A clean, updated business website is important for achieving the desired goals. So, having a proper website maintenance process helps you keep your website fresh and as good as new. We look a checklist of website maintenance tasks which will do just that.
Check 1 – Design and Scripts
Over time, a website ages and the design looks dated compared to competition. It is important to plan for a website design upgrade with a proper website redesign.
Due to new elements like social media sharing buttons or new technologies like AJAX some website scripts need to change or new ones added to keep up with competition.
Check 2 – Site speed
This is a critical factor both for usability and for search engines. Even as feature requirements increase with time, keeping the size down and the website pages load time short is essential. So, benchmarking page load speeds before implementing changes and comparing later is important.
Check 3 – Broken links
As the site ages, services change or move and products expire or get replaced. The changes if done incorrectly lead to broken links. Over time, this can get out of control. This is a rapidly increasing problem for large websites. This is bad for your site SEO and can affect rankings and traffic. Your website maintenance plan should include a regular broken link check.
Check 4 – 404 error pages
These indicate missing pages or pages removed due to changes. Visitors seeking such pages should be presented with a way to take action on the site. Correct 301 redirects or custom 404 pages help achieve this.
Check 5 – Sitemaps
Check the sitemap page to ensure that it is upto date and not having links legacy pages or broken links. Also ensure that it links to newly added and important pages. Also this also means that the sitemap.xml file should be updated and resubmitted to search engines as well.
Check 6 – Website Forms
Forms can lead to problems over time due to wrong updates, script errors or changes in destination emails. This can lead to lost business. Forms should be checked regularly to ensure that they are working fine.
Check 7 – Website Content Freshness
Sometimes over time content gets dated if it is not updated regularly. Something that was true in 2005 may not be valid in 2011. You should have a proper content audit to ensure that it is accurate and valid today as it was when created.
Check 8 – Content Accuracy & Grammar
Over time, errors can creep into your site content as changes are made or there is user generated content. So it is essential that this is checked and corrected. Also relevancy of content to the web page is important.
Check 9 – Content Readability
Sometimes different people add content bringing their own writing styles. The readability in this scenario can vary. It is better to check that the readability level matches your target audience.
Check 10 – Website Analytics
Over time, websites get new pages and lose old ones. This can lead to pages getting added which do not have the analytics tracking script installed. This is especially the case with static sites or those that do not build pages of a standard template where analytics addition is automatic.