We’ve always taken an interest in the DIY approach to website creation. We believe it’s important to empower our users to own their own domain and do their own thing.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one website package, we’ve got you covered with our Website Creator. You get your own domain, and, unlike other builders, you own the code of your site forever.
Whether you’ve had a website with us for years, or you just joined, we wanted to remind you of some of the technical hang-ups that can affect a website over the long term.
But fear not, technical issues are normal, and they pop up from time to time.
Take it as a sign that your website is here to stay, and all you need to do is check up on it once in a while.
How To Be a Better Website Creator (Do Good Maintenance)
Now that you’ve got your own site built in WordPress, you might be thinking the process is done. Not exactly true; websites require ongoing care throughout their existence.
But you mustn’t see this ongoing maintenance as a chore.
Rather, you should see this as an opportunity to visit your site regularly to make sure it accurately represents the things that are most important to you or your business.
Also, it’s a great opportunity to make sure there are no technical hang-ups that could be causing unwanted side effects.
Optimization. Do You Need to Cache?
The answer is yes, you do need caching. But the good news is we’ve figured it all out for you.
Your Website Creator package is housed on our WordPress-Optimized servers. This means you’ve got our WordPress secret sauce serving up your pages at lightning speed.
How else can you optimize your site?
We took care of the technical side, making sure your site is optimized to run smoothly. But, what about the more direct concerns like content, updates, and more?
This is where your continued dedication to the website comes in.
Content Update Requirements
You’ll want to make sure that your content is fresh and best represents your values.
The same standards apply for page content and blog posts (if you have a blog).
Blog posts are dated and sequential. This means it’s perfectly normal for an older blog post to contain older information. But your page content should always be reflective of current information.
For example, many websites now have a “Team” page that may contain pictures and blurbs about the members of a team. But, imagine a team member leaves or is promoted. This page must be updated regularly to reflect those changes.
What is a Content Charter?
Content considerations are best adopted at the very early phases of a project.
For example, you should write a Content Charter: a guiding document that answers questions about your content like…
- How long should a page or post be?
- Who is the ideal reader?
- What kind of research is necessary for blog posts?
There are literally hundreds of considerations you could make in advance to deal with technical hang-ups that could happen later.
If you haven’t done so already, you could start this document now. Don’t stress about it. Just get it done, even haphazardly, because it’s best just to have one. (And you can work on it over time until it’s perfect.)
The idea of having a guiding document or “charter” is that your content will be consistent and well-structured across all of your pages and posts. And this is good for both readers and search engines.
Backups and Security
You’ll see it all across our blog: backups are the most important thing you can do for your site. There are many great plugins out there to support backup creation and restoration. (And we cover them extensively.)
For this post, however, we’re just covering the concept behind backups and why they’re so important. Think about your photos. In the old days, these were organized into photo albums and safely stored on shelves. But these days, all our photos are digital. So we need to back them up to services like iCloud or Google Photos because we know our computers are delicate and can crash or break or get lost.
It’s the same for your website. After all, your website is housed on a computer, so you need backups in case anything catastrophic happens.
Redirect 404 Pages
It’s a subtle and often-missed concern for website creators.
Are there any pages on your site that take people to a dead resource? How do these pages happen? There are many reasons.
Often, if the URL of a page is changed, or if permalinks across the site are changed, these dead pages can cause headaches. Thankfully, WordPress is very good at doing it’s own redirects if URLs are changed down the road, but this should not relied upon in all circumstances.
That’s why it’s a good idea to use a plugin like Redirection. This plugin shows you if you have any 404 pages and lets you redirect them so your users don’t get stuck.
Putting It All Together
Basically, we know that technical hang-ups can happen to you. You can count on it.
But that’s no reason to get discouraged. In fact, take it as an opportunity to be the best website owner you can be. Whether you manage websites for your own blog or business, or if you’re managing hundreds of sites for others, it’s always a good idea to check in with your site(s) and make sure everything is on the level. We hope we’ve given you a few good ideas of things to check, but the point is that something may always pop up to surprise you.
That’s why we have a support staff on call 24 hours a day to answer all of your website needs. Drop in anytime if you have questions, we’d love to hear from you.