Once you’ve got the basics down, your site is ready for additional enhancements. This is the second article of our “Your Website” series where we break down a website into three different stages of development: the basics, intermediate, and advanced. In the intermediate stage, we focus on making your website sustainable. Below goes into details on how to do so.

Browser and Server-Side Caching

If you aren’t familiar with caching, learn more about it here. At the very least, your site needs browser and server-side caching. This can be a complicated process but it will definitely improve the overall customer experience. Your website will load quicker, which can improve your bounce rate.

For most CMS platforms like WordPress, you can find caching support through plugins. Plugins are not a one size fits all. You’ll need to confirm which works best by testing it alongside your existing website workflow. An wrong plugin can cause your website to crash, so take extra precautions during implementation.

Website Analytics

Another key tool for your website is analytics. With it, you can periodically benchmark your site performance against key metrics. Some of those metrics could be page views, time on site, unique users, and traffic source. Depending on your analytics strategy, your data analytics can be as sophisticated as you need. For instance, you may want to identify low performing pages and breaks in the customer journey, or identify the exact hotspots on a web page where customers hover their mouse.

The gold standard for website analytics is Google Analytics. It’s easy to use and to implement. There’s basic reporting that can be built out for more advanced reports. It integrates with almost everything out there and is free to use!

Back Up Your Website

We’ve noticed that many business websites skip backups. This is a big no no. We recommend performing daily backups and keeping those copies for up to a week, as well as making monthly backups. It’s a quick and cheap process, and provides a ton of peace of mind.

One of the most frustrating, yet common things to happen is crashing your site after performing a routine update. Without a backup, you’re likely screwed and will need to invest bunch of time and resources to rebuild your site. Not to mention, any data, including contact details, that you’ve been collecting is lost. And if you’ve got customers from paid media accessing your site who are ready to buy, you’ve lost them too!

For most modern, backups should occur through a plugin and through your hosting provider. We recommend enforcing backups at both levels for redundancy in case one were to fail. A backup can have your site up and running in 5-10 minutes. Trust us, you only make this mistake once and we wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemies. Don’t skip this step!

The Bottom Line / TLDR

The next steps after a building the base for your website is to implement caching, analytics, and backups. These website enhancements are designed to keep your site up and running as well as provide a good customer journey. Reach out to our team today to get started with taking your website to the next level!

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