Website Checklist: Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Updates

Ipad with website items checklist

Quick Summary

Schedule structured maintenance for weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks to ensure your website performs at its best, is secure, and provides a good user experience.
Table of Contents

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You can build a website and just leave it up. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if you just have a simple one-page website. At most, you’ll have to log in occasionally and update a few plugins. But if you’re trying to make money with your website, there are a few tasks you should be doing to maintain and keep your website up to date.

It’s not that complicated though, so if you’ve been putting it off because you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay. After you do it for the first time and get the hang of it, it becomes even easier. The most important thing is to learn what you should be doing on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. This will help break things down, similar to using the Pomodoro Technique for getting things done, and make it easier so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Use the checklist below to guide you through your first year so that you know exactly what you should be focusing on. It doesn’t include everything you should be doing, so depending on the purpose of your website, you might want to remove or add different tasks. But this should cover the basics for most websites. I’ve created a simple checklist version of it, which you can access on Notion. Or feel free to print this page or bookmark it for later reference.

Weekly

These are the things you should be doing at least once a week. Ideally, I like to log into my website once a day for 20-30 minutes and make sure I check some of these tasks off because they are pretty easy to do. This way, I save time from having to sit down on a Saturday and spend the whole day doing everything. The most important tasks to focus on are:

Updating And Removing Unused Plugins

Your WordPress website requires plugins to allow you to do more with your website, similar to how your phone has apps that let you do more things. These plugins add features to your website and are generally built and designed by third-party companies, so they determine when to send out updates, and each one is different.

Because of this, you should log in at least once a week to update any plugin, theme, or even the WordPress version itself.

Updates to plugins are, for the most part, good for your website because they provide an improved version of the plugin that might fix previous issues, add features, improve functionality, and ensures your website performs at its best.

There are times, though, that updating a plugin, theme, or WordPress version of your website can actually cause harm.

This can happen for a number of reasons. Maybe the company behind it didn’t thoroughly test it before sending it out, or maybe there’s a conflict between two or more plugins. That’s why it’s important, and I highly recommend, that you keep a recent backup of your website available in case you need to restore it to a prior state before making the update.

If you want to save some time, you can set up a lot of plugins to update automatically. This is great if you are a little forgetful and don’t always remember to perform updates. But be careful because, as I mentioned, sometimes things break. If something is set to update automatically, it might break your website and you might not even know, so just make sure to do regular checks.

You should also use this time to go over your list of plugins and uninstall any plugins that you’re not using. Like I said earlier, plugins are like apps and they take up space on your website’s file system, so keeping plugins on your website that aren’t being used can actually reduce the speed of your website.

Check Comments

When you first start your website, you’ll probably notice that you get a lot of spam comments. These are easy to spot because they generally have a spammy-looking email and messages. Mark these as spam and delete them as soon as possible.

Spam comments happen, and there are a lot of preprogrammed bots out there that are designed to just post comments on random websites. If you don’t remove them, it sends a signal to other bots that they can and should leave more comments on your website.

They are usually fishing for links, but some can be harmful and try to break into your website, so just delete them as soon as possible.

You can also use a plugin like Jetpack Akismet Anti-spam, which I highly recommend, to help block and automatically detect spam comments. This saves you time and hassle from having to do it yourself and prevents further spam bots from commenting on your website.

On the flip side, you want to make sure that you approve and reply back to any original and organic comments on your website’s posts and content. This sends out a positive signal to search engines, saying that people like and engage with your content, so your website ends up being recommended more often.

Do Regular Backups

You shouldn’t have to worry about this too much if you built your website with SiteGround and also purchased their affordable backup plan for $2.49 a month because they automatically do hourly and weekly backups for you. But it’s still a good practice to log in at least once a week to make sure the backups are happening successfully and that there’s a current backup, just to be safe.

Create And Update Content

This is what’s going to help your website the most. You want to create as much content as you can. You don’t need to set something crazy like 10 articles a week. Ideally, you want to create a content schedule to make sure that you’re consistently putting out content and articles that align with the theme of your website.

Start with what you can, even if that means you only post one article a week.

This is how search engines know that your website is live and being updated in order to show it to readers in search results.

Along with creating new content, make sure to go back and regularly update the existing content you already have on your website checking for grammar errors and updating information that has changed since you last talked about it.

This not only helps your SEO and search results but also gives your reader the most up-to-date information, helping you build a better connection with your audience.

Monthly

For these updates, you’re definitely going to want to set them up as recurring events on your calendar to make sure you don’t miss them. If you use an iPhone, the easiest way to do this is to use your phone productively and set them up in your calendar app as a recurring reminder every month. Include notes on everything you need to check so you can go through and ensure each task is completed.

Check Analytics

I was debating whether or not I should talk about this in weekly updates or monthly because I personally check my analytics almost every day. I get really excited whenever my website starts to rank for a new keyword or specific search term, but realistically, you should be doing this on a monthly basis.

