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5 Must-Have Skills if You Have a Website

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!).

Website Maintenance

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.

You gotta be prepared, yo. Tools like Sucuri and Wordfence get the job done.

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!

Natalia Real Natalia Real, a.k.a. Website Superhero, helps world-changers get more clients and make more moolah by designing & developing excellent websites for them. When not wearing her cape, Nat enjoys taking walks in the sunshine with her pup, sampling beers on her European travels, and Netflix marathons. Sign up for her stress-free website maintenance training here (it’s free!).

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • AMEN to all of this! It’s all soooo important! Having Backup Buddy is just a no-brainer…why would you NOT have something that could save your business…and really, your life! 🙂

  • I recently learned the hard way just how important it is to backup regularly and save it somewhere safe.

    About a week ago my site got deleted by accident (long story) and a few days prior my boyfriend wiped the computer where my only backup was saved. I thought my entire site was gone forever. Luckily it all worked out but I learned a valuable lesson for sure!

    • ACK that sounds ridiculously stressful! Sorry you went through that. And happy to hear it all worked out 😀 It does give a lot of peace of mind to have backups going!

  • What about for those who don’t use Wordpress or host their own site? I use Squarespace – do you know how to do a backup on there? Thanks!

  • All so, so important and often you can use plugins to automate a lot of this – such as backups on a schedule. I always mention in my training that it is important to keep both WordPress and plugins updated.

  • This can’t be talked about enough! SOOO important! 🙂

  • Leah thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to educate more people on this vital subject!

    Love contributing to this fantastic blog & community <3

  • I’ve learned recently (like last week!) that these things are actually less intimidating than they seem at first. Backup Buddy gives me huge peace of mind with minimal efforts!

  • Completely agree! Backup Buddy is a must in my experience. However, despite explaining the reasons for backups and security too, why are so many people just ignoring this great advice and putting their sites at risk??? I’m seeing more sites getting hacked and people only seem to implement this stuff once they get bitten.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yeah it’s crazy, especially how easy it can be with the plugins and software available!

    • Word. I think people (a) don’t know what they don’t know, (b) are intimidated and don’t know how to move forward, and/or (c) are lazy about it until — as you said — they get bitten. I’m trying to change some people’s minds with my course 😀

  • Thank god for BackupBuddy!!

  • Yess all mucho importante, I’ve heard suhc horror stories from people who didn’t back up and then their whole website broke and they had to start from scratch. Eeek. I’m checking out BackUp Buddy, thanks Nat!

  • Thank you so much for sharing! This is a very useful post and I will share with my blogger friends.

  • Definitely not the fun, glamourous part of websites…but so necessary. Already got a lot of that in place, but I’ll definitely share this with clients!

    {BTW, the link in Nat’s bio isn’t working for the free maintenance training.}

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