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Website Maintenance Tips

By Margo Courtney

A website is never finished. There will always be new links to add, text to change, updates etc

Keep Your Website Content Fresh
Make sure that your content is up to date. A web site that states itís deadline for an offer expires in 2004, for example, is a sure sign that this site is now unattended. If you donít have any dates in your content, you could add a small note on one side, stating ĎThis Site Updated 4th October, 2005í. Use this format, not numbers and slashes.

4/10/05 in the US means 10th April. In Australia, it means 4th Oct. Remember your site is world-wide and needs to accommodate everyone.

RSS feeds, news headlines, new, dated articles, competitions or offers with future expiry dates, are all ways to make sure your visitors can see your site is up to date.

Check for Broken Links
Visitors will be turned off your site very quickly if links on your site produce error messages.

The web is changing very fast, and you cannot be responsible for websites that you have listed on your site. But you are responsible for making sure your links all work, by deleting/correcting any that donít. There are numerous tools available online that will check a web site for broken links, very quickly and easily.

Check to Ensure Images Are Displayed Properly
Use Alt Tags behind your images, in case the picture doesnít load correctly. The Alt tag will display and the user still knows what the picture is about.

Add or Remove Components
If you have embarked on a program to improve your search engine optimization, you will need to add new links. Launching a new product will perhaps necessitate a new page, and changes to your shopping cart. You may find a new affiliate product you wish to promote, or add flash to your site. A marketing sales letter may need to be revised.

Changing The Appearance
You may want to change colours, or other aspects of your site.

Check That Your Site Remains Online
This can be monitored 24hrs a day for you by website monitoring companies. They can issue a report with how much downtime your site has experienced in the last week. The only thing you can do if the downtime is greater than 1 or 2% (ie its uptime is 98 Ė 99%) is to contact your web host to find out why. If they cannot rectify the problem, consider changing your web host.

Use Your Statistics
A lot of information can be recorded about your website visitors, to help with your marketing and advertising. These statistics can show their country, exactly which pages they visited, which keywords they used to get there and more.

Back Up Your Site
Making a back-up copy of your website is a good idea. You could also copy and paste the content, with links, into a document and store that. If something goes wrong, you can rebuild your site fairly quickly.

About The Author

Written by Margo Courtney, author of the "How To Build Web Sites" tutorial. It explains in plain english, and step by step, how to create, host and market web sites. The tutorial can be viewed at http://www.how-to-build-web-sites.com and its aim is web page success. She also designs and builds web sites, and offers other web site services.

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Last Update: 14-Mar-2009

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