Website management or the lack of is something I come across quite frequently. And I must admit, in my ecom days (if you haven’t read about my ecom days before digital marketing, you can do so here), I didn’t either. When I think about all the time and money I invested in my website, and then I never gave it any TLC.
Why the correct website management can save your website?
It’s vital that we look after our website as a small business owner. It’s our lifeline and the centre of our digital marketing and advertising plan in so many ways.
If you’re an ecom business or selling courses or services where people checkout too, it’s even more important that our websites are managed in the right way.
And most importantly, if designed and set up correctly, it will make our lives easier as our website will do the hard yards for us:
- Educating clients
- Booking in new discovery calls
- Scheduling follow up appointments
- Marketing and selling our products or services
- Running courses or webinars
- Guide your clients and customers to take the action you want them to
One essential aspect of website management is backups. Having your business website backed up will save your bacon if the worst happens and your site:
- is ever hacked
- an update does the unthinkable and breaks your site
You don’t have to stress as you haven’t lost everything, and it’s easy enough to reinstall or rollback.
Here’s a true story for you…
A client of mine let’s call her Jo decided one Sunday morning that rather than reading the Sunday paper or just relaxing. She’d make some changes to her website.
What do you think happened?
Jo made some changes to her website and I don’t know what happened. And she doesn’t know what happened. But after a bit of this and a bit of that. Her website was gone!!!
Boy did I get a panicked message. And luckily I wasn’t far from my computer. And although Jo wasn’t on a maintenance plan with me I did have her backups coming to me for offsite storage after setting up her online membership program recently.
After a few more clicks, her website was reinstated.
Boy was Jo relieved and ever so thankful I’d set her up with regular weekly backups and they went through to offsite storage aka my Dropbox.
Are you deleting your website pages?
Another critical aspect of website management is ensuring your website pages, blog posts, or products are deleted the right way. Did you even know there was a right and wrong way?
Many don’t. So, if you didn’t, you’re not alone. But there are repercussions if you don’t do it correctly. And it’s only a few more steps, so easy enough to do when you know how.
If you don’t do it right, you’ll receive a 404 error, and Google doesn’t like 404s. It’s also not a great user experience if a visitor to your website comes to a dead end as such.
Sometimes our businesses evolve, products become obsolete, or services on offer might be too.
So, having to delete or unpublish a page or product is inevitable sometimes.
But it’s how we manage and deal with the pages or products that’s the important thing.
Once you’ve created a page on your website, listed a product, or written a blog post and hit publish. Then the URL is out there in Google land (and other search engines).
The wrong way to delete a website page
If you go along and delete them and do nothing further, Google won’t be thrilled. And it’s not good business sense to make Google angry. 😉
The right way to delete a website page
Once you delete a page or product, it’s just a few more steps to keep the Google Gods happy.
Redirect the relevant page, post, or product to another page, product, or blog post.
Whichever will provide the best positive user experience for your end-user.
It’s also good practise to have a customised 404 page. That way, if something does happen and you’ve got a broken link, page, or product for some reason. Rather than losing your website visitors, your customised 404 page will help them find their way.
And depending on your brand, you can have some fun with your 404 page, too. It doesn’t have to be boring; why not make it fun.
How to redirect pages or products on WordPress
In WordPress, you need a redirect plugin. Once installed add the URL you’ve deleted and the URL you wish the page, product, or post to now go to. The WordPress redirect plugin I usually use is Simple 301 Redirects but there are others about too.
How to redirect pages or products on Shopify
If you’re on Shopify, follow these steps:
- navigation tab
- add the to and from URLs in the relevant sections.
It’s just one more step after hitting the delete button and makes Google happy.
And then one more step I always like to do too is to double-check the redirection has worked. You never know a hyphen or space in the wrong place can throw everything out.
Use Google Search Console to guide you with your website maintenance
Check out the coverage tab, and it’ll show you any 404s you may have. How awesome is that? If you’re not sure where this is, check out this great 404 mini training video I’ve made.
The correct website management will also know if your website is up or down. You don’t want to be the last one to know that your site has gone down or receive an email from a client advising they can’t access your site.
So, uptime monitoring is a great way to keep an eye on this. All of our website and SEO package clients receive this as a part of our service. As soon as a site goes down, I get a text message letting me know, which means I can investigate why, fix it, and have your site up and working again in no time (hopefully).
It’s imperative if your website is on the WordPress platform that you keep your
All up to date. It keeps everything working together happy and healthy and wards of opportunities of hackers.
As I said above…. if you’ve spent the time and money investing in web design and development for your business. Why wouldn’t you invest in keeping it in tip-top shape too?
Really when you think about the other side of things and what could happen, website maintenance is a cost-effective and necessary part of running your small business.
What do you do for your website’s maintenance?
Is it something you’ve even thought about before now? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
And if you’d like to have a chat about our website management services or even our SEO (search engine optimisation) packages, so your website climbs those Google rankings, let me know.