So you have finally launched your website after months of hard work. Hooray! Give yourself a pat on the back and relax. Whatever your website is being used for, be it a site for your business, or something to highlight a particular hobby, it is now time to sit back and watch your user traffic grow. Except, it isn’t. If you really want your website to become a success, you can’t expect it to happen overnight.
Your website will only grow if you continue to put the work in, through consistent improvements and maintenance. Sound complicated? It can be, but here is some handy advice to help you navigate the management of your website.
Tell the world
You may have the greatest website in the world up and running, but don’t expect people to stumble across your online presence by chance. Give your site the exposure it needs by telling as many people as you can.
Social media is one of your greatest tools. Use networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your website launch, and you will quickly increase website traffic. Encourage your followers to tell their followers and so on, and watch as your website breaks the internet through its incredible popularity.
You will want to keep an eye on the number of visitors coming to your site. While it’s unlikely you actually will break the internet, unless you are offering free money to every visitor, it is still good to know your website isn’t being overlooked by the masses.
An effective way of monitoring traffic is to use Google Analytics. It will tell you how many people have visited your site, separating new and existing users. You can find out how long people stay on a particular web page, and the links they have used to get there. For example, have they followed a link on social media, or was it from a particular search engine? You can also find out what country the user is from. You may not be a big hit in the USA, but you may find yourself becoming very popular in China for whatever reason!
An area of interest you should invest in is SEO (search engine optimization). Effective management will ensure your website appears at the top of search engine rankings, rather than ending up at page 150 on Google.
To begin with, your website needs to possess relevant content for your intended user base. You then need to identify keywords and repeat them throughout your site. These keywords are what you might expect somebody to enter into a search engine, so be specific. However, don’t overload your website with the same words, but try and make them fit naturally within your content.
There is much to learn about SEO, so do your research online, and consider hiring a specialist company to give your website the boost it deserves.
Maintain your website
There are many reasons why your website might not function properly, so check every aspect. Otherwise, people are going to have difficulty accessing your creation.
Windows uses IIS (Internet Information Services), and it is used to test your website before it goes live. You may need to troubleshoot occasionally to avoid performance problems, for example, IIS worker process high CPU utilization, when your website is overloaded with traffic causing high CPU, or problems with urls.
Check the images on your site, and ensure they aren’t slowing down your web pages. A tool such as Image Optimizer will be able to help, compressing images before upload.
Your website may look fine on your desktop computer, but you should still check multiple devices to ensure it performs well and looks as it should. You may need to format your website to ensure it loads correctly across the board. Use a mobile device, such as your smartphone or tablet, and compare it to a larger screen experience.
There will be a multitude of pathways across your website, including internal links to specific areas on your website, as well as external links, contact forms, and social media buttons. Go through each one, making sure they perform as they should, and remove dead links to web pages that no longer exist. If you take the time to double check everything works correctly, you are guaranteeing a better user experience.
Protect your website
You may have put in a lot of hard work getting your website up and running, but you need to make sure it is secure. Without proper maintenance, your website is liable to crash or be vulnerable to hackers. Therefore, you need to regularly maintain your site, ensuring everything is up to date, including plugins, software, and themes.
You should always add a firewall as a protective barrier from hackers and viruses. Hackers are not only interested in stealing credit card information, as they can also take perverse pleasure in finding vulnerable holes in websites and causing mischief. As soon as your site is up and running, there is the very real problem of it becoming compromised.
Viruses and other malware can infect your website, infiltrating your system after the installation of a compromised third party tool. Not only will your website be under threat, but so will the users who visit you.
You should always make sure your site’s files are backed up, just in case things do go wrong, from hackers, viruses, dodgy updates, or human error.
Your web host may provide a backup service, or if you employed somebody else to design your website, ask them to manually back it up for you. There are also services online, so do some research and find something you can afford. It is also possible to schedule regular backups on a cloud service such as Dropbox.
You will need to work hard through the duration of your website’s existence, but at least you can have the satisfaction of having an online presence, and bringing pleasure to others.