Everyone knows that if you want to run a successful business in 2015 you have to have a website. The keyword here is “successful”! You want to optimize your website so that it performs for your company and builds you up so that you overshadow your competitors. Success does not come “out of the box” when you purchase a website. There are many things you have to think of when building a new site like: can people find my website on search engines, does it load fast, can people find what they are looking for, how do I prevent my site from being hacked, and does my site look trustworthy? These are just a few of the questions I am going to answer in this article.

Premium Cloud Hosting

One of the hottest trends in the hosting market right now is cloud hosting. It has gained it’s popularity not because it sounds fancy but because it actually boosts the performance of your website. It does this by dividing up your resources, that is the files and folders that make up your site, and spreads them out over many different servers. This allows for less downtime for your website, if any, when a server malfunction occurs. The other benefit of being on multiple servers is that your site will load faster, even during peak visiting hours, because your visitors don’t have to rely on only one server.

Using a CDN

When a user opens a website for the first time, sometimes it can take a little bit longer to load. This slower load time is almost always caused by your browser having to download things like images, CSS and Javascript files, and structural assets. If those assets were to be spread across many server nodes, similar to what we just discussed about cloud hosting, and then cached on multiple servers, it could significantly increase the speed in which your browser displays the website. So when a person requests your site, the node closest in proximity to that person will distribute the necessary files needed, reducing latency, therefore providing a fast user experience. This is accomplished using a Content Delivery Network, also known as a CDN.



Staying Up-To-Date

If you happen to have your website built using a content management system such as WordPress, you will quickly find that updates for both the core files and the plugins need to be updated frequently. These updates don’t just provide additional functionality or better code, they also provide security fixes that prevent hacks and bugs with your website. So if you purchase a WordPress website and never touch it again, don’t be surprised 3 years later when it gets hacked. It is imperative that you stay on top of these updates.

Website Security

Now that we have discussed updates, it is a perfect time to dive into security. There is a lot involved in this topic and it would take a significant amount of time to cover everything you need to do to protect your site. Most of the time it is best to leave this to the experts. This is what they do professionally and are typically required to stay up-to-date on every new hack, malware, and worm plaguing the internet. I suggest investing in a company or service that provides 24/7 security monitoring to give you peace of mind that your site will stay safe.

Backups and Recovery

Another part of security is having backups of your site performed regularly. This is just another layer of safety in case something happens to your site. Most professional agencies provide quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily backup options depending on your desired level of protection and overall budget. If your site goes down, they can perform a one click restore/recovery and your site gets put back the way it was. This is something you don’t want to go without!

Search Engine Optimization

Finally, we have SEO which in my opinion is definitely something you should focus your attention on when setting up the plan to optimize your website. Whether you are building a new website or ramping up your existing website to perform better for you, it is never too late to start leveraging SEO. It isn’t something you do once and then sit back and think it’s working. Ask any professional and they will tell you SEO is like walking a tightrope, you have to walk the tiniest line you have ever seen. Don’t get discouraged though. There are methods to all the madness. Get with an agency that offers a complete SEO package and they can either walk you through what needs to be done or let them do all the hard work for you.

SEO is about creating relevant content and then “advertising” that content using a single keyword or key phrase. You want your website to appear on Google search results, have a clear and concise search description so they will choose your site to view, and then actually have content that is useful to the viewer. There are technical ways that you can enhance your SEO in the content or words, the images on your site, even the code that is written to build the site. It can really get overwhelming fast but having someone who understands it all and is trained to come up with the right strategies can make a world of difference in the results of your website’s performance.

Website Maintenance Packages

If you have ever worked with a firm/agency to get a website built for your company, you may have been offered a maintenance package. You may have felt like it was some kind of gimmick or up-sell, but most people don’t realize its importance. Building a website without a maintenance or support plan in our day-and-age is like purchasing only one shoe. Think of it this way….websites need regular tune-ups just like your car. They need to have people monitoring the site for hacks and for bugs. There should be regular back-ups of the site taken so that if anything ever goes wrong they can revert back to the backup. You should have a team working on a strategy to perform well on search results, particularly on Google. And other things like: web optimization using a CDN for increased site performance, regular spam cleanup, staging environments for website changes without messing up the live version of the site, analytics reporting, conversion and goal setup, and content-management training.

Wow! There were a lot of really weird words in that last sentence. Don’t worry! You don’t have to understand all of it. Actually, you shouldn’t have to because that is the ultimate purpose of a maintenance package. If you really think about it, it is our jobs to be experts on all of those technical strategies so why not have a team of experts do all the heavy lifting for you.

Image Source: http://gtmetrix.com/why-use-a-cdn.html