Routine maintenance of a website?

Routine maintenance is not something people associate with websites because the feeling is that they are static entities, impervious to change.

But that feeling must be based on hope rather than knowledge.

Websites are housed on servers. Great piles of electromechanical junk that are bodges engineered upon compromise. The fact that they work at all is pretty amazing. A bit of script or code that worked originally may no longer be supported now.

The environment in which a website exists is one of the most rapidly changing that any of us find in our daily round. New browsers, from Microsoft and a plethora of others, increased use of the web by the blind, the partially sighted or other groups with special needs all mean that a site that was a shining example at one time is now a lesson in inaccessibity.

Changes in legislation alone can mean a site owner is quietly becoming liable for something they’d given no thought to originally.

Then there’s the ever growing threat from hackers and their unwelcome brethren that mean a site could be deliverying sensitive information or giving such malevolent groups ways to attack your organisation.

Website owners that rely on natural search engine rankings need to consider the ever developing search engine algorithms. These mean that what was a high ranking website last year may well be a hard to find low ranking website today.

Not forgetting, of course, that the details contained on the website may well have changed too. A named contact may have changed role or moved on, a product line might have been discontinued, a phone number, email or postal address may have changed.

Many owners view a small area of their website every day but how many of us take the time to make a thorough review regularly enough. I design and build websites but I know, like the cobbler and his shoes, my own websites are not maintained as frequently as they ought to be.

Written in 2003, the article below is still relevant today.

Annual Website Maintenance Checklist

Annual Website Maintenance Checklist

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