Is it time for a “tune up”?

Website tune-upWebsites are a lot like cars; they require regularly scheduled maintenance to help keep you on the road to success! When you’re driving, the last thing you need is a flat tire and having a static website can have the same effect on your business as having a flat tire would on your car. Everything grinds to a halt. So think of this time of year as the ideal time to complete a Spring maintenance package on your website, guaranteeing you and your business ideal “driving” conditions all summer long.

Many website designers, myself included will use and recommend WordPress. That’s because it’s fairly user friendly. It’s kind of like buying a good, reliable, family friendly sedan. You can add a few “bells and whistles” but the base car is sound. The industry recognizes WordPress as by far the most used CMS (Content Management System) prompting the former head of Google’s Webspam team to say this: “sites built with WordPress are capable of ranking higher in search results.” WordPress is SEO friendly. Statistics show that better than 27% of the sites you find on the web are fuelled by WordPress, whether it’s a simple hobby blog or one owned by one of the biggest news sites online.  That’s because WordPress is so versatile and easy to use – just like a car. Like a car however, WordPress is only as good as the fuel, oil and care you put into it  and that’s why regularly scheduled maintenance for your website is SO important.

Your designer can build you something beautiful with WordPress but browser versions, security protocols and device software all change at lightening speed and you, as the owner, need to make sure your website accurately represents your business online at all times – so you need to stay on top of these changes to ensure your website isn’t static. Continually adding new and engaging content, blogging and adding pictures are part of what will help ensure your website stays fresh and top of mind. Think of your web designer as the mechanic who can help guide you when it comes to regularly scheduled maintenance, but, like a car, it’s your responsibility to get it to the mechanic in the first place or learn how to do “the basics” so you can perform the maintenance yourself. . *A word of cautionary advice here: Remember, if you are undertaking some of your own “do it yourself” repairs or maintenance you must always make a back-up first! Also check for plugin compatibility issues and for server resources (ie: php version) before you begin any updating! (1)

For example, just recently WordPress came out with 2 new security releases. Think of these like a “Recall Notice.” You are being warned that there could be a problem with your website. If you log in to your website you will find a message, in red, on your dashboard, just like the warning light to “check engine soon” might show up on your car dashboard. The message will guide you on how to take appropriate action and if you need help, your website designer (like any good mechanic) can help you address the issue. Likely there will be a fee involved. That’s the nature of business and whether you are buying a new car (website) or repairing an old one (updating your site) these things do cost money. Engaging in regularly scheduled maintenance however, helps to ensure your website not only lasts for many years but is also effective when it comes to driving your business in the right direction.

As one of the best Content Management Systems out there WordPress might put you on the road to success but maintenance is what keeps you there. Spring and Fall are both an ideal time for an overhaul. Ask your web designer for help. As for the rest of the year, log in, take a look around your site, see what’s new or needs repair and change things up a bit. WordPress is pretty user friendly and there’s really no reason you can’t pop in once in awhile, add content, blog or perform other small updates on your own. Your website designer will put you in the driver’s seat – it’s up to you to now take care of the regularly scheduled maintenance! (*see 1 above)