website basicsYour website is your business’s calling card and usually the first marketing asset your clients see. A website that is fast, functional and up to date conveys the message you are on top of your business.

These simple housekeeping tips will help you stay on top of essential website maintenance and give your clients the best possible UX (user experience).

1. Perform backups frequently

Most web hosting services perform  backups of your site every 30 days. However, you may need more frequent backups or your hosting service doesn’t perform automatic backups on your behalf.  Do you know for sure what your backup and restore options are? What would you do if you “lost” your web site?

Even if your web host makes a backup, you still need to make your own backups. Your web site backups should be sent to a cloud storage provider like Dropbox. You should also occasionally have backups on your local computer or an external hard drive.

2. Update WordPress plug-ins and themes

Quite often, we’re busy and we forget to do certain things…like that tedious technical stuff. Don’t ignore your web site updates. They often contain important security updates. A fully updated site also functions more quickly and smoothly.

Updated plug-ins means accessory features on your site will be fully functional, and users will be able to use all of your site’s features (shopping cart, opt-in forms, etc.).

WordPress automatically updates itself when there are security updates. For other WordPress updates, as well as theme and plugin updates, it’s best to use some caution before updating. Make a backup of your site before you update anything. Sometimes updating plugins can “break” your site due to a plugin incompatibility with your theme.

3. Resize photos

Photos dimensions should be close to the actual dimensions that you want to use on your web site. Don’t upload a 2000 x 1200 pixel photo if you only need a 600 x 400 pixel photo. While it’s  possible to resize the photo inside of WordPress, doing so will increase the image load time and demand on your website server. The result? An image that is slow to load when a visitor lands on that particular page.

Most photo file sizes should be kept between 60K and 100K. Smaller photos can be between 30K and 60K. You’ll need to compress them using a photo editor or online photo compressor. Photos with small file size allow the page to load faster which helps improve your visitor’s experience on your site and also helps with search engine optimization.

4. Optimize photos for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

If you’re using the default photo file name like 17964048_ml.jpg, you’re missing out on giving your SEO a little boost. Make sure that you include at least one or two natural keywords in your file name, while also describing the photo.

Add descriptive text with a few keywords for your “alt text”, which you can add when you upload photos or edit on existing photos.

5. Align photos properly within text

Using the text wrap feature with photos integrates them into the text more readily.

You can align photos to the left, right, center or not at all. By making use of alignment, you can control how the text wraps around your photo or you can have the photo on it own separate line.

Too busy or overwhelmed for website housekeeping?  We’ve got website experts on staff. All you need to do is get in touch. We’d be happy to maintain and update your website so you won’t have to.