Websites should just be "set it and forget it" type marketing products, right?
I mean, who honestly has time to continuously update and improve the best marketing tool with the greatest ROI?!
Well, you do if you plan on being successful in today's market!
Website maintenance is something that doesn't have to require a master's in computer science.
Even the most novice of computer and interweb users can help in the process of checking their sites after they have had some TLC.
When I was growing up, my Dad would do all sorts of home improvement and "honey-do's" projects.
He was super handy and occassionaly I got to be the "little helper".
During several of these projects, my job was to check the target of our fixing in another part of the house.
This was especially true when dealing with electrical fixes to lights, fans, and the like.
As most of you know with your websites, I didn't possess the knowledge back then to actually perform the technical repairs needed - but I could tell when things were working, and when they weren't.
There are 3 easy items that you can check to make sure your website maintence went according to plan.
Even if you're a seasoned pro that can PHP from scratch and enjoys talking about the good ol' days of command prompt and DOS, you can never ignore the basics.
I'm not prescribing exact fixes or even direct causes, but these are smoke signals to look for and then report to your webmaster (sounds like a Dungeons and Dragons referrence) or your IT person.
One of the first idicators that something has gone wrong is when your images aren't served up correctly. This type of error will typically be accompanied by the broken link symbol in the upper left-hand corner of where the image should be displayed.
This happenened to me recently and was pointed out by a prospect looking at our site for an idea of the kind of work we do (place palm firmly on forehead, make Homer Simpson noise). He was trying to click through our "Learn More" CTAs for each of our 3 core service domains and there was an error.
During a recent update to ensure the proper display of the green padlock showing that our website uses an SSL certificate for secure browsing, a couple of my links were broken due the change in the permalinks I was using.
Learn from my mistake, find out before a client or prospect does!
Your cache (pronounced "cash")
This can produce a lot of headaches after even the most minor of website maintence. Cache stores a static image or snapshot of each website you visit. There are expirations for these "snapshots" but you want to see your updates now, right? Ain't nobody got time for that!
Most users complain that the updates didn't take place or report seeing the same old items on the supposedly updated site. You, along with them, can clear your cache and see your beautiful updates.
So, depending on your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE, or Edge), there are different methods to clear your cache. (If you're using either Microsoft IE or Edge, you've got other problems...man). Here are links to how-to's for clearing your cache.