So, you’ve got your shiny new website up and running. Way to go!
Now for some stuff that’s not so exciting, but absolutely essential for your site – ongoing maintenance. You can choose to outsource it to your webmaster or, if you have the time and inclination, you can tackle it yourself. Don’t neglect this part – or you can find your site injected with malware, hijacked, or otherwise corrupted. At the very least, if you neglect your new site – nobody will find you and you’ve wasted your money.
Here’s the bare minimum maintenance:
Update Wordpress/Themes/Plugins — Using the Wordpress CMS (content management system) requires regular updating to patch security problems, bugs, and to add new features. It’s important to make sure you have a backup of your site before you update in the event there is a code conflict and your site crashes. Really, this happens!
Back it up — This is probably the most important thing you can do – make sure you have your site backed up regularly. By regular, I mean at least monthly if you’re not adding or changing content very often. Your backups need to be stored offsite, and – this is really important – in a format that you can easily restore. Updraft Plus is my current favorite plugin for this task.
Security — Don’t rely on your hosting service for this, even if they offer some security protection – from first hand experience, it won’t be good enough to stop hackers or hijackers. Virus and security software must be kept current on your site or else you are vulnerable to hackers breaking into your website and getting private information, hijacking your hosting bandwidth by injecting your site with malware and fake pages, spamming your site, or just generally mucking up your website.
Adding content — Search engine love requires that you add fresh content as often as possible. Potential and current clients won’t check back if there’s never anything new.
Refreshing products — If you have a shopping cart, you will need to update products regularly. Either hire someone to do this or do it yourself, but it’s important to do it right, as you will be dealing with private information from both vendors and customers.
Some of these maintenance tasks are technical in nature, some you can learn to do, some it makes more financial sense to outsource these tasks . You can mimic the efficiencies of big business with this – they do what they are good at and oursource the rest. As a business owner, if you’re not earning money at a task, you don’t really know how to do it, or you just hate that part, it is a better use of your time and resources to outsource. The most expensive business tasks are often the ones you think you can do yourself.
If you want to do it yourself, but need a little hand holding and some tutorials, check out DIY Biz Chicks – my other company that shows you how to do it yourself.