Blogs from the team

How to Maintain Your Joomla Website

Maintaining a Joomla website is like maintaining a store front. It has to look clean and easy for customers (Users) to shop around and find what they want. You need to have something interesting every time so that people will come back to check out your new stuff. You might want to change your banners every now and then.

Your website is your silent online marketer. It does all the talking for you, if it is well equipped. Here are few items that have to be checked at the minimum to keep your website looking good and performing at its best.

Domain Name: Make sure you have marked in more than one place when your domain name would expire. Set reminders, it is bare minimum. Make sure you do not set your reminders to snooze. You definitely have to have all of your domain names renewed to make sure your competitors do not grab the name from you. Make sure the email address registered for the domain name is checked regularly. Our advice is to have it set-up as a group email account which will have multiple recipients.

Hosting Environment Upgrades: It’s very important to make sure that all of your base web software is up-to-date. There is a reason these updates are released. They take care of the security in most cases and there are also updates for performance and new features. It is almost a mandate to stay updated to the latest version as much as possible. Your Joomla installation needs a firm foundation. In addition to the base upgrades, make sure that your Joomla package is up to date. There are minor patches that have to be updated to keep your installation up to date. These are very important both for security and to address any bugs and performance issues, that have been identified and repaired, from the earlier versions. A qualified Joomla developer can help you to keep your Joomla installation current.

Site Traffic: It is important to make sure that you know how your site is performing. This will give you clues about any problems with the site if you see unusual drop in traffic. Traffic issues can be due to hosting or the web application. You can also see how well each area of your site is performing and what keywords are fetching results for your website.

Site Content: This adds value to your site. This is what your site visitors are here for. This also helps you attract the most precious visitor to your site, search engine crawlers. Search engines like to munch on new and fresh content each time they visit your site.

Testing: Make sure you test all the functionalities on your website periodically. This can be a shopping cart purchase, newsletter sign-up, contact us form. Be the first to know if there is a problem. You do not want your site users to let you know there is a problem. A great way to accomplish this testing is to engage a Joomla web development firm to perform an audit of your site. Not only can a Joomla programmer locate any issues, but they can also repair them, or even offer suggestions for newer functionalities that may enhance your site and offer a more dynamic user experience.

Broken Link Validator: As you add more content to your site, you will probably find yourself linking to pages, internal and external, it is crucial that check all the links on your site. You do not want your visitors to be taken to a 404 page when they are within your site. This can easily cause them to become lost ad be out of your site in no time. Users are also less likely to return to your site in the future if they do not believe your site to be well-maintained. There are tools, and also online services, that come in handy for validating the links within your site content. (http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/)

W3C Standards: Websites are now being accessed by more than one means. The entire environment is unified by a few standards which are common across all of the platforms that a website is meant to be viewed on. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) ties everything together to make sure web sites can be standardised to run across all known platforms. To see if your website is compliant with these standards, you need to run W3C validation from time to time. This will help you to locate any errors that need to be fixed. (http://validator.w3.org/)

Backup: This is the most important activity that should be on your weekly reminders. That is a bare minimum. We suggest, if possible, that a daily backup be performed. We can’t stress this enough, it’s crucial. You never know when a timely backup can save you from a bad situation. The Joomla Geeks team has seen cases where the lack of proper and current back-ups has cost site owners a great deal of grief. Not to mention-time, money, and damage to their reputation. All of this is easily avoided with regular site backups. We suggest Akeeba for back-ups that work perfectly for Joomla websites. It is simple to perform the back-ups and also restoration, if needed, is quiet easy to handle. For a more techie user, they have their own means 😉

Cross Browser Compatibility: Whenever you add new content pages or change modules or add any functionality to your Joomla website, make sure it is compatible across all major browsers. We would suggest Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Android, and iOS. Sometimes, it is advisable to have a Joomla development provider help you achieve cross browser compatibility.

Check your Error Logs: It’s important to check both your server error logs and also your webmaster error logs. This will again give you opportunity to take corrective actions to bring your website back on track.

Check Load Time: Regularly check for your site load time. If you see that the load time is increasing to more than 3-5 seconds, you would then need to look at your hosting or your applications to see what is the problem and should have it fixed.

If you have read all of this and have tried a few of these things already, and are now thinking “Maintaining a Joomla website is not my cup of tea!”, it’s time to talk to people who do this all the time for many clients like yourself. If you want to discuss further about any of these items, or rather just hand it over to be well kept by experienced Joomla maintenance techs, we are here to help you!

 

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