It’s a super, terrific day when you finally launch or relaunch your website. Weeks and months of planning, creating, writing, designing, consulting, and waiting have culminated into this one, huge event. Congratulations!
But don’t pop the champagne bottle just yet. You still have work to do. If you want to maintain this euphoric feeling about your website and not be faced with a blank, white screen where your website should be or worse, a variety of pornographic images or heaven forbid another website you don’t recognize – listen up!
Your brand new website is like a child newly born into this world. You have to care for it and maintain it or bad things could and will happen. Easy website maintenance is the answer. Here’s how you do it.
Make a Weekly Visit
Set a time each week that you will physically visit your website. That means typing in the URL and going to it. When you land on the home page, check it out to see if anything looks funny or off. Look at the header, navigation, middle content, all the way down to the footer and bottom of the page. No glancing, really examine the site.
If your site has been hacked or malicious code has been inserted, you may see a link to a strange website at the very bottom or the top of your page.
Client Case Study
One of my web design clients noticed that they were suddenly seeing several posts on their blog for a trucking company. They called to let me know and I immediately knew something was off because they don’t really use their blog function, they have other “post-types” that they use for content creation. I performed a scan and found that malicious code had been inserted into several pages. It was inconspicuous and if you weren’t looking for it, you would never have known it was there. The code lead visitors to another website about trucking, they were essentially using my client’s website as a marketing machine.
I installed monitoring software along with an aggressive security plugin that only allows admins with a special code to post anything anywhere on the website. I also thoroughly cleaned the site and deleted the malicious code. Their website is up and running properly and they have not experienced any further incidents.
After a thorough exam of the home page, click on each navigation button to make sure the link is still working and the page maintains it’s layout. Sometimes a plugin that needs to be updated can cause a layout shift. You’ll never know this until you actually look at each page.
Then test the links on your pages. Do they go to the correct places or do they just spin and do nothing?
Remember, the problems you catch now will help visitors find what they’re looking for so they don’t “bounce” away from your site forever. This is the first step is performing easy website maintenance, go to your site and look at it.
Updating is Your Friend
Those awesome plugins or software that run your WordPress website and make it do wonderful things are indeed necessary and needy. Your site can’t do what it does without them, but they need plenty of consistent love and care. That means they need to be updated as close as possible to when the new versions are released.
Here’s why plugins need to be lovingly cared for:
WordPress is free because thousands of developers contribute their code to make it work. That code, better known as plugins, helps WordPress to be so versatile and scalable.
However, the very thing that makes WordPress awesome is what makes it vulnerable – those thousands of developers creating code and software and updates. You know that everyone loves to hate on what’s hot and awesome, right? Spammers, hackers, and malicious code writers are the haters. They send out hundreds of thousands of Bots to search the internet for vulnerabilities inside of the WordPress core software and the plugins, which are also software. That’s why the developers send out all those updates.
Paying attention to the updates and performing easy website maintenance is what keeps your website running smoothly and continuously.
Not respecting and following through on the updates for the plugins, core software, and other stuff on your site is what gives you the blank white screen or worse a hacked or overtaken and redirected website.
Check out my LIVE training on CSI’s Facebook page. I talk about the four ways to keep your site up and running.
Now you know what to do and how often to do it to keep your WordPress website hacker-free.
If this all seems overwhelming or you feel that it would be better to let someone else take over your web maintenance, check out our web maintenance service.