That’s because search engines take a while to actually view and recognize your content and then rank it. In general, it usually takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months after you post a piece of content for it to start ranking.

Doing this on a monthly basis is the best way to do it. The most important thing you’re going to do is check Google Search Console to make sure that the pages on your website are visible and indexable by Google and being displayed on Google Search.

To do this, log into Google Search Console where your website is connected, and then take the link of any new content that you recently posted and paste it into the top search bar. This will let you know if your page is visible to Google, indexed or not indexed, and if not, you can request it to be indexed by clicking the “index” button on the top right.

You want to make sure that all pages can and are being indexed by Google. From there, it’s just a waiting game to see what keywords and phrases your pages will rank for.

You also want to be checking your analytics in the same place. You can do this directly from Search Console or with the Google Site Kit plugin.

Check the pages that are performing the best, which keywords and phrases you’re already ranking for, and which pages are bringing in the most traffic. This will help you later on to know which content to create more of and which ones to avoid in the future. Use this information to help you create your content and grow your website.

Review SEO Performance

With the results from your analytics, this part is going to be pretty easy. You’ll be able to see what has been working and what hasn’t. Use that information to check and update any of your SEO on your website.

Make sure to do things like updating meta descriptions for all your articles and keywords. Also, ensure that every single page has a meta description with the related keywords to your website and its content.

Check Website Speed

Your website speed is a big determining factor in whether people will view and engage with your website or if they’ll just close the tab and never come back. You’ve probably done it yourself—visited a website that takes more than 10 seconds to load, and gave up on it, maybe you tried to reload it a second time but ultimately forgot about it after closing the tab.

You want to make sure your site loads in three seconds or less. It’s really easy to check. You can do it directly from the back end of your website using Google Site Kit, or you can go to Google PageSpeed Insights and test the speed of your website on both desktop and mobile.

The easiest way to improve the speed of your website is to use NitroPack. This plugin has a free version that lets you speed up your website significantly. You don’t necessarily need the paid version, but if you can afford it, go for it. The free version is enough, but you will have to display their company banner at the bottom of your website. For someone just starting out, this isn’t too much of a big deal.

Another option is to visit Fiverr.com and look for someone experienced in improving website speed. They can help enhance your website’s speed, but be cautious. Hiring someone means you might not know what affects your website and you might have to pay them again later. Make sure to do things like compressing file sizes, removing unused plugins, and using a minimalist theme to ensure your website is operating at its best speed.

Test Website Functionality

Your website is like a functioning car with moving parts that can break and become nonfunctional. At least once a month, go through your website and check forms, links, and any other interactive elements such as buttons to make sure they are working properly. The last thing you want is to have a sign-up form with a good offer that doesn’t properly collect emails and information.

If you find that something isn’t working properly or isn’t pointing a reader to the designated place, update it as soon as possible. You won’t have this happen as often, but you still want to make sure that you’re constantly checking things just in case it does.

Quarterly

These updates aren’t as time-sensitive, so you can do them on a quarterly basis or at least twice a year. These tasks ensure your website is set up properly, functioning well, and represents your brand the way you want. Set a schedule or reminder on your phone to do these tasks a few times a year.

Update Design

Over time, your website will change as you include more information that resonates with you and your audience. Make sure the design of your website reflects these changes. Go through your homepage to ensure it includes relevant and updated information, and check for any design changes that might improve the user experience.

As you continue developing your website, you’ll find better design options that are more user-friendly and modern. Besides your homepage, review your about page, contact page, and blog structure for necessary updates.

Conduct A Website Audit

The easiest way to do this is to link your website to Ahrefs, which is free for at least one website. This tool will give you a breakdown of everything affecting your website, both negatively and positively. After linking your website, you’ll see a total score and a detailed breakdown of issues impacting that score.

Go through each set of items and make necessary changes. These might include fixing broken links, adding meta descriptions, and optimizing image file sizes. If this feels daunting, you can hire someone on Fiverr with expertise in this area to fix all the audit errors on your website.

Review Content Strategy

Lastly, review the content strategy you’re using on your website. By now, you should have a good understanding of how your content is performing. Use this information to adjust and pivot your strategy if needed. Maybe some blog posts were fun to write but didn’t align with your website’s theme. Go back and change or remove anything that might mislead your audience about your website’s focus.

Final Thoughts

You’re going to want to perform regular updates to maintain the performance and security of your website. Implementing a structured checklist for weekly, monthly, and quarterly maintenance ensures that your website runs smoothly, stays secure, and provides a good user experience. The most important things are updating plugins, checking for broken links, reviewing content, and optimizing for SEO.

Quick Summary

Schedule structured maintenance for weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks to ensure your website performs at its best, is secure, and provides a good user experience.

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