Unfortunately, your website isn’t a set-and-forget kind of property. Even after it’s developed, designed and published, you still have to manage it in order to ensure that it’s professional, updated and as functional as it needs to be.
Think of your website as a car and website management as car maintenance. Can you own a car without maintaining it regularly? Didn’t think so.
Now, as a business owner, you probably aren’t familiar with website management and what it encompasses. Fret not, as we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of website management, including general maintenance, content management and security.
Is website management important?
Short answer? Yes, it is. You can either take our word for it or keep reading.
Long answer? First, there’s the fact that every aspect of business success relies on effective and constant management. Your website is no different.
Here are the other reasons that make website management crucial:
Be ready to scale your business
By using the right tools to manage your website today, you ensure that you’re ready to scale your business in the future. As a business owner, it’s essential to keep future growth in mind and be ready to embrace it.
Websites need to evolve
You need to regularly create and distribute new content to keep up with the latest trends and stay relevant. After all, (most) websites aren’t static and unchanging. That’s a fact that any business owner worth their salt knows (or should know).
Here are the two main reasons publishing content regularly is crucial for any business:
Fresh content increases indexing and improves your chances of ranking for different keywords
Search engines use crawlers to identify and index content. It goes without saying that the more often you add and update content, the more search engines will check your website. That, in turn, will increase your chances of ranking for different search queries.
Visitors value new content
By keeping your website updated with new content, you guarantee that visitors will come back to check it out again in the future. It doesn’t have to be a huge production every time, but it has to be consistent.
Other reasons fresh content is important
- It shapes the users’ perspective of your business
- The more content you publish, the more touchpoints you give visitors to engage with you
- Publishing content regularly humanises your brand and makes it for users to connect with it
- It builds credibility
- It encourages people to post testimonials and publish stories about your brand
If you don’t take website management seriously now, the processes involved in content creation and distribution can become challenging and costly in the future.
It’s cheaper than taking care of errors and downtime
If you manage your website poorly (or don’t do it at all), you’ll eventually end up with plenty of problems. Technical problems are hard to find and expensive to fix, so you should avoid them. There’s no better way to do that than to manage your website properly in the first place.
Website management made easy
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when managing your website:
You need to perform several tasks regularly as part of your website management process. Those include:
Site and data backup
If you’re not using a host that offers regular backups (or can’t afford them), you need to take care of this task yourself. The main reason for this is that your website is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and network glitches. If you back up your website regularly, getting it up and running fast wouldn’t be hard if it goes down for whatever reason.
If you don’t want to do it manually, there are several services that you can try before making up your mind. These include BackupMachine, Codeguard and Dropmysite.
Keep an eye on your landing pages
If you rely on a landing page (or several of them) to collect data and generate leads, it’s essential to check them out regularly. Some of the issues to look out for include:
- Slow loading speeds
- New visitors don’t understand your offer
- There’s a glitch in your web server
- Your product or service may be unavailable
- The images may not be loading properly
You mustn’t let such problems pile up. Some of the tools you can use to address them include Unbounce, AdWordsRobot and VWO Landing Page Analyzer.
Don’t forget load times
This is yet another integral part of website management. These days, web users have a short attention span. Furthermore, slow loading times increase the bounce rate of your site. That declines traffic and, consequently, conversion rate. That’s why you need to make sure that all your website pages load fast.
Just remember, your job isn’t over after running the tests. After generating the report, go through it to locate any issues that may be slowing down your website. Then, either address them yourself or hire someone who can do it for you.
Other regular tasks
- Update your plugins and themes whenever a new update is out
- Respond to legitimate comments and delete spammy ones
- Monitor uptime and make sure your website isn’t offline for long
- Optimise your database
- If you’re offering products on your website, make sure they’re up to date
When it comes to the content part of website management, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Start by choosing a CMS
The first step here is to find a Content Management System (CMS) that works for you. Such a system can help you design your website, manage different aspects, and publish content from the same dashboard. A CMS is especially useful if you want to take care of website management without a technical background.
