Happy New Year! Now that the party is over, it’s time to start ringing in the New Year with some resolutions. We all have them, and let’s face it, most of them don’t stick. This year, why not resolve to keep your website and digital presence in good health? Here’s a few tips on how to keep your brand ticking online in 2017.
- Security, Please! Do you lock your car when you leave it in a parking lot? Or even in your driveway? Your car is valuable to your lifestyle, just like your website is valuable to your business. Make sure, this year, your website has some sort of security in place. If you have a WordPress website, there are free plugins that can help protect against problems like hackers and spambots. If you have an e-commerce site or are taking customers’ personal information on your website, make sure you are protecting their data with an SSL certificate. Talk to your web developer today to make sure your site is as secure as it needs to be! Additionally, make sure your plugins and platforms (like WordPress) are updated to the latest versions. Ignoring those updates leaves you more open to attack.
- Backup, Backup, Backup. What would happen if, tomorrow, your website was hacked? Most web hosts will detect the hack, and take your site down, so as not to infect other sites on a shared server. In some cases, a site gets hacked so that something else appears in its place. Do you have a recent backup of your site, free of malicious code, that you could quickly get back up online? You should, or you should make sure your web developer does. As with item #1, there are a number of free WordPress plugins that will automatically backup your website on a regular basis. Make sure your site is being backed up at an interval that makes sense based on the frequency that you update the site.
- Be in the know. Do you have all the necessary information you would need to login to your website? Do you know where your domain is registered? Do you have a login for your host? What about any accounts you might have that are associated with your site—email marketing accounts or merchant accounts? Take this opportunity to make sure you have a complete list and are in the know about what accounts you have, where you have registrations and accounts, and how to access them if needed.
- Content is King. You’ve heard this before, I’m sure. Content marketing is the key to driving people to your brand online. But when they do find their way to your website, is your content up to date? There’s nothing worse than being a consumer who has been duped by old information. Don’t confuse your customers. Make sure all your website content is reflective of your business here and now. Are your hours correct online? What about your email address or phone number? And beyond the basics, does your website present a clear understanding of what your services or products are right now? What about your mission, or even your staff? Take some time to review and revise every page of your site that needs refreshing.
- Consistency is Queen. Now that you’ve updated your website content, look beyond to the rest of your online presence. Check your social media platforms. Is all your information up to date across the board? What about profile pictures… are you making it easy for your consumers to identify you by using the same profile image on all your social media accounts? Make sure the message and branding across all your platforms—website included—are consistent!
- Follow a schedule. Congratulations! You’ve accomplished steps 1 through 5, and it’s still only January! Job well done…………… Not so fast! Now that you know the steps, set up a schedule to check your website on a regular basis. At least once a month you should be going through this list. Check that your plugins and platforms are updated, that your backup plugin is functioning, that your account list is up to date, and that your business details are correct on your website and all other online profiles.
If you can dedicate just a little time once a month to run through this list, you’ll feel much more confident that the continuity of your online presence will remain in great health!
Looking for a firm to help keep your site functioning and healthy? Get in touch with Katy Dwyer Design to find out about our website maintenance options.