How to keep your site up to date
Why is it important to keep your website up to date?
Keeping your website up to date in terms of content and functionality helps in a number of ways. In terms of security, methods of attacking website defences are always being updated and updated content is good for your SEO because it shows that your site is relevant and well maintained. This article gives you a few tips on how to keep your site up to date if you are using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal. In the same way your phone or computer needs regular software updates to keep it performing well and secure, so does your website.
Set up a schedule
This is important because it’s highly likely you’ll forget to do regular tasks that don’t fit in with your day to day business role. So make a list of the different kinds of updates you’ll need to do regularly, then open up your calendar and schedule them into time slots where you’re most likely to get them done. For example, if your list involved writing a new blog post or update security plugins, schedule the blog post for when you’re likely to be at your most creative and the plugin updates for when you have some time to tick a few checkboxes and hit ‘update’.
Update your content
A website is never finished, there’s always something that needs tweaking, rewording or simply removing. Some tasks such as removing content can be automated with a good CMS but writing copy hasn’t quite been handed over to AI just yet. Make sure you have a content calendar and map it to important events to give you topical content. Follow your schedule and publish regular posts on your website so that search engines know your site is active and relevant. This will help to improve your site’s SEO and make your site content relevant.
Update your plugins
If you are using a CMS like WordPress or Drupal, chances are the site relies of plugins to function. Plugins are pretty much what the name implies, snippets of code or programs that plug into your site to give added functionality. For example, WooCommerce is a plugin that turns your site into an e-commerce store. Plugins are always in need of updates to improve the way they work or fix security flaws that have been discovered. You can easily update your plugins in WordPress by going to the dashboard and choosing updates. This will show you a list of plugins that have updates available. Select them and click on the update button to keep your site running smoothly.
Update your themes
WordPress and Drupal use theming to give your site the look you want. Some themes go a bit further by plugging in additional programs to make them suitable for certain business types. For example, a restaurant theme might include an additional booking plugin. These themes and plugins can be updated in the same way by going to the updates dashboard and selecting any themes that need updating. Even if the themes listed aren’t active, it’s still good practice to keep them updated as they could present a security risk to your site otherwise.
Update your site’s operating system
Those times when your site goes down or weird code appears all over the pages usually have something to do with the operating system. Most people forget that websites live on servers and servers use operating systems to function. Just as you need to keep your Windows or MacOS updated, your webserver needs updating too. In most cases your hosting company takes care of this for you but if you’ve shelled out for a dedicated server and didn’t opt for the ‘managed service’. it’s your responsibility to keep that server ticking along smoothly. Most webservers commonly use Linux based software and rely on PHP to run their websites. There are millions of webservers running outdated PHP versions and you don’t want to be one of them. Well you shouldn’t anyway. If updating PHP site operating system software is tricky for you get expert help.
I hope this article has inspired you to pay more attention to your website and start a regimen of regular updates. If you get stuck or don’t know where to start, contact us at Neunetworks.
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