way to keep your site fresh, current and safe. Ready to get started?
- Check your site for compatibility with all browsers. This should have been (and probably was) done by the developer when the site was created. There’s probably no issue, but because browsers change over time, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re still fully optimized for each one. Visit the pages on your site using all the major browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Opera, Safari and K-Meleon ought to cover it. You’re just looking to be sure pages render correctly and everything looks nice.
- Monitor your mobile-friendly status. This task is another checkup to be sure nothing has changed, and just as easy. It’s valuable, though, because with so many people using mobile devices to conduct their business research, you want to know for sure that your site is welcoming them with an easy-to-use, fully optimized interface.
- Update website components. This one often goes overlooked, but it is crucial for site safety. Check for updates to plug-ins, themes and everything else that might need to be refreshed. Skipping these updates makes your site an easy target for hackers and cybercrime. Also spend a moment checking to ensure that site logins and passwords are difficult to crack, and that only currently authorized users have access to the site. If not, make them stronger and eliminate access for those who no longer have any business poking around in there.
- Proofread the entire site. Give your site a thorough read-through as you scan for typos, outdated bios, areas that need to be highlighted or updated, and missing or incorrect information. Even relatively new sites need to be checked periodically. Your firm is a dynamic entity, and it’s easy to forget simple changes like new phone numbers, new degrees and titles or staff turnover.
- Check links to external pages. It’s frustrating to click on a promising link and find yourself at an error message, a dead page or one that’s been taken over by spam. Follow all the links on your site that lead to external locations and make sure they still direct site visitors to active, appealing destinations.
That’s all it takes! There probably wasn’t a lot that needed work but if you found nothing at all, you’re the exception. If you did run into significant issues, take comfort knowing it’s much better to have found and fixed them rather than to remain in the dark and let site visitors think you don’t know better or care.
Best of all? Now that spring cleaning for your website is checked off your list, you’re free to clean out the garage and till the garden – hooray!