Website Owner’s Manual and Best Practices

Websites are one of the most powerful and hardest working marketing tools, serving as a direct link to your target audience for leads and communications about your brand. It’s the base of digital marketing strategies and one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions. How do we take care of such a valuable asset? With a few need-to-knows about owning and maintaining a website, you’ll proudly keep your website at the forefront of your business communications and solutions.  

WEBSITE COMPONENTS 

HOSTING 

A common analogy us web folks like is to think of your website as an apartment, and your hosting is the landlord. While you own and maintain your website with all the files that make it great on your computer, those files need to live on a physical server so others can view your site. Often, we rent this server space from hosting companies like Bluehost, GoDaddy or a local server company. 

Need to know: 

  • How to contact your host and support request protocols 
    Have a documented link, phone number or contact information for your host readily available, or understand how to submit a support ticket.  
  • Know what your host is responsible for 
    You’ll want to know about keeping your website live, email management, if they offer regular backups (see more on backups below) and other subscription updates to website needs. If using WordPress, you’ll want to verify what is being updated (latest versions of WordPress, plugins, and PHP). 

WEBSITE BACKUP 

As with most technology, it can change quickly, and that can sometimes cause errors. Just as we continually save our work on our computers, we want to save our website regularly. This will also serve as one of the greatest comforts, knowing your website can revert to a version you need. While hosting companies do often offer backup solutions, sometimes there are third-party backup companies involved. 

Need to know: 

  • Verify that your website is being backed up 
    This should happen at a minimum daily, should be able to store multiple backups, and should be backing up all files and data.  
  • Know how to locate and restore your backup 
    This will give you more freedom than you know, and you’ll want to verify with your host or backup provider how to properly restore a backup should anything happen to your website.  

MAINTENANCE 

The health management of your website will be one of the most important steps you can take in maintaining a successful website. An updated website has less security risks and offers the latest in user experience, while instilling confidence in keeping your website up to date and up and running.  

Need to know: 

  • Information on how your website was built 
    Was this built using an agency, an individual or CMS like WordPress? Be sure to have contact information and an understanding of support protocols. This will help guide your decisions on how to move forward with maintenance and budget.  
  • Who is responsible for updates and how often are they being made? 
    Websites need a minimum of monthly maintenance. This looks like verifying any new security updates, plugins and software as items are upgraded. Completing this step will keep your website running smoothly from month to month. Sometimes through managed hosting, these updates are included.  
  • How is your data being collected and stored? 
    Verify if there is a third-party affiliate like HubSpot or other customer journey monitoring and how to access that data.

ACCESS 

Knowing how to access your website and who has access to your website is an integral part of its safety. Doing a quick user audit will help keep only the people that should have logins 

Need to know: 

  • Verify logins and users for hosting, website backups, website, and third-party plugins or applications.  

  • For WordPress, also verify roles. 

WEBSITE CONSIDERATIONS 

Is your website working as hard for you as it should be? Is it converting customers, easy to create landing pages or a source of updated content? If you’re considering a few changes, a great way to get started on website goals is: 

  • Complete an audit of your website 
    It’s always a great idea to get a 360 view on how well your website is working for you. From positioning and messaging to user interfaces, to website processes, contact Anderson Partners for more information on digital marketing strategies.  
  • Hosting 
    After establishing your website needs, you may find yourself in a position to work with a new host. Considerations for a host should include 24/7 dedicated support (live chat, email, phone, references and tutorials), migration options and multiple server locations, including one near you. Anderson Partners is happy to make recommendations based on your specific needs. 
  • Backup 
    While hosts do offer backup features, depending on your needs, a third-party backup offers a fail-safe option to cover your website. You’ll want to verify that database backups are prioritized and that there is a restoration feature.  
  • A new look 
    You may be considering a new look for your website. With so many options for building one today, it’s important that your new site grows with you and the technological landscape. As a primary reference point for your customer acquisition and lead generation, first impressions and user interfaces are of utmost importance. At Anderson Partners, we understand web solutions driving your brand—contact us today to learn how to capitalize on your website.