Client Web Resource Guide

A Monthly Plan for Site Upkeep and Web Health

The following is a checklist that should be completed monthly in order to keep your website fast, updated and prepared for any unexpected issues. Think of your site as a houseplant. If you neglect to water the plant, it will deteriorate — just like your website will if you ignore it. So, to keep your site healthy and functioning at its best, you’ve got to “water” it every month and give it the care it needs.

If you lack experience with web and the back-end of your site intimidates you, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. We don’t expect anyone to be a WordPress wizard right out of the gate, but in a few months’ time, you’ll be making these updates with ease. 

As always, if you have questions or concerns, Agency 877 is more than happy to help. Follow these three line-items and use these external resources to your advantage in order to keep your site in great shape with minimal effort.

WordPress at a Glance

Sidebar Overview

The sidebar in WordPress is your home for all the tabs you need to track and manage your site smoothly. Get familiar with them here:

Dashboard
Overall view of the site, has site status, current info related to the site

Updates
Will display of your needed updates, including plugins and themes

Posts
Where you create/edit posts for your blog

Media
Where you can upload and store all of your photos, documents, videos and anything you want to add to the pages of your website

Forms
Create and edit settings for your sites forms

Pages
Add/edit pages within your site

Comments
Any replies from your blog entries will be housed here. You can remove any
unwanted or potential spam here

Appearance
Customize your site’s general visual settings like layout, typography, background, footer, navigation, buttons, etc.

Plugins
Control, update and add new plugins

Users
Control who has access to your site and add contributing users

Settings 
Overall site settings and privacy settings

Divi
Theme and module customizer. Also includes the Divi Library where saved rows, buttons, and created content is stored after being saved.

WordPress Content Creation Resources
How-To Youtube Videos

Divi Introduction
Want to learn about Divi basics and test the water? This is a great starting tutorial to get your feet wet.
View Tutorial

Editing Your Site
Methods and tips to make basic site edits, from adding content to sections to adding photos to your pages.
View Tutorial

Adding Pages
Simple tutorial to add pages and new content to your website.
View Tutorial

Editing Headers
Changing your header options with text, photo and video. A great way to help your site stand out from the others.
View Tutorial

Creating/Editing Sliders
A basic guide to adding movable headers to the top of your page. An easy wow factor and introduction to your site’s pages.
View Tutorial

Adding Photos
Need to upload a new photo to your site? Add or delete some more photos from your gallery? This guide can help.
View Tutorial

Creating Sections (Rows)
Feeling Brave? Here’s a more advanced tutorial on adding new sections to your site, which is a great way to keep it fresh.
View Tutorial

Editing Your Footer & Theme Customizer
Simple footer editing and theme techniques to change the overall look of your site, from themes to fonts and colors.
View Tutorial

Ways to Stay Up to Date

Your Monthly Checklist

The main ways to keep your site updated and healthy are through plugins, themes and social and creative solutions.
Let’s take a closer look at each! 

Updating Plugins

When you log in to your site, you will be directed to the Dashboard menu. Any suggested updates are marked in a red circle under “Updates” and will be noticeable right away. These will generally be your main areas of interest when updating your site.

Clicking the Updates button will lead you to the WordPress Updates Menu. Here will be a culmination of all the updates your site needs in one convenient place.

View Tutorial

Plugin Updates: METHOD 1 

Your most important updates will always be plugins. Plugins are third-party tools that help your site function well and perform tasks that are constantly running on the site, even when you’re not on it. They often require software updates, so it’s important that you keep your site up to speed with these functions. If you ignore plugin updates for a long time they can potentially break, which means parts of your site may become disabled and display unwanted code.

After selecting all the plugins, hit “Update Plugins” and WordPress will update them automatically.

Friendly Warning: If you update plugins all at once, you run a slightly higher risk of crashing your site. Most of the time this method is quick and effective, but be aware of the possibility.

Plugin Updates: METHOD 2

If potential crashes still worry you, head to the plugins menu and update manually from there. You’ll have more control here. In this menu, you can individually click on each plugin, hit “Update Now” to update the selected plugin, wait for it to update, then move along to the next. Individual updates give WordPress the chance to process your request without flooding it with information, therefore minimizing the risk of crashes — however, the extra caution and care will cost you more time.

Still lost? This video will further explain how to update your plugins:

View Tutorial

If your site ever crashes, don’t panic — WordPress probably just got a little overwhelmed by the amount of processing requested at once. All you have to do to fix this is “Flush Your Cache”.  Flushing your cache is essentially resetting your site. It should be back to normal once you flush your cache. You should clear the cache monthly after you update your plugins to ensure your site is working and on track. 

If caching yourself doesn’t work or seems too complicated, you can email Agency 877 and we will do a hard cache reset for you. 

HOT TIP: If you view your site in the browser “Privacy Mode”, that’s how your site looks like currently as it is live.

Updating Themes

Updating your themes is another crucial, yet more complex part of keeping your site running smoothy. We prefer that you have us update any themes, because the likelihood of the site crashing is relatively high. You can try updating your themes if you want, and then try caching your site, or you can contact us and we will back up your site and update the theme. It’s not absolutely necessary to update your themes on a frequent basis, like the plugins, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep them updated. We’ll leave that up to your discretion.

View Tutorial

Social Solutions

Get the Word Out!

Be sure to share your site with friends, family and professional networks. Driving traffic to your new website is the easiest and most effective way to boost SEO rankings almost immediately. Send out an email newsletter, post on your social media accounts and utilize the most powerful and trustworthy form of referral: word of mouth.

Rake in Reviews

Ask the same networks you’ve shared your site with to leave you reviews on Google, Facebook and Yelp. You can also get testimonials from satisfied customers to put on your website and make you appear more credible. Make it as easy as possible for people to leave their ratings by linking directly with this Google Review Tool.

View Tutorial

Creative Solutions

Keep Design and Imagery Fresh
Don’t let your images and site designs sit idle for too long. If your graphics, home page headers, sliders and other images haven’t changed in over a year, consider mixing it up a bit! Keeping your layout fresh and eye-catching is very important in upholding your site’s reputation and value, especially if you have frequently recurring customers. 

Update Your Services and Information
Similarly, you need to keep your information up to date. If a client looks at your site and sees that your location, hours or employee information is outdated, it’s not a great look. Getting rid of older, less effective information is a practice worth pursuing. The current status and stature of your business should always be relevant and reflected on your website to avoid confusion.

Add New Content Regularly

Google views sites as either “alive” or “dead.” A site that is updated regularly, drawing new users and often adding content is going to appear much more legitimate in a search engine’s eyes. Consider starting a blog. This might sound pointless, but sites with blogs draw 30 to 40 percent more visitors than their competitors. You can also add new pages to your site as you expand and update content to remain relevant and engaging.

Comb Through the Site in Detail
It may seem like you’ve read through your site a million times, but you should occasionally edit all pages for spelling mistakes, padding and alignment errors or browser issues site-wide. We would also encourage sharing your site with fellow designers if you’re in a Divi Facebook group for feedback and to help catch things you may have missed.

Increase Security

Watch out for bots, scammers and spammers that are on a mission to hack your awesome new site. Update your plugins and software regularly, make sure your hosting platform and networks are secure and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of SEO gain, there are ways to block all bots. Reach out to us for more details if you’re concerned about the safety of your site.

View Tutorial

Want to Learn More?

Here’s an 877-curated playlist from Youtube if you’d like to learn more about Word Press, Divi, and website health-related topics.

Thank you for relying on Agency 877 for all your web needs. If you have any additional questions, contact us!