March 2018 – One of my clients is about to launch a new WordPress website, which got me thinking about best practices for safeguarding your digital investment.
Everyone should have these items on their check-list. Preferably before you get started on a new site, but anytime is better than never.
- Own your domain(s) and server account. So important! (Lord, am I sounding like Donald Trump?)
- There should always be at least two ADMIN (top level) users on every digital account about you or your company. One of them should be you, the company owner. This is regardless of your level of tech know-how, and includes your website, and server account and all social media and online accounts.
- Plugins. They make sitebuilding easy (personally I don’t favour them. More on that another time) but typically create problems down the road with regards to updating and compatibility. I recommend getting your web developer to agree up front to a maintenance guarantee period that covers updating and compatibility of all plugins. A year or 18 months is probably reasonable. When your site starts to show its age it will probably be there.
- As with cars, websites require maintenance. Regular updating of WordPress, themes and plugins. Backups. A lot of that can be programmed to take care of itself automatically, but it needs to be accounted for.
- Let’s talk content. Start with a plan and preferably a schedule. Make it modest. Usually people start too ambitious, and hardly anyone keeps their blogs and websites up. Myself included. Don’t forget to maintain your other digital profiles, like Facebook and LinkedIn.
- A word about Search Engine Optimization: There’s no end to razzle-dazzle out there and you can really blow your brains out on this one. Here’s a really helpful blog on things you can do to improve your ranking while maintaining squeaky-clean practices. And here’s one on determining your actual Google ranking.
Once you’re up and running, the most important things to bear in mind for a great, long-lasting website are; be what you say you are, keep adding quality content, keep it backed up and WordPress and any plugins updated, keep it loading quickly, links working and looking nice.
This would make a great haiku if I could get it to fit. I’m going to work on that.