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Follow the arrows at the bottom of each page for the tutorial, "How to Design a Website".
To study a particular aspect of website design refer to this tutorial index.


Maintain Website
Basic principles and tips of website maintenance

Website maintenance should be a never ending process

Maintaining your websiteWhen you design a website you start with an idea and a goal. To realize these things and promote your website you must help it grow. The best way to do this is through a regular maintenance plan and the introduction of new content on a continuing basis.
Maintaining the functional mechanics of your website and adding fresh content regularly keeps your site growing. This best serves your visitors and pleases the search engines.

Through the diligent use of a complete website maintenance plan you can keep your website fresh, alive and active. Routine maintenance and the introduction of new content on your website is just as important as building it in the first place.

The smooth operation of your site and the addition of new content is a must if you want to succeed on the internet.


Never take your website off line

Website available 24/7 signYou should never shut down your website during maintenance. Practically any type of website maintenance can be done off line. Make any necessary changes or corrections, on your computer, then upload the updated material to your webhost's server. By doing this you will maintain a continuous flow of visitors. Conducting seamless updates will insure that you maintain a continuous web presence.

Unless you are shutting your website down forever keep it functioning 24/7. In extreme cases if you find it necessary to momentarily close your site do it quickly and during off hours. This will have a minimum effect on your visitors and be less noticeable on the Web. But, above all be sure to make your website and it's content material available to your visitors at all times and with minimum downtime.

Keep your content fresh

Posting accurate, timely information online is imperative to expanding your outreach on the internet. Stale and never changing content will drive away visitors. You must remember that maintaining a website and website content expansion are never ending commitments. The addition of new information and the updating of old content will always be a prerequisite for maintaining a healthy website. Routine maintenance insures that your site will remain vibrant and alive. You should develop a good website maintenance plan and stick to it!

Provide users with ongoing opportunities for user interaction. Help them provide feedback and suggestions for your website. The feedback given to you by your visitors will help to keep your content fresh and provide you with ideas for growing your site. Use their feedback whenever possible to grow your site into something that provides for the interests of everyone who visits.

Never forget your audience. Many webmasters can become so limited by their own ideas that they turn their websites into something that only interests them. Their target audience, the people they are trying to reach, is ignored. In time this will ruin a website. Develop trust with your website visitors. Don't ignore them and they won't ignore you!

It is imperative that you keep your website content fresh and always growing. Check out sites with subject matter similar to your own for inspirational material and design ideas. Look at how these sites are designed and use the results of this research to develop your own website.

Feedback analysis

Track the responses of the visitors who visit your website. Take particular note of the feedback that they offer. Use this information to analyze your audience and take the pulse of your visitors. Try to determine what they are thinking by the feedback they provide to you.

Traffic analysis

Website traffic analysis will help you plan more strategically by observing the number of users who are interacting with your site. A growth in the number of visitors entering your website shows your success in reaching people. On the other hand a drop in website traffic shows that a rethinking of your course of action is warranted. Website traffic analysis also provides data needed for search engine optimization and the SEO process.

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