When you build your client’s website, it’s easy to forget about all the tasks that will go along with it on an on-going basis. Unfortunately, websites aren’t something you can just set and forget. Although, this can be seen as a good thing as it allows you to sell a website care plan to your client’s where you take care of all these things for them. Plus, recurring revenue is always a good thing! But what do you do once you are managing their sites? Below are five tasks that need to be completed on a monthly basis. If it’s a high traffic site you will need to do them twice a month or even weekly.
1. Database and website backup
Whether we want to admit it or not, sometimes things happen to your client’s site. Someone hacks the site and gets access or maybe you are working on the site and it accidentally breaks. If you are doing regular backups, it’s easy to just reinstall the backup and be on your way. But one thing to remember, not only do you need to be taking a backup but you need to occasionally verify that the backup is still good. The last thing you want is to suddenly need the backup only to find the file is corrupted or it didn’t download everything correctly.
2. Plugin/Theme Updates
WordPress, like most software, needs to be updated regularly. If you don’t run the updates you can have a plugin or theme installed that has a known vulnerability which makes it very easy for someone to hack your site. Before you run the updates make sure you complete step 1 and take a backup of the site and database. Sometimes updates can conflict with each other and the site will break after you run an update. If you have a backup it’s easy to revert back to the old version while you work on fixing the problem on a staging server.
3. Visual Inspection
It’s also a good idea to just click through your client’s sites on a monthly basis to make sure that everything looks correct. Sometimes an update will make something look a little funny – or sometimes a client will edit the page incorrectly. By just spot checking the site it’s easy to make sure everything looks like it should.
4. Malware/Security Scans
It’s a good idea to run a security and malware scan on the site monthly. These make sure that someone didn’t access the site or make changes even if they aren’t visible. Sucuri has a security scan on their website that is a good option plus they make a plugin that checks to see if any files have been changed.
5. Check analytics and search rankings
Part of your job as your client’s website expert is to always try to find ways to improve their website that helps their bottom line. One of the best ways to do this is to monitor their Google Analytics and search rankings so that you can see if there are any trends as to what their clients are doing or searching for. The better you understand their clients, the more you can help them reach their clients.