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If you have an online business- or want to- your website is one of your most important business assets. There are several steps you will want to take to keep your website maintained properly. I run through this checklist about once per month in my business, and that has been an optimal frequency for me.

regular-website-maintenanceHere are the places to examine for maintenance:

1) User Experience and Appeal

Your website should be monitored on a regular basis for errors on the site in terms of grammar, typos, misspellings, and broken links. If people visit your site and notice too many errors, they will lose trust in your work. This goes for all copy on your site as well as ads that you place on your website. It’s all-important since it’s on your site and represents you.

Have someone visit your site once a month and test the key pages of your site. This way, you can catch broken links or pages right away. If you use WordPress for your site, you can use a plugin, Broken Link Checker, to check for broken links.

2) Customer Contact and Service

Frequently, your website is the first line of communication with your audience, and if the methods of communication you offer aren’t working properly your customer service will suffer. Regularly test your customer service system, help desk, and contact forms to ensure that they work. Do this each time you make any changes to the contact forms on your site. I learned (the hard way) not to skip this step.

3) Loading and Mobile Performance

Does your site load quickly? Do your graphics come up quickly? Is your site mobile optimized? Does it look good on all the new brands of smartphones?

4) Security and Backup

Is your webhosting working properly? Are you taking regular backups of your site and keeping them in a safe place, away from your website and server? Do you have a service or system that protects your site from hacking?

5) Regular Content Updates

Is the content on your website being maintained, freshened, and updated regularly?

6) Structural Updates

Every site will need periodic updates in terms of the structure of the site, including ensuring that menus, widgets, advertising, and things like shopping carts are always working properly to help you have the highest return on investment. Make sure your site platform is up to date, and all of your site functionality is working after upgrade.

How many staff you need to accomplish these tasks depends on the size of your business. If you are not very tech savvy you definitely want to outsource the most important security and backup tasks and website design tasks to someone else while you handle the content management and publishing process. You’ll be glad you did because regular website maintenance is crucial to having a successful income-producing website and keeping it running well.