Your business website stands as a testimony to your brand’s success and bears witness to your accomplishments. Its ability to run smoothly, cater to your visitors, and keep their data safe will also establish your reputation as a trustworthy business.
But, this also means that you will always need to keep a close eye on your website as well as the server it sits on. It doesn’t matter whether you are hosting your website yourself or have a hosting provider that handles it for you, you will always need to make sure that strict maintenance schedules are adhered to. You will also need to see that they are carried out correctly from start to finish.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the scheduled website and server maintenance you need to take seriously:
Backups of both your website and server
Both your website and the server operating system it sits on need to be backed up regularly. This is the first step you need to take before any other changes or maintenance, some of which we’ll discuss below.
Having a backup safely stored away helps by:
- Letting you have an image to roll back to in case the maintenance or applied patches fail
- Allowing you to make sure you have the minimum down time by quickly restoring your backup
- Switching your visitors to a mirrored server so they can continue visiting and using your website while you fix the issues with the production server and website
Today, you can have your backup done remotely. If you think you don’t have the expertise or the resources to take and store your own backup, you can always opt for remote service providers who will gladly take the job off your hands.
Patching is the process of downloading pieces of software that are created by manufacturers. Once downloaded and applied, they are intended to update applications, servers and computers, as well as the data they use with the hopes of improving their performance or simply fixing them. Sometimes, patches are released when software companies realize that exploits exist in their products and they want to “patch” them up.
A good website and server administrator will always stay on top of news surrounding the software and hardware they are responsible for, as well as the technology industry as a whole.
They should be proactive in that they should always be in the loop about any new patches that have been released. At the very least, they should be able to act as soon as there is news about hackers taking advantage of exploits. Administrators can also use alerts to let them know whenever new patches are released – assuming the applications themselves don’t already let them know.
Another way software companies ensure the security and efficiency of their products is by creating newer, upgraded versions of them. Of course, many consumers assume that this is just a ploy to make them spend more money. Though that may be true in some instances, if companies want to make sure they continue to make money off their products, they also need to add value to them.
Be as it may, whenever an administrator realizes there’s a newer version of any software they are using, they need to start looking into whether or not they will need to make the leap. Now, the only reason they might decide not to make that leap include:
- The newer versions not being compatible with major software and hardware they are using
- Not having the hardware capacity to meet the requirements of the newer software
- Not wanting to experience any down time
- Lack of technical know-how to do the installation, configuration or support of the newer version of software
Of course, all these excuses have their own ways of being resolved. Ultimately it’s up to the administrator and the business to straighten things out, because sooner or later the upgrade will need to happen.
Addition or extension of features
Sometimes, an administrator or website owner will find a new feature exists that will make their user experience (UX) a better one. Or, perhaps the addition of the extension or feature will make the website a much more effective tool. This is much like the plugins available for sites built using WordPress.
But, before adding a plugin, the administrator needs to make sure its a legitimate product from a genuine software provider. They also need to make sure it will perform as advertised.
Whatever the case may be, the lesson you can take is that as an administrator or website owner, you should always be aware of your maintenance schedules. One slip up could result in a disaster both you and you clients won’t be able to recover from.