Your website is one of the first glimpses that your customers have of your company or organisation, and regular website maintenance is important to keep it running smoothly.
To aid you with this we have put together our top 5 tips for website maintenance.
Backup Your Website
Making sure that you have a backup copy of your website is an important step in your recovery plan since you never know when disaster will strike. It is also an important part of website maintenance to make sure your backups are secure and working as expected.
If you are using a content management system you can usually take a backup from the administrator panel of the site.
If you are relying on your website hosting provider to handle your backups for you, it might be worth checking exactly what their arrangements are. For example, how often do they take a backup and how long it would take to recover your site should the worst happen.
How often you need to take a backup will depend on your circumstances. If the data does not change frequently, a backup once a week might be good. However, if your website has data changing very quickly it might be more appropriate to back up once an hour.
It is also a good idea to take a fresh backup before you install any updates – just in case it doesn’t go to plan.
Make Sure You Use a Strong Password
Using a strong password helps to keep you and your website secure. After all, you don’t want your password to be in the list of 20 most common passwords. Ensuring you are using a strong password helps to prevent others from accessing protected areas of your website.
If you need help on choosing a secure password the National Cyber Security Centre has some useful tips. This can be from selecting three random words to use as a password, or by using a password manager.
Update Your Content Management System
Keeping your content management system (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal, is an important part of website maintenance. Especially when you consider that over 70% of WordPress websites have known vulnerabilities.
These updates often include performance improvements to help speed up your site as well as adding exciting new features. They also patch any security holes and vulnerabilities discovered in earlier versions, so keeping up to date is an important step in making sure your website is secure.
Keep Your Plugins Updated
Plugins are great. They add new features and functionality to your website, however they can also be a potential danger to your website’s security. Do your research on a new plugin before you install it. This can help you to find out about any issues or risks with the plugin before you take the risk.
Outdated and unused plugins also pose a potential risk, so make sure that you are keeping your plugins updated as part of your regular website maintenance and uninstall any plugins which you are no longer using. This can help keep your site running smoothly and help contribute to making it more secure.
Remove Old or Unused Users
The people working on your website can change, and over time user accounts which are no longer needed or used can slowly build up.
It is always a good idea to make sure that any old or unnecessary user accounts are removed, since this reduces the number of possible password combinations someone can guess from to gain access to your site.