Maintaining Websites

Maintaining Websites

For your Website to be a success you must maintain it. If you expect visitors to return, you must provide them with something new, correct errors and keep your site up to date. In addition, you must continue to monitor your search engine ranking, continue to promote your Website and find out who is linking to your site.

Outputs for this step are:

1) A maintenance plan for your site.

2) Updated pages for your Website based on your maintenance plan.

3) Determine your search engine ranking.

4) Find out who’s linking to your site.

5) Get an award for your site.

6) Take additional promotion actions.

How to maintain your website

Maintenance of a Website is actually only a repeat of the 6 previous steps: plan, design, HTML code, test and promote – done on a smaller scale.

Why maintain. Maintenance of a Website is performed for several reasons. These include:

  • To enhance and/or improve the design.
  • To update or add additional information.
  • To respond to visitor’s comments/ recommendations.
  • To correct errors and design problems.
  • Static Websites soon die from lack of interest! The average life of a web page is 75 days.

General maintenance guidelines:

  • Websites should never be static. Keeping a Website current isn’t a gimmick, it keeps your site popular. If your site is not updated regularly, visitors will not bother to return. If you don’t occasionally offer new information or resources, you’re not giving visitors any reason to return. No matter how well publicized your site is, if you don’t maintain it, it will decline in popularity.
  • Keep it simple. Creating new and complicated web pages, will only mean more work for you.
  • Be reliable, If you promise monthly updates, make sure you live up to your word. Do not offer anything that you can not deliver.
  • Take any feedback you have received seriously and reply as soon as possible, and thank the visitor. If the feedback contains ideas on improving your site or correcting errors, evaluate each one. If you plan to add the suggestion, send an e-mail to the person who suggested it and indicate that they should return to your site on (specify a date) and see their idea in action.
  • A "What’s New?" page can keep your return visitors up to date on what has changed since their last visit. You should also place a small "new" graphic next to items that have recently been updated, or added to your site.
  • Develop a Website maintenance plan. Include in this plan the frequency for updating your site (update your site on a regular basis); a sentence outline of items that you will include during your next scheduled update due to: errors; design problems; enhancements; new information and your visitor’s comments/ recommendations. Keep this plan current and at update time, maintenance becomes a snap.
  • Proof read your changed pages before you upload them.
  • Test all changes. If you make a change to a page, no matter how small, always validate your HTML code and spell check it.
  • Always develop your new pages on your local computer, and then upload them to your Website, add updated or new pages to your Website only after they have been tested, validated and work correctly.
  • Always retain a backup copy of your Website on a diskette, as well as your hard drive.

How Often Should You Update Your Site? It depends on what you have to offer your visitors. A poll conducted last year at 1st Site Free revealed the following results:








Don’t Know

Content Is King. One of the biggest problems any Website owner has is finding good content. Content is what brings your visitors to a site in the first place. If your pages aren’t updated and new content isn’t added, your Website will become ineffective.

Style sheets. If you are familiar with HTML and the basics of building Web pages, its time for you learn about the benefits of using style sheets (known as, Cascading Style Sheets). By using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) you can save a lot of work, control the style and layout of one page, multiple Web pages or your Website all at once.

Future Enhancements. After your Website is operational for a few months you might want to consider adding enhancements and new features, such as: a guestbook, counter, graphics, free banners, logos, buttons, a personal search engine and a web poll.

Add Some Scripts To Your Site. If you are new at creating a Website, did you know there are CGI scripts and JavaSripts available that you can add to your pages for free?

  • Even if your Web host doesn’t allow or provide CGI scripts, you can use these CGI scripts to add message boards, guestbooks, form mail, counters, clocks and chat rooms to your site for free.
  • You can use these JavaScripts on any site. But, your visitor’s browser must be Java enabled.

Continue to Monitor Your Position. Your search engine placement will change over time, so it is important that continue your placement. Often this is time-consuming and frustrating, but it has to be done!

  • Make sure you are registered with the major search engines,
  • Record this data in your promotion database.
  • Revise your pages, metal data, and re-submit your pages as needed.

Re-register your site. Register your site again with the major search engines if you:

  • Change your URL.
  • Change the title of your listing.
  • Change the content of a Web page.
  • Change your description and/or keywords.
  • Require an additional or different categories for your listing.
  • Change your e-mail address, if it is associated with your listing

Continue to Promote. Submit your main page (index or home page) to as many Web directories/search engines as you can. Every time you browse the Web and come upon a new directory/ search engine, use it.


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