A lot of clients turn to us to fix technical problems with their websites or to make changes that will help them reach a marketing goal. We often find some major website no-no’s that could impact the website’s effectiveness, or even worse, leave it vulnerable to hackers.
Here are the 4 most common website maintenance mistakes we see:
1. Not Updating Content
A dynamic site that regularly has new material is more engaging. It’s better for search engine optimization (SEO), too, because it shows Google that the site is being maintained.
However, a site with a “latest news” headline dated 6 months ago and a link to a Facebook page last updated 2 years ago, and broken links sends the message that you don’t care about your image, and the user comes away with the feeling that you don’t care about him or her. This translates to a bad feeling about your brand.
2. Using an Insecure Password
Some tips on coming up with strong passwords you can actually remember:
- Pick a phrase or song lyric and use the first letter of each word, or the second letter.
- Use your phone keypad to convert a word to its numerical equivalent to use as part of your password.
- Separate two words with symbols and numbers
- If you are loathe to remember yet another password, you can also use tools like the Keychain feature on Mac Computers, or applications such as LastPass
Additionally, make the admin username something besides the default “admin”. Doing so adds an extra layer of security.
3. Neglecting Comments
Sure, the comments box can fill up with a lot of spam and self-promotion. But it’s also a great place to answer questions and engage with people who are enthusiastic about your brand. The more you engage users in a conversation, the more likely you are to build their loyalty.
4. Too Much Text
Reading a website is not like reading a book or even like reading the newspaper. Users are scanning, rather than reading the text, and they are often multitasking while doing so. Having lots of text on each page makes the user want to skip over all of it.
Part of your website maintenance regimen should be making sure that your content is up to date, as well as easy to read. Think of a few main points you want to make and break them up into chunks, like in this blog post. Adding images helps too.
Other Things to Avoid:
- Flooding Your Text with Keywords: Google’s algorithms are advanced enough to be able to tell when you are unnaturally populating keywords all over your pages.
- Using fonts that are so fancy or so small that they are difficult to read.
- Music or videos that play automatically upon landing on a page: They are annoying!
- Not keeping your WordPress updated: This leaves you vulnerable to bugs and hackers.
- Not making regular backups: If something happens to your site, you do NOT want to have to start over from scratch. It is especially important to make backups before making a major change such as a WordPress upgrade.