How Often Should You Do a Website Checkup?

beat naughty hackers to the punch

  • Have you ever clicked off your website because it took too long to load?
  • Do you feel like your website is constantly having problems?
  • Are you jumping from issue to issue?
  • Has anyone been surprised when they land on your website?
  • Are your bounce rates through the roof?
  • Is your site optimized technically for search engines?
  • Is your website ADA compliant? GDPR or CCPA compliant?

As part of our care plan packages, we do a lot of behind-the-scenes work to ensure our clients’ websites are technically compliant and meet industry standards.

You’ve probably heard that the notion of setting and forgetting a website is a myth. Websites are like living, breathing things. They need regular attention, monitoring, and support to stay in good health. And if you’re using your website to market your business, sell products via e-commerce, or connect with your customers (like 51% of small businesses) you need a healthy website.

These are the most common tasks we perform for our clients on a regular basis. If you’re attempting to DIY your website maintenance you’re probably already familiar with most of these concepts, so we’ll break down why they’re important and how often to do each.

With Smack Happy, I can say, ‘here’s an idea,’ and they take it and run with it. They come back and say, ‘I have a way to make this more useful to you’ and it gets done right away. — Peter DiGiammarino, CEO of IntelliVen

Core Software & Plugin Updates

WordPress powers about 35% of all websites in the world, so it’s a massive target for data thieves and malicious hackers. Keeping WordPress up to date is essential for the safety of your website and online presence.

When a security vulnerability is reported, WordPress addresses it in the next update. If you’re not on the latest version, your website is vulnerable and at-risk to get infected by malware, infiltrated by hackers, or malfunction by unsupported software.

Plugins are even more problematic. In fact, 98% of WordPress vulnerabilities are related to plugins. WordPress is an open-source platform which means anyone can create a plugin and publish it. That’s great for all the creative entrepreneurs and developers out there, but it also opens you up to shady programmers and corrupt companies.

The average business website has between 5-20 plugins, so there’s an incredible risk to your website and data. Be thorough in your research before adding any new plugins, check the vulnerability database weekly, and update your software and plugins monthly if not more often.

Websites and technical stuff is not my area of expertise and I don’t have time to learn about it. Actually, I’m not interested in learning, I’d prefer to increase my interior design, move management, and organizing knowledge so I can help my clients. — Gwen McClure, Founder and Lead Designer of PLACE IT

Website Hosting & Site Monitoring

Our care plans all include WordPress website hosting and all the technical support that ensures your website is always online. We help our clients migrate to servers that provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee and unlimited bandwidth to make sure you reach all potential customers at all times.

As brands move to digital business models and conduct more work online, ensuring your website is live and online 24/7 is becoming increasingly important. Companies lose approximately $100 million per year due to downtime issues, many of which are caused by human error.

Likewise, bandwidth issues can be hugely costly — not in lost revenue or customers, but in additional expenses charged to you. Bandwidth determines how much traffic your website can handle simultaneously and affects how quickly different parts of your site displays to users. If you hit it big with a viral blog post, you don’t want your website to crash!

We check our clients’ sites every five minutes to make sure it’s up and running smoothly, so they never miss a lead. We recommend reviewing your hosting company’s analytics reports monthly. Look at your overall uptime, traffic numbers, and emerging patterns about your website’s speeds.

If you’re on an SQL server, here’s a useful list of the best performance monitoring tools from SentryOne.

Preventative Maintenance & Security Scanning

We designed our care plans with preventive measures in mind to help you avoid problems before they even happen. We perform preventative maintenance and security scans daily, so there’s rarely a chance for your website to be disrupted. We want your website to be beautiful on the inside, too.

All of the sites we develop and maintain include an SSL Certificate — a gold standard in internet security. It safeguards your site for safe browsing and gives you bonus SEO points! This certificate should be renewed annually and tested monthly to ensure it’s operating correctly.

We perform daily malware scans on our clients’ sites to beat naughty hackers to the punch; this allows us to identify potential hazards and problems and eliminate them immediately. We also perform daily file and database backups to prepare for the unlikely event you need it. With consistent backups, if something does go wrong, we can roll everything back to yesterday’s version to easily fix your website without losing major updates or changes.

Maintaining your website’s security, performance, and technical compliance takes time and detailed attention. That’s why we handle it all for our clients and send them a monthly Health & Analytics Report, so they know everything is working perfectly behind the scenes.

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