First, probably, breathe a sigh of relief. Building a website can be a lengthy process, especially if you need to get it looking perfect. That’s not to say it’s not pleasant and fun, but it can certainly seem like a long haul from day one to launch. But now your shiny new site is live, and getting the traffic it deserves (or maybe not yet, more on that soon) – but what do you do now? Sit back and let it do it’s thing? Probably, for a while, but unfortunately this can’t be the answer forever. Let’s take a quick look why, and what steps you can take to ensure your site continues to perform in the way that it should.
Ensuring Your Content is Up To Date
A stale website is certain to send the wrong impression to your customers or clients. If your site is largely informational with no news features, it may be a little easier to hide, but ensuring that your contact details, staff information, business addresses and so on are correct is essential. There’s nothing like a customer finding your site, taking the time to look around, and then getting in touch to find out that nobody is there to respond. Updating your content, luckily, is the easy part, if you’ve got yourself a nice new WordPress site. If Scott Reynolds has built it for you, then it’s almost guaranteed!
Log in regularly, add new content and news posts, update photos, and have a bit of fun. You had a website built to communicate with customers (in some way or another), so make sure you use it as such. Thinking your website is a simple set-and-forget marketing tool is probably not the right approach here – that’s like using the same flyer or poster for the life of your business… surely that can’t work (forever).
Check How Your Website is Ranking
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is crucial in ensuring that your site is performing as well as it possibly can. It aims to ensure that when people search for you, or your service, they find you. Again though, a set-and-forget approach is not the way here. Your competitors are likely working to ensure they stay ahead of you, so you need to do the same. Active SEO management is crucial in ensuring that you stay ahead of the game, and ahead of those pesky competitors. It may be a more simple task, such as monitoring your key search keywords and checking the ranking for each one, or going all the way to improving content from a SEO perspective to ensure that for each of those keywords, your site is ranking as well as it possibly can.
SEO is a big business, and there are plenty of players out there in the market. There are lots of options, and lots of shady operators. Buyer beware in this business, that’s for sure, as poor SEO (or even improper SEO) can really hurt your search rankings. Scott Reynolds can offer SEO services for you, whether you’re an existing client or not, and unlike strictly online/overseas operators, is close and personal so that you can catch up and talk SEO before diving in and making improvements.
Keep Your Site Up To Date… And Not Just Your Content
One final part that people often forget, is how important it is to keep your site updated and running the latest software. Updating your content is one task, and a perfect one for you to manage (who knows your business better than you?); but software and security is a different case altogether. While it’s not too hard to manage – WordPress has enabled that – it does come with a range of risks. What if the update breaks something on your site? How will you fix it? Who is going to log in regularly enough to ensure that if a security risk arises, that you’re protected? Has anybody actually got time for that?
The reason this issue is such a big one is because WordPress is such a widely-used Content Management System (CMS), meaning that it’s also a prime target for security exploits. The developers work hard (and it’s a huge open source project), but they can only do so much. When a security update is released, whether large or small, it’s not uncommon that a huge proportion of WordPress sites continue to be exploitable – users just don’t even know that an update is available! This is actually one huge problem, and could very much affect your site (or another site on the same server as you, if you’re using shared hosting).
Let’s just assume for a second that your site does get attacked (and remember, you don’t have to be a particular target… it’s an automated game these days, generally)… what happens now? Who do you turn to? Your search engine rankings are probably falling as Google has blacklisted your site for containing malware, you may be spreading malware to visitors of your site, or perhaps you’re just sending a whole lot of SPAM emails or links to everyone who passes by. How do you fix something like this? Updating your software now is almost always irrelevant… your site has been exploited, and there are bits of your code that can be used to open that door at any stage now, and into the future.
An ideal situation would have been that you have a recent backup, before your site was attacked. If so, let’s restore that backup, do the updates, and bam – you’re safe and updated (and have recovered, almost instantly). But what if you can’t find that backup? What if that backup is from a year ago? What if there is no backup? This is where problems get very serious… often the only way to fix the issue, from here, is to have your code audited, line-by-line, to clean out exploits. This can be done, but it’s very rarely perfect… and it’s certainly not cheap either.
So… what if there was a better solution? Something easier on everyone? Here’s a small tip… there is! (Yes, this is a plug…)
Enter WordPresto: Your personal yet professional WordPress Management Services
WordPresto is a new Australian startup, collaborating with Scott Reynolds, to provide personal and professional WordPress Management Services. They aren’t interested in selling you design work, or trying to up-sell you a bigger and better website – they just want to make sure that your current one is running as well as possible, and that it stays as protected and backed up as often as possible. They can step in and help you fix performance issues, if you need, but they really just want to make sure that your site stays up-to-date, and running the latest software possible… all while being backed up regularly to better make your WordPress site disaster proof (or at least disaster recoverable, in a less-than-perfect situation).
Feel free to get in touch if you want to find out more, but otherwise jump over to their site and see what they’re up to!
And now, back from that plug…
Want to Chat More?
Let’s talk. Use the details on the contact page and get in touch today. Whether it’s about any of these thoughts, or something else web (or creative) related, reach out to Scott Reynolds and let’s start a conversation.