Site Health Checklist
Just as a computer needs regular updates or a vehicle needs routine maintenance, websites also need regular care. The checklist below provides an overview of what should be periodically evaluated on a website.
- Accessibility. Evaluate site accessibility using WAVE and review for possible improvements.
- Backups. Make a backup copy of the website. This can be done using a site downloader to save an HTML version of the site. With a content management system like WordPress, it is probably a good idea to export your WordPress site. You can use FTP to copy site files to your local hard drive. You should also have automatic backups turned on with your hosting company.
- Broken Links. Scan site for broken links and review report.
- Grammar. Use Grammarly on top-visited pages to ensure no typos, spelling errors, or style issues.
- Security. Using various services, scan for malware, then clean site as needed.
- Speed. Use GTMetrix to measure site load time and review for possible improvements.
- Stats. Review site stats to find errors and ensure popular pages are in their best condition.
- Updates. Update and Review Plugins, Themes, and the WordPress software.
See the Site Tools page for more information about the tools needed for regular site checkups and maintenance.
Site maintenance can be time-consuming and costly. The initial checklist tasks can take a relatively predictable amount of time, but it is hard to predict the time required to correct the issues discovered.
If you are maintaining your own website, then simply sort identified revisions by priority and do as much work as you want to invest.
If you are volunteering for an organization or individual, consider how much time you can afford to donate. Let those involved know your time constraints.
If you are billing out your time as a consultant, then you'll likely want to provide a list of proposed site revisions and improvements to get approval for the cost of the work.
Each site is unique. So, a maintenance schedule should be adapted to meet the site's needs.
- Static Site. A fairly static site that doesn't change much over a year could be checked annually after an initial review. Once accessibility guidelines are initially met, fewer design and usability improvements will be needed going forward. They will be more a matter of preference than function and necessity.
- Changing Site. A busy website that changes frequently should be checked more regularly. Perhaps monthly or quarterly, depending on how much time you have to commit to this process.
Site Design Reference Pages
These are pages relating to site design, development, and management.