HomeBlogWebsite maintenance: where to start?

Website maintenance: where to start?

Marieke van de Rakt

site maintenance

You understand that website maintenance is important. You don’t want your website to get hacked; you want to get that traffic from the search engines. And you don’t want your website to become slow and outdated. Although you understand the importance, you have difficulty starting with those website maintenance tasks. As a result, your website might be neglected a little (or a lot). Totally understandable! Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? If you’re serious about picking up website maintenance, then where should you start?

Starting a tedious task is always hard

Let’s face it: website maintenance is not the most exciting task on your list. Starting a tedious task is always hard, especially for those of us who are notorious procrastinators. I prefer to start something new rather than maintain something that has been around for a while. At the same time, website maintenance is not an easy task. It entails complex tasks such as writing and thinking about content and tedious tasks such as updating plugins and adding internal links. So, how do you get started with something like this?

The beginning is hard, but there are ways to make it easier. Once you’ve started, it’ll be easier to keep going — especially if you follow these steps!

Step 1: Start with the quick wins

Always start with tasks that are easy to do and have an immediate impact. You’ll see quick results from these tasks, which will help you remain motivated to continue your website maintenance. If you haven’t worked on your website for a while, you should do the following things:

  • Check whether or not you need to update any plugins.
  • Check whether the contact information on your website is still correct.
  • Check whether your forms and checkout work.
  • Check and fix broken links with a tool like Screaming Frog.
  • Check whether there’s outdated information on your homepage.
  • Check your footer: is the copyright year correct?

Step 2: Continue with the tasks you like

After you’ve completed those quick wins, you’ll probably have some ideas about what tasks need to be done. Are there any tasks that get you excited? What are some things that you would like to improve immediately? For me, it’ll probably be an article that should be on the site but isn’t yet. Or something severely outdated that could be improved easily with some TLC. However, for other, more technical people, it might be to improve site speed. Other people get excited about updating the checkout page.

It doesn’t matter what kind of task you’ll pick up. Just make sure to continue with a task you’re excited about executing—a task you look forward to. Motivating yourself to do something you enjoy will not be hard. And now, you’re investing time and energy in that website, which will encourage you to keep going.

Step 3: Make an extensive to-do list

By focusing on quick wins and fun and exciting tasks, you ensured that you started your website maintenance. The next steps are aimed at keeping you working on that website. Website maintenance should become part of your routine.

It’s now time to make a full list of all the things that need improving. You could brainstorm, perhaps talk to other people, and list all the things you could do to get your website in optimal shape. Here are a few things you could think of:


Make a list of all the pages you need to update. Check your About page. Does it still properly reflect your business or your website? What about the other pages? Also, make sure to check your blog posts. