In the last two decades, websites have become an increasingly important part of the digital marketing sphere and a crucial part of business. As the digital shopfront of most businesses, it serves as a client-facing tool.
More websites are being created every year, with the number approaching 1.9 billion in 2021, and as they become a more critical part of business growth and customer experience, continual growth in these numbers is looking likely.
Whether you’re already one of the 1.9 billion websites online or you’re creating a brand new website for your business, it pays to go into the web development process knowing that website management is a part of your long-term plan to keep your digital storefront open.
Whether you’re an online ecommerce store who relies on an online income stream or a business owner who relies on constant leads through your website, these website management tips will take you through practical steps to keep your site functioning at its best.
What is website management?
Website management is an umbrella term for all of the processes required to keep a website functioning and serving visitors effectively. This includes the administration and control of all your site software and hardware, from the backend code that dictates your website function and design to the links that carry your visitor through to conversion.
Typically, website management includes the following:
Website security checks and updates are essential for keeping your site safe from hackers, viruses, and any other uninvited guests. According to our web development experts, website security is about more than protecting your data – it also covers malware scans, password security, and barriers to spam bots in your contact forms, amongst other things.
Broadly, content management describes the management of information throughout the content lifecycle. This cycle covers everything from the process of planning and developing content to the end of the life cycle where content is permanently stored or deleted.
Site and data back-up
Given the unpredictability and the many potential pitfalls of the internet, site and data backups are essential. According to Dan from Pixelstorm, this is particularly important for sites with large quantities of content and regular updates. “If you’re updating your site regularly you want to have regular backups and a system for restoring the backups when needed.”
Review analytics and landing pages
A website or landing page informed by data and analytics is built to succeed in the present and the future, says our web development expert Sam. “It’s nice to have a visitor’s data, [including] their country, browser, and referred URL, among other things.” This data allows you to base present and future content efforts on targeted visitor insights for more impressions, page views, and clicks.
Checking broken links
Broken links lead to 404 errors, and 404 errors lead to a high bounce rate. Even for the users who do stick around, broken links will make your site far more difficult to navigate, decreasing the amount of time spent on each page, and ultimately hurting your SEO efforts.
Identify downtime and website hosting issues
The most common downtime and website hosting issues include server overload, cyber attacks, issues with hardware and software, and human error when handling servers or writing code. An effective website management process can help you identify and eliminate all of these problems.
Checking site load time
Very few internet users are prepared to wait for a slow website to load, and studies have shown that a load time that stretches longer than just two seconds is enough to drive people away. Dan says load time checks are particularly important in post-update maintenance. “If you are constantly updating your site with new imagery, videos, content, new pages, and new plug-in functionality, then you’ll want to run regular speed checks to ensure all pages on your site are loading fast.”
Management for ecommerce or high-traffic websites
Running a high-traffic website or ecommerce website often means adhering to a more involved site management process. In order to keep the page load light and fast, you’ll need to check and compress image sizes, install a caching plugin that generates static HTML pages of your website for users, or upgrade your hosting.
Checking forms and key pages are working
Your key pages – the ones most heavily used by your visitors – are the most important pages on your website for conversion, while the forms act as a portal between you and your potential customers. These critical elements of your site can become the difference between securing a customer’s business and losing them to a competitor.
On-call website support
Whenever you have an emergency, such as a data leakage, it’s important that you’re able to get immediate assistance.
Why You Need Website Support Beyond Hosting
As you can see, website management is much more than just hosting. Often, businesses think having a reliable website hosting company will keep their website online and ensure nothing breaks, but this just isn’t the case.
If you want to protect your files and data from technical issues, keep your content relevant, and show up in search engine results ready to attract and convert your visitors, each step in the website management process is critical.
What does a good website management plan include?
Website management incorporates everything from backups and usability tests to audience management. In other words, it describes the ongoing process of maintaining your site once the website development process is complete.
The first priority is ensuring that the website is protected from security threats and technical glitches by running security checks and site backups. This way, you’ll always have systems in place to protect your data and allow you to restore it if anything breaks.
Why do you need website security?
If you don’t invest in website security, your site – and all of the data on it – will be vulnerable to hackers. This is a major problem, especially if you rely on your website to help you do business. Even the best software options require regular anti-virus updates to protect you from new viruses and bugs, which is why so many business owners get professional developers to take care of all their security efforts and backups on their behalf.
What are your website maintenance options?
Thanks to the vast array of website management tools available online, it’s possible to do your own routine website maintenance, as long as you have the time and the tech knowledge. However, this option isn’t always feasible for busy professionals, and, like ineffective web design, ineffective website management can cost you a great deal of time and money. The consequences range from a decline in traffic to broken code and unhappy customers, and it can all be expensive. For this reason, many people choose to invest in a professional website management service.
How much does it cost to hire someone to manage your website?
The cost of maintaining a website ranges from $400 to $60,000 per year, and the total cost depends on a number of factors, including your site design, the hosting service, and the company you choose. If you aren’t able to manage and maintain your website alone, hiring a website management team may save you time and money.
How do you manage an existing website?
Technical and performance issues tend to arise in the years after a website is developed, and it’s important to keep tabs on potential problems as you change content, code, plugins, and other aspects of your site. With regular testing, cleaning, and tweaking, you can ensure that your website stays healthy and functional.
The question of website management is especially important as your website grows alongside your business, and the larger it gets, the more elements will be added. These elements can be very useful for engaging users, but if you have too many of them, your load time and usability will suffer. Having your website cleaned regularly will help to solve this problem.
How do you check your website for faults?
There are many issues to consider when conducting a website audit. You’ll need to look out for problems like poor URL structure, broken backlinks, broken links and redirects, and duplicate pages, among other factors. These things can negatively affect usability, appearance, and search engine rankings for your website.
What happens if you don’t maintain your website?
If your website is not maintained effectively, you might notice a decline in the usual number of leads over time. There are many possible reasons for this, including issues like broken pages, links, images, and forms, as well as instances of the website going down without you knowing – because you’re running a business, not keeping tabs on your website domain. Other common problems include slow loading speeds, and a lack of updates leaving your site susceptible to malware or hacking, or even causing it to break down completely. Well-maintained websites are far more likely to have loyal customers and earn repeat business.
Get Website Maintenance and Support From a Trusted Source
At Pixelstorm, we know how important your website is as it represents your business and we want to help make sure things run smoothly for you at all times. Get us on your team for website maintenance and WordPress management you can trust.