Introduction:

How do you run web maintenance? Do you have a set of tasks that need executing weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly, or do you just run it from memory and hope for the best?

With this checklist (and the others in the pack, available here), you'll be all set to run recurring maintenance checklists that help you keep healthy backups, test user experience, update your content, improve search visibility, and keep your site secure.

Keep your site running, and make sure you don't lose your hard work.

Review graphical assets

The evolution of Atlassian's logo

Graphics don't go out of date very often, but once in a while you'll find that Twitter has changed its logo, or that your product images are from last season.

It's worth doing a quick audit of your graphical assets to see if you need anything changing.

  • 1
    Hero image
  • 2
    Icons
  • 3
    Site logo
  • 4
    Banners
  • 5
    Image advertisements
  • 6
    Logos of other companies (for testimonials, etc.)
  • 7
    Screenshots
  • 8
    Product images
  • 9
    Social media buttons

Use the form fields below to track the outdated graphics and note the required changes. You can edit this template to add more fields, if you need.

Review page meta titles and descriptions

Meta titles and meta descriptions are important for SEO. They're the information Google uses to display your content in search ranking pages, and also the information Google uses to determine which keywords your page should rank for.

This means you need to look at it from both a human and a machine perspective. For example, you could take your top ranking pages and search the keywords they're ranking for (as found using Ahrefs Site Explorer). How do the pages display?

  • 1
    Meta title is descriptive, eye-catching, and relevant
  • 2
    Meta description concisely introduces the content
  • 3
    Meta title keyword optimized (re-research keyword and update if necessary)
  • 4
    Meta description keyword optimized (re-research keyword and update if necessary)

To manually check your meta titles and meta descriptions, you can search site:yourdomain.com in Google, or go to the Google Search Console and choose Structured Data from the Search Appearance menu.

Check for dated and outdated content

Aside from your site's graphics, the copy and content itself could be outdated.

Check your landing page for dated language referring to old offers, old product features, or time-sensitive information.

Also:

  • 1
    Check prominent pages for words and phrases like 'new', 'coming soon', etc.
  • 2
    Refresh featured content areas with new content
  • 3
    Review pages for old tag lines, offers, or discontinued products
  • 4
    Check for seasonal language (Christmas, winter, Halloween)
  • 5
    Check for posts about discontinued/re-branded technology
  • 6
    Set up 301 redirects for content so old it needs to be removed

Check lead capture conversion rates

Whether you're using Sumo to run pop-ups or just embedding a signup form from MailChimp in your blog's sidebar, you should take notice of the conversion rate of your copy and offers.

Conversion rate is the percentage of users who completed a goal (signed up, entered their email), calculated against the total users that could have completed the goal; an opt-in with a 5% conversion rate would have had 50 user signups from every 1,000 visits.

Optimizing copy for conversion is a science of its own. Refer to these resources:

Tools like Sumo and Ninja Popups will be able to provide detailed reports on how your lead capture is performing. Export a report from your tool of choice and attach it to this task for future comparison.

Set up automation for regular tasks

Still manually saving backups? Exporting and formatting spreadsheets from your plugins? Time to look into setting up automation.

Depending on the exact task you need to automate — and whether it's local or with SaaS — you'll want to use either cron (or Windows scheduled tasks) or Zapier.

cron

With cron, you can manage disk maintenance, antivirus and malware scans, software updates, file deletions, and backup scripts with ease. The cron format is initially bewildering, but it's explained well here by WebHostingSecretsRevealed.

30 10 07 07 * http://your-domain-name.com/backup-scripts/backup.php

The command above would execute a backup script on your server at 10:30am (30 10) every 7th of July (07 07) every year (*).

Cron is built into every Linux and OSX terminal only, but its Windows alternative is scheduled tasks.

Zapier

Zapier connects together web apps like Typeform, Google Sheets, Dropbox, and Gmail. With integrations between apps, you can send and recieve data anywhere you like. For example, every time you get a new Typeform response, you could automatically add it to a Google Sheet and send an email notification.

If you create surveys for your readers and want the results automatically logging in a spreadsheet instead of relying on your exports and formatting, you could create a connection between Typeform and Google Sheets.

The majority of repetitive online tasks can be totally eliminated using Zapier. Click here to get our complete guide to setting Zapier up and saving time with automation.

Test the website on multiple browsers

Have you made any untested changes to your site in the last quarter that might be causing subtle issues?

Time to clean up any bugs by testing the site on multiple browsers. You can either do this in real life (if you have Windows, OSX, iOS, Android, etc, all available) or using an online browser emulation tool like Browserling. Here's an example of a site loaded in Safari 4.0 with Browserling.

The most common (but harder to set up) way of testing sites with different browsers is with Selenium. Selenium is free and open source, but needs a big dose configuration from your side. Click here for a guide on getting set up.

When choosing which browser functionality to prioritize, look at the tech most of your users are browsing with in Google Analytics. (Audience > Technology > Browser)

Validate HTML & CSS

As you build out your site, parts of the code base will start to clash, plugins will cause errors here and there, and you can quickly be left with a patched-together mess if you're not careful.

To check, use a HTML and CSS validation tool (like this one from W3C) and get detailed descriptions of any problems.

Example error log generated by the W3C CSS Validation Service

Use the widget below to upload a copy of your HTML/CSS error logs for future reference, or for your web developer's attention.

Check accessibility and mobile friendliness

The Google Search Console tool has a feature that allows you to check the mobile friendliness of your site. You won't need it every week, but any changes that occurred over the course of the last quarter should be checked for their mobile impact.

Click here to access the mobile-friendly test tool.

Make sure to check the page loading issues afterwards (highlighted above), and address each issue on the list.

Check backups by restoring the most recent on a server

Like everything else on your site, backups need regular tests.

Instead of deploying the backup on your live server, use XAMPP (Windows) or MAMP (Mac). Run tests on the backup, and check that the core functionality is still running and that the recently added files are present.

Alternatively, you could use a dedicated backup testing tool like Backup Exec (paid):

Check the uptime logs

Even a free plan with UptimeRobot will give you detailed uptime logs.

According to Alerta, most modern hosts can reasonably promise 99.9% uptime. Any lower, and you should speak to your developer or contact your host for more information. If the problem can't be resolved, it might be time for a switchover.

Use the form field below to upload a copy of this quarter's uptime logs:

Sources:

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