Today I thought I would start off with a little story of the Interior Designer, Author, and Coach whose websites crashed. 

The Interior Designer had her website on a mediocre hosting company and just days after attending a national conference was experiencing a website crash every hour on a Saturday evening. To make matters worse her website backups were all corrupted. Thankfully she is on a Website Maintenance plan with her web designer. Her website was moved to reliable hosting and restored by Monday morning.  All while she enjoyed her weekend, and post conference success..

The Author's website was under attack.  Unsavory people in the interwebs were trying to hack into her website.  She too was on a maintenance plan. While she sipped her morning coffee, unaware of issues her web designer was on the job. Her web designer was notified immediately that something was off, and was able to work with the hosting company to add additional security measures to keep her website safe, with only minimal outages. 

The Coach opted to take care of maintenance herself. Unfortunately she didn't follow her web designers recommendations. She never installed updates, and rarely visited her website. As a result her website eventually crashed, with no recovery plan in place. And she wasn't aware her site had crashed until her clients emailed to tell her. She is now paying for a new website to be built from scratch.  

This is why you need a maintenance plan in place.

Prefer to watch/listen rather than read? 

A Maintenance plan for your website protects your investment. It will make sure your website continues to support you, and your business for years to come. Today I thought I would share with you the basics that every business needs to have in place. 

1. Security Updates 

Websites need to be updated, plain and simple. If they are not over time they become slow, function poorly and are susceptible to hackers and other unsavory characters out there on the interwebs. 

Some web design platforms like Squarespace handle all the updates behind the scenes for you, so you don't have to worry about it. This is definitely one of the bonuses of Squarespace. 

WordPress users, you do not have this benefit, and so updates are necessary for your site. I recommend doing them weekly just to stay on top of it and keep your site working well all of the time. 

Check out this video for WordPress Update Best Practices...

2. Monitor for Outages

While this doesn't happen often when you are taking care of your website, websites do go down. If you have taken steps to track this you will never know if your website goes down. 

There are monitoring services out there that you can use to tell you if your website goes down. The one I recommend is UptimeRobot. It is free, simple to use and will text you if your website goes down. 

Check out UptimeRobot at: https://uptimerobot.com

3. Recovery Plan

The Recovery Plan  is probably the most important aspect of a solid Website Maintenance plan, and it is the one most often overlooked. And the reality is that if you do not have a good recovery plan in place, the odds of having to rebuild your website from scratch is high when it goes down. 

Website Recovery Plan Basics:

  1. Always have a back up copy of your website in place.
    Don't just assume that your hosting company has this in place for you. Make sure they do.  

    I would also recommend you keep a backup of your own as some hosting company backup services are not all that fabulous.

    Squarespace users:
    You can create a copy of your website every few months that can provide you with a second copy of your website. Keep in mind... while this is designed to create a complete copy of the website, images do not always come through and so having these saved in another location is advisable. 
     
    WordPress Users:  
  2. Know how to access the backup to restore your website.
    This isn't something you want to try and "figure out" when you are already stressed from the crash of your website. Know the steps and keep them easily accessible to reduce tension in an already stressful moment. 
  3. Keep a backup of your content saved.
    This is for the absolute worst case scenario that your website is not able to be restored. If this ever happens, having a copy of the written content and images used on your website will make rebuilding that much easier. 

    I recommend creating a folder in your Google Drive titled website content where you can store all of your images and a Google doc for each page on the website with written content. 

Make it fun with music!

I know taking care of your website isn't always fun, so to make things a little more enjoyable, here is a little playlist created just for you! 

Is this making you feel overwhelmed? 

If the idea of putting all of this into place is making you feel overwhelmed, I get it. It absolutely can be overwhelming, which is why I highly recommend you invest in hiring someone who can take care of this for you.  If you think I might be that someone I would love to chat and invite you to schedule a free consultation at https://webdesignsbyteresa.com/consult

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