With the vast majority of us utilising the World Wide Web on a daily basis, few things cause a business to panic and to send a flurry of stressed emails or calls to the Creation Digital team more than when that business' website is no longer online. The Covid-19 pandemic has only heightened this, given the imposed increase of people remaining at home and engaging with any business online. Being offline effectively means your business is unseen, a potential opportunity for you to sell your products or provide a paid service passed to another company.
Fortunately, there are two simple things any business can do themselves to greatly mitigate this: maintain your website and regularly update its content, written and visual. In this blog, we'll give you some top tips and advice.
We host a number of our clients' websites and regularly check for errors, which can range from an updated plugin, a broken link or potential security issues such as hackers. These hackers are often not humans but bots programmed to sniff out, identify and breach any security weaknesses. Just as with their human equivalents, computer viruses have a nasty habit of latching on and infecting the least protected, with consequences ranging from the relative benign to the malignant, which can include data being compromised, a particular concern for any business that has an e-commerce offering.
If you decide to not utilise an agency to look after your website, you will be required to clean off any malicious code and remove the hacks. Depending on the severity of the security breach, bringing the website back online can be as little as updating a few identified broken links or it could result in the website having to be rebuilt from scratch. An unwelcome, time consuming and costly scenario.
We would encourage any business to either ensure they do regularly check their website's settings themselves or utilise a specialist agency such as Creation Digital to ensure this is done on their behalf, with all the responsibilities removed from the business and onto the agency. You can find out more about our own Website Maintenance service here, regardless of whether you have a WordPress website or an alternative.
So why is this also crucial to ensure your website remains online? Well by doing this, you are going to ensure there are no broken links. Having a broken link is a nuisance and bad for the user experience, which in turn could feed doubt into that person's mind about the company in general.
Take it from us, links that work perfectly for ages suddenly don't for a myriad of reasons, mostly because the original host 'site or company has removed the page themselves or in the case of a news link, it has been archived. On every given month we will detect a handful of broken links on our clients' websites, so if you are maintaining and updating the content of your website yourselves, it does not take too long for your website to have as many broken links as the UK's roads have potholes.
Updating images and ensuring they are labelled correctly, including with so called alternative text, is another highly recommended SEO tactic. Within the context of maintaining your website, the importance of updating your images is similar to a traditional store keeping their shop window display fresh. It improves your site visitor's experience, especially if over time you replace stock or filler images with relevant or unique alternatives taken by yourselves. This adds authenticity and allows your own company's personality to begin to shine through.
How Creation Digital Can Help
We hope that we have given you some handy tips on maintaining your website. However, we recognise that time is a precious commodity and updating websites can often be put to one side as "now issues" naturally take precedence.
At Creation Digital we have a team on hand to maintain your website and offer a number of flexible maintenance services, principally but not exclusively for WordPress.