If you want to run an online business, you gotta make taking care of your online home a priority. I know, I know: the words “website maintenance” evoke as much of a thrill as watching beige paint dry.
But you know what, fellow freelancer? Your website is your 24/7/365 storefront and sales person, all rolled into one biz-building virtual hub (and you don’t even have to pay their health insurance). Score!
Here are 5 things you need to know how to get your stress-free website maintenance in place so you can spend less time troubleshooting glitches, and more time actually working (and/or curling up with Netflix… season 3 of House of Cards is almost here!).
Back up your website
In other words, make copies of your entire site regularly and store them in a safe place like Dropbox or Amazon S3 (not your server). Tools like the Backup Buddy plugin for WordPress allow you to set up your backups to take place automatically, in your sleep (ahhh, technology. When I don’t wanna kill you, I wanna make out with you.).
Restore your backup
You know what backups are good for if you can’t restore ‘em? Nothing, buddy, that’s what.
You not only need backups: you also gotta be able to “bring your website back to life” by restoring a backup. That way, if your website ever crashes or some other calamity strikes, you’ll always have a solid copy to revert to. Ta-dah! (Pssst… tools like Backup Buddy make it easy.)
Do your updates
If you have a WordPress website, you’re familiar with the pesky updates it continually nags you to do.
The bright side? Updates are there to patch up security holes and often add new fun features. The annoying side? Doing ‘em can break your site.
You gotta know how to do updates the right way to keep things peachy (Hint: do ‘em on a test site, not on your live site!)
Keep your site secure
It’s not all puppies and rainbows out there (don’t believe Phoebe Buffay). There are evil trolls out there ready to hack into your site, hold it hostage so they can sell it back to you at an exorbitant price, steal information, etc.
Migrate your website
“Migrating” is just a fancy way of saying “moving.” You’ll wanna migrate your site if you switch hosting companies or wanna put a backup on a test site when it’s time for a redesign, for example.
You’ll also wanna move your backup when it’s time to do your updates, so you can do them on a test site in case something breaks and you gotta do a lil’ troubleshooting (again, cuz this is important: never do ‘em on your live site!).
All of these are important facets of DIY, stress-free website maintenance.
Doing it yourself instead of hiring it out to a developer means keeping $1,200+ in your pocket every year (wooo!). (And offering it as a service to your web design clients? Means $1200+ in your pocket every year!)
Whether you’re in the web design field or not, you need website maintenance to help you keep a healthy, fast website to impress more customers and keep growing your impact, world-changer.
So when deciding what to invest in or what skills you need to learn next in your freelance business, make sure that taking upmost care of your website is on top of that list!