Bulldog Blog

Website Maintenance

When we build websites, we provide you all the tools you need to maintain your new site. You shouldn't have to be a web developer to make changes to your site. We custom tailor all of our websites to work with your content; you shouldn't have to adjust your content based on the content management system (CMS).

Most employees these days wear many hats and may not have time to maintain their company website. Even with time, it can be challenging to remember how to make updates if they do so infrequently.

In this post, I will cover a few topics you should consider when making updates to your website. I will also provide resources to help you maintain its success.

Performance

No one enjoys visiting a slow website. There are several studies on how the performance of a website correlates to its success. A fast site keeps both your users and search engines happy.

Nearly all of our sites utilize a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to help ensure minimal network latency. You can read more about the CentOS LEMP stack that we use. We are continually researching new ways to make websites faster.

Properly resizing your images is one of the most important things you can do. You should try to keep your image width less than 1500 pixels with the height usually depending on the ratio of the image. They should also range between 72dpi and 92dpi.

Always use the proper file format for your images. Use JPGs for photographs and PNGs or SVGs for graphics. Using the correct image format allows for optimal compression.

Check out TinyPNG if you still need help optimizing your images.

Accessibility

We love seeing more and more people becoming familiar with website accessibility. Websites that are accessible for everyone always provide a much better experience for people with and without disabilities.

When maintaining a website, people often overlook adding descriptions to their images. Generally speaking, developers handle the majority of the requirements during development. Resources like the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), The A11Y Project, and WebAIM (web accessibility in mind) all provide great information.

SEO

How to optimize your site for search engines is a topic that is under constant debate. In 2010, Google published a PDF titled "Search Engine Optimization - Starter Guide," and all the information is still applicable today. There are a few things you should keep in mind when updating content.

We often write content to please our boss or to rank on a search engine. When writing content for your website, it is essential to keep your target audience in mind. Quality content that provides value is a much better use of your time. Your content should include the keywords for which you want to rank highly, but don't obsess over how many times you use them. Natural, easy-to-read content is going to win every time.

Avoid using "click here" links. Those words don't tell the user where the link will go. It can be challenging to break this habit, but by providing quality hyperlink text, your users will better understand where you are taking them.

Conclusion

We have several clients who prefer for us to update their website. Whether it's a simple text change or adding a new feature, we always take all of this into consideration. We use several tools, like Lighthouse, and have several checklists to ensure we do everything correctly.

Our desire to make a better web is the very reason I contributed to the AMP project. While I no longer write code for AMP, I am still a member of the AC (Advisory Committee) to provide perspective and advice to the TSC (Technical Steering Committee).

Please reach out to us if you would like us to maintain your website. We would love to help improve your web presence. We are familiar with many CMSs, including ExpressionEngine, Wordpress, Drupal, SilverStripe, OctoberCMS, and more.

Levi Durfee
posted October 31, 2019