As sunshine, “warm” temps and clear trails spark off spring fever here in Anchorage, maintaining your website can become much less appealing. But before you turn off your laptop to go play for the summer, we recommend doing a bit of housekeeping to make sure your site is healthy and serving you well through the coming months.
1. Check your backups
Are your backups and malware tools in place and working? If you have these in place, check them. There’s nothing worse than thinking your website is backed up only to have your site go down and realize that your backups haven’t been working for the last 6 months. That can mean a lot of lost content. If you don’t have a plan setup, eliminate
If you use WordPress (or another CMS) but don’t have a backup and security plan, consider one. It will virtually eliminate the heartache of losing your website content and make it so much easier to recover when an issue arises.
2. Clean out the junk
Over time, test pages, old images and comment spam can build up, making your site bulky and confusing to manage. A few things to check in WordPress websites:
- Huge media files: if you’re uploading large image files (there’s rarely a need for anything larger than 300kb), then you could probably trim some fat. There are a number of plugins out there that will accomplish this. We love https://shortpixel.com/
- Comment spam: if you have comments on, you’re probably getting more spam than feedback.
So, first, decide if allowing comments is worth it. Unless they are truly useful for your brand or products, we recommend turning them off. There are two steps to accomplishing this:
- Turn off comments for future posts/pages: under Settings > Discussion
- Turn off comments for past posts/pages using Bulk Edit: go to your Posts page, select all, choose Edit from the drop down menu, turn off comments.
- Delete spam comments: Go to Comments, select the spam and trash it.
- If you want to keep comments but reduce spam, try installing one of the many anti-comment spam plugins out there for WordPress.
3. Check your domain and hosting renewals.
- Double check that all product renewals are set to automatic.
- Make sure payment information is up-to-date (like credit cards)
4. Check your traffic
If you have Google Analytics, then log in and take a look around. You might find some surprising activity in there. A few questions to ask yourself are:
- What am I measuring? How can I tell if my website is performing well?
- What pages are visitors seeing?
- How long to people stay on each page? What’s the bounce rate? (a measure of how valuable the information is to visitors)
- How do I compare to this time last year? If you use Google Analytics, you can choose a date range and compare it to the previous year.
5. Know when your web developer will be on vacation
If you’re working with an individual, talk to your developer about what to do if you need help and they aren’t available. Likewise, if your developer is a company, be sure you know the most efficient way to get help. Don’t be afraid to ask!
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