As a major player in your business, your website supports you, saves you time, makes connections, and helps you grow.

To do that, it’s your job is to ensure it’s well maintained and cared for, of course.  Though besides the normal monthly care, you also need to know other details about your site including who to call, how to log in, or what to do if something serious happens.

Small things (that could have been avoided) can cause big problems if you aren’t empowered with knowledge.

Avoid something like your site breaking because no one paid the annual renewal fee for your premium theme.

This actually happened to a new maintenance client I brought on recently. They came to me with a website built by someone else and where other developer added a premium theme but didn’t give the client options to purchase their own license or let them know what would happen if they (the developer) decided to stop renewing/paying for that theme. Ooopsy, I bet you can guess.

To throw another curve-ball into the mix, this client sold their business (which included their website) and either didn’t provide the new owner with some crucial website information or they didn’t know those things in the first place (it sounds like the latter). The one thing the previous business owner did know was who to call if they have a problem. Knowing this one simple thing, saved the new owner a lot of money, stress, and possibly missed customers.

What are other simple things website owners should know? I’m glad you asked!

This need-to-know list will help reduce any stress about where to turn or what to look for when you need something if you find yourself in a crisis or jam like my customer did.

10 basic but important things to know if you have a website (plus a few extras)

  1. Know your site’s web designer/developer and how to reach them if you have a problem or have questions.
    • Do they have office hours?
    • Do you know the best way to contact them in case of emergency?
    • What are their fees for any support or help you may need?
  2. Know your website’s platform and theme – WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, etc?
    • If you have a WordPress website, which theme are you using?
    • Is it a premium (paid) or free theme?
  3. Know if your site uses paid versions of any plugins or theme. If yes, when do they renew?
    • Who’s paying for it/them? You? Your original web designer?
    • If not you, what happens if they quit paying?
    • Do you have access to log into those premium accounts for support or renewal info?
  4. Know how to log in to your website and who are the other users in your website (if any). PRO TIP: Be sure to have more than 1 admin for security or access purposes.
  5. Know where your domain is registered/managed. Where did you purchase your domain (GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc.)?
    • When does it renew?
    • Is it set to auto-renew?
    • PRO TIP: Consider domain privacy for added protection (if you don’t already have that add-on).
  6. Know where your site is hosted (your web host) it may not be the same place your domain is hosted.
    • When does this renew? Monthly? Annually?
  7. Know how to take care of site’s your monthly maintenance (or hire a professional)  to take care of things like security monitoring, updating plugins, your theme, and WordPress, ensuring backups are done on a regular basis, and more. (Hint, hint, this is one of my specialties.)
    • Does your web host help with anything?
    • Are you taking daily or monthly backups? Where are they stored?
    • Do you know how to restore backups or who to call if you need help doing this?
    • If you hire a professional to help with monthly maintenance, what items are they taking care of and what do you need to worry about?
  8. Know how to make empowered, minor edits on your own when needed like editing your copy, switching images, creating blog posts, or other basic, but regular tasks.
  9. Know to optimize your images to help with with SEO, speed, and accessibility. Aspects like naming conventions, image file size, pixel dimensions, alt tags, when and where to use different file types like jpg, svg, png, etc.
  10. Know how to stay on top of form submissions to ensure your forms are working properly and so that you can double-check you’ve received email notifications for everyone who completed a form. PRO TIP: Make a regular habit to check this on a weekly or monthly basis.

Bonus tips:

  • Did you buy a business with an existing website? (Or thinking about buying?) Be sure to get all of the information about the website so you’re knowledgeable about where to go if something happens or something quits working as expected.
  • Know where your business email is hosted. At your web host? At Google Workspace (who I recommend)? Office 365, etc? What happens if your email moves or you set up a new email account? Since professional business email accounts usually use the same URL as your website, it’s good to know where things are in case the DNS needs to be adjusted. Double bonus: Know who can help you with DNS, URL, or email issues if they pop up.

Check to make sure you know where to go or what to do and that you know these basics of your website.

Most website owner’s don’t need to know how to code or will ever find themselves knee-deep in HTML or other tech tasks, but knowing key, basic aspects of your website will help you work to smarter, make informed decisions, and ensure your website is able to work as the powerful marketing partner its intended to be so you can thrive and grow online.

So there you have it! By knowing these essential tidbits of website wisdom, you’re not just checking off boxes – you’re unlocking a whole new level of confidence and control.

Cheers to less stress and more success by knowing the details of your digital domain!

À bientôt !

Janet

Janet Hoover | Create Launch Grow Website Design & Development

Hi, I'm Janet

Web designer, developer, and digital strategist for growing businesses. Learn more about how I can help you keep moving forward with a transformative, conversion-focused website that works wonders for your business and helps you go from stuck to strategic.

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