A client recently said to me, “I just don’t want to have to deal with my website. I mean, once it’s done, it’s done right?”
My answer to that was a big resounding NO. You need to look after your website!
It’s important to understand that your website is not a billboard that you just erect in the digital ether that contains some basic information about your business. Your website should be functioning as part of your overall marketing plan and it is usually your key digital funnel.
You cannot afford to just leave your website alone to decay in the digital desert. If you treat your website right, it will be a heavy lifting functioning cog in your marketing blueprint, bringing you in a stream of customers.
So how do you look after your website and why do you need to?
You need to make sure your website is up to date with technology.
Let’s go with a house analogy. People are always improving their houses, putting in a new bathroom, fixing the ancient wooden eaves that are caked with moss, and fertilising the garden to ensure it continues to grow. It’s the same with websites. The environment is always changing and the software your website relies on needs to change too. WordPress releases regular software updates that contain security updates to protect the software from malicious attacks. They will also often include improvements to functioning and design.
In addition to the WordPress updates, all of your plugins will require updates too. This is partly so they can stay up to date with the latest WordPress version, but also to improve their own offerings with new features and benefits.
So, if you neglect to keep your website updated, you not only risk exposing your website to being hacked but plugins may also stop working properly and mess up your website.
Luckily this is a simple one to take care of. WordPress tells you when new updates are ready. Check your WordPress dashboard (the backend) and see if there are any updates waiting to be installed. But be careful, you can’t just go ahead and click ‘install’. You’ll need to back up your site first. This is one of the benefits to having a web developer handle your website security updates for you.
You need to make sure your content is kept up to date.
There are a few reasons why you should keep an eye on the content in your website. One very obvious reason is that you want to keep your content fresh and up to date so that your business has the best chance of staying on top of the field. The other not so obvious reason, is that Google’s algorithms favours sites that have regularly updated or new content, which means that one aspect of your seo strategy is being addressed right there. It’s just good seo.
Things change and maybe your business has changed slightly. Perhaps your client base has shifted or you’ve added a new service that you want to let people know about. Maybe your key messaging has changed. You want to make sure that your clients and potential customers know about these changes.
You need to make sure your website design is current and best practice.
If your website is more than 3 years old, then chances are the design is a little outdated. And I’m not just referring to that garish orange that your web designer decided to make all your buttons. I’m also talking about the design of the navigation, the way the menu is laid out. Is it easy for users to find what they need? Are you call to actions still relevant? Do the micro animations on the website interfere with the site speed now? Could the font be updated?
Design trends come and go and design technology moves fast, so it’s important to keep up and stay relevant and on top of your digital game.
So, NO, you can’t just leave your website alone. It needs at least, some love and attention. And if you give your website some love, you will be rewarded with a website that has great user experience, stays up to date with technology and design, is less likely to get hacked and keeps your seo going strong. So look after your website people!