November 29, 2016 | Web Design
Great choice! You’ve built your web site using WordPress. It is our preferred CMS and the tool we use to build all of our client web sites here at Visible Logic.
Now that your site is launched, you want to keep the content updated and site maintained.
Updates and maintenance are two different matters and you need to have a plan for working on each.
The difference between updating and maintaining your WordPress site
By updating, we are referring to making updates to the content. Probably the reason you chose WordPress is because it’s so easy to make text updates, add photos, or create new blog posts. WordPress makes it fast and easy to update your web site without knowing HTML, and your new content helps with SEO.
Maintenance refers to the housekeeping of your site. This includes ensuring that you are using the latest version of WordPress and also that your plugins are up-to-date.
3 Tips for better Content Updates to your web site
- Have a plan for adding new content to your site on a regular basis. Creating a blog is the easiest way to add new articles, information or resources for your readers. Corporate blogs are great for showing Google that you are creating keyword-rich, up-to-date content. To make sure this happens on a regular basis, brainstorm topics so that you have a list to work with and try to adhere to an editorial calendar so that your blog gets updated frequently.
- Perform a content audit. We often forget to review and update our own web site. At least once a year, assign someone the task to review all of your web site content. There are a few areas that tend to get out-of-date. Check your lists of employees, is it still accurate? Is your list of services showcasing your most important services and highlighting the benefits?
- Reorganization or redesign. Eventually, especially if your business is growing or changing, you’ll find that you need to rethink the way you organize and present your pages of content. When it feels like your navigational structure or the general look & feel of your site is no longer a good fit, it’s probably time to pull in an expert.
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5 tips for Maintaining your wordPress web site
- Keep WordPress up-to-date. Old versions of WordPress can cause a security issue, so it’s important to keep up with the latest versions. Updating your WordPress software is a lot like updating the operating system software on your phone or computer: it shouldn’t cause a problem, but it sometimes does. For this reason, you may feel more comfortable working with your web developer to ensure this goes smoothly.
- Update your plugins. The plugins that enhance your WordPress site also need to be kept up-to-date. Plugin updates can be small bug fixes and security patches, or they may change the plugin functionality or features. It can sometimes be a chicken-and-egg scenario with keeping both the WordPress software and your plugins updated and maintained. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, consider a maintenance package with your web developer (about 60% of our clients choose a maintenance package).
- Check for broken links. As you link to other pages on your own site or through the world wide web, eventually some of these links break. Usually, it’s because there has been a change to the URL of the page you are linking to. Use a plugin or scanning tool to automatically check for broken links, and then correct them.
- Create backups regularly and especially before you update system software. It’s a good idea to have a regular daily backup of your web site. Sometimes this is offered by your web host. If not, look into a plugin or third party service to do this. Specifically, make sure you make a backup before you upgrade your WordPress or plugins so you can revert to an old version if necessary.
- Budget for yearly licenses. Many parts of your web site require yearly fees to support their functionality. In addition to your domain name and hosting, plugins, SSL certificates and more may require recurring licensing fees to keep working. While oftentimes you just lose support services and updates (see above) if you don’t pay up, some may stop working altogether. To ensure you don’t have broken functionality on the site, keep a schedule and login details for each of these and pay them on time.