• Heather

Websites need regular maintenance

Updated: Jul 29


Here's some food for thought: Websites are like cars and homes – they can start to fall apart if you neglect regular maintenance.

One thing in particular I love doing as a virtual assistant is supporting client websites. Whether it’s cleaning up content, fixing confusing navigation, adding metadata or setting up an online store, I love helping my clients make their website as user friendly as possible. I also enjoy troubleshooting. If something isn’t working, I like to figure out why and then fix it. In my experience, more often than not website technical issues are either because the website wasn’t set up optimally in the beginning or because nobody has been taking care of the website since it was created. Today, again, I saw proof of this.

More often than not website technical issues are either because the website wasn’t set up optimally in the beginning or because nobody has been taking care of the website since it was created.

Today a client's website crashed. It's a WordPress site that gets updated occasionally, but there's never really been anyone managing its back end. Although crisis moments are always a bit stressful, I'm always happy when I can find and explain the cause of website issues and then recommend a course of action. The issue today got resolved without too much pain, and it turns out my advice from a few months ago proved bang on – the site desperately needed an update to its PHP so the theme and plugins could be updated. (Little known fact: WordPress sites are particularly vulnerable to neglect because they are hosted by a third party and usually not closely monitored.) Unfortunately, due to a recent turnover in staff and leadership, all website work had been put on hold, so this update had not been done. We were lucky today’s fix was a relatively quick one. And I think it became clear to my client the importance (and worth) of having someone in charge of website maintenance.

WordPress sites are particularly vulnerable to neglect because they are hosted by a third party and usually not closely monitored.

If you have a website, I suggest doing a health check on it every couple of months at a minimum (more often if you update the content regularly), and set up occasional backups if it's not self-hosted. Just like a car or home, regular website maintenance can prevent major issues down the road!

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