What are the criteria for choosing one, you ask?
- First of all, a good CMS should allow you to deliver the best user experience to your users
- Moreover, it has to make publishing new content across your channels as straightforward as possible
- Your CMS of choice shouldn’t be hard to use
- It should offer design and security options
Which CMS to choose?
There are many content management systems out there. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “best” option here. It all depends on your specific needs and prior experience with website management.
The most widely used CMS in the world is WordPress. According to W3Techs, it powers around 65% of all CMS websites. That’s 43.3% of all websites. That makes sense, as WordPress is flexible, doesn’t require technical skills to manage, offers plenty of themes and plugins that you can use, and has a huge community that can chime in to help whenever someone needs it.
On the flip side, with WordPress, you’ll have to set up your hosting and domain name yourself. Furthermore, you’ll have to take care of some website management elements, like security and backups, manually. Worry not, though, as most of those processed can be automated using plugins.
Other CMS that you can try before making up your mind include Wix, Kentico, Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, WordPress.com and Ghost.
Create and publish content
Content here refers to anything you can publish on your website for your visitors to consume. That includes anything from blog posts and videos to live events and downloadable content. If you want to get traffic and generate leads, content is essential. It’s also a critical part of SEO.
When it comes to content, you shouldn’t go in blind. You need to put together a comprehensive content strategy based on your customers’ expectations and needs. If you’re going to create the content strategy yourself, you also need to familiarise yourself with several aspects of content creation. Those include:
Website management: Security
Websites are prone to all kinds of security threats. As hackers hone their cyber-attack skills, you need to keep a close eye on your website’s security.
So, how can you manage the security of your website?
Well, the first step is to hire an expert to review your site if you can afford it. One of our experts can certainly help you find chinks in the armour and unravel security threats that are hard to identify without extensive technical skill and knowledge.
Now, if you can’t afford that or you believe that you don’t need a professional audit, here’s what you can do to enhance the security of your website:
Manage your passwords
Follow these steps when managing your password:
- Use a password generator like Bitwarden, Dashlane or LastPass to generate complicated passwords
- Use a different password for each purpose. That way, even if one of your passwords gets leaked, the rest of your accounts are safe
- Change your passwords every now and then
- Use two-factor authentication wherever it’s possible
- Invest in a host that has the necessary resources to secure your server
- Follow the latest cybersecurity trends to make changes accordingly
- Keep your content management system up to date
- Do not grant backend access to anyone who doesn’t need it or doesn’t work for you
- Renew your site’s SSL certificate as soon as it expires
- Install a security plugin like Sucuri, Wordfence Security or Jetpack if you’re using WordPress. Also, keep all of your themes and plugins up to date
- Test your website’s security regularly using tools like NetSparker, NoGoToFail or InudsFace
Keep an eye on traffic and analytics
It should go without saying that the best way to increase efficiency and boost your website’s revenues is by keeping an eye on user data. As traffic moves in and out of your website, visitors produce valuable data that you must analyse to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Many tools allow you to keep track of different integral metrics like bounce rate and time on page. One of the most used tools for analytics is Google Analytics, which, when mastered, should be enough for any marketer.
What to do with that data
Once you gather enough data, you’ll be able to answer several questions that affect your website’s performance and revenues, such as:
- Why do visitors leave as soon as they hit the landing page?
- Which pages are getting the most traffic and which are generating the highest conversion rates?
- How many visitors do you need to get one sale or score a new client?
Final word: Don’t fear change
We live in a digital age where the name of the game is adaptability. When managing your website (or any aspect of your business), do not frown upon change when it’s necessary. With plenty of data at hand, you should be ready to adjust different elements and try new things that can lead to growth.
For that, we recommend setting up a regular time (maybe quarterly?) to review the data you’ve gathered and make adjustments accordingly.
The keyword here is “when necessary.” You needn’t make adjustments and changes constantly. You just have to do it when the need arises.
We can do it for you
As you’ve seen, managing your website is a never-ending process. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us today, and we’ll show you how we can take your website to the next level.