Are You Keeping Your Website Healthy?

May 23, 2017 Written by Johnnae Nardone
As digital dependence and connectivity increase, your company’s website continues to grow in value and importance. Are you doing the basics to keep this resource healthy? Walk through this short list of simple tasks to keep this vital asset working smoothly and securely.

1. Know your domain and host information

In short, key information should reside inside the company and not with one specific individual. In practice that means on the company’s shared (secure) drive there should be a document that outlines where your domain is registered and where your website is hosted. That document should also have contact information, what to do when your website goes down, and login information.

Your domain is the address or uniform resource locator (URL) where people find your website. You own this URL as long as you continue to renew and pay for it.

We do get a handful of panicky calls from clients whose domain expired. Avoid this. Know the right information. And respond to the reminders that the domain is going to expire.

Your host is where all the files for your website live. Your host’s job is to deliver the files to the user on the internet when they are requested, searched for, and clicked on.

Side note: You should include your Google Analytics login on the document with your hosting and domain information. Even if you don’t use it now, you likely will want it someday. Make sure the login info for the company’s gmail account is kept for the next person. It’s a good idea to have one or two administrative staff connected to the account as well.

Learn more about the importance of Gooogle Analytics.

Gone are the days when you entrusted all this responsibility to a volunteer, board member or a single employee. This info should reside with your company, be kept secure, and be made known to more than one person.

2. Keep your website secure

A healthy website is a secure website. Here are the three basics of keeping your website safe:

1. You should have a security certificate. You can check quickly by looking at your URL. Do you see “https” up there? If you process money on your website you should have one of these already. For everyone else, this level of security is becoming the norm. As you may be noticing, Google rewards healthy, secure websites. So get your certificate today if you don’t have one.

2. Someone does updates to your CMS (content management system). Things are changing constantly and like it or not, the techniques for hacking websites are always evolving. Updates to your CMS help your website ward off new security threats.

Side note: If you are a Third Sun client with a support agreement, updating your CMS is something we handle for you.

3. Use good passwords. Again, simple but important. You should use a strong password to log in to your website. That’s a password that contains a capital letter, number, and symbol. If you’re still using your name or “changeme,” then login and change it today.

3. Your website is responsive

Responsive design is a requirement at this point in terms of user experience but also in Google’s eyes. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you will lose ranking status and customers, as 51.3% of people are viewing your website on their phones or tablets.

4. Keep it maintained

Authenticity and trust are vital for doing business but those qualities are especially important when you’re doing business remotely. When you only meet your clients through your website, you need to earn their trust, especially when you are asking them to disclose personal information like email addresses or credit card numbers.

One of the ways you create authenticity and trust is by making sure you have and maintain accurate information on your website. In most cases, at least two people at your organization should have access to, and know how to, edit the content on your website.

We often overlook basic maintenance chores. Just as with your home, you may get caught up with searching for the right decorative pillows when what you really need to do first is replace the air filter to avoid the costly consequences of repairing your heating system.

Take an hour or two to run through these tasks and make sure your website is healthy and not at risk. Protect this asset the way you do your other business assets.

And of course, if you have questions reach out to us at .