Today I'm talking about "The Big M," also known as maintenance. Do you remember these lines from Mr. Incredible?
No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!
Well, guess what? The same sentiments can be applied to website maintenance. No matter how well a site has been built or how many times you've updated things in the past, there will ALWAYS be more to do. Inevitably, your services will change, you'll need to enter new dates on a calendar, updates will be made available for your content management system (like WordPress) and other elements of your site (like plugins)...ad infinitum, etc., amen.
So before your website is ever built, you should have site maintenance on your mind. (More about that in this blog post.) You need to plan for whether or not you will pay someone to do your site maintenance or you will do it yourself. If you want someone else to do your maintenance (which is absolutely essential if you have a custom coded site, but optional for WordPress or site building service websites), you'll want to budget for that expense. If you choose the DIY route, let "Keep Your Site Updated" be your mantra. Those updates are critical to keeping your site safe and working properly. Also, if there is some piece of your website that you will need to go in and update often, like a calendar, class schedule, etc., make sure you know how that element is handled on your site. It could be part of your theme, an element in a page builder, or a plugin, so know where to go when you need to make a change.
To see an excellent monthly website maintenance checklist, check out this post by Allie Nimmons at Pixel Glow Web Design.
(P.S. For people who want to learn how to DIY, Flannel Creative offers a Make Friends with your Product service in which we can make videos to train you how to do your website maintenance. This service also has the added benefit of not being a generic video on YouTube or elsewhere. These videos are made on your specific site, so everything will look exactly the same when you go in to do your maintenance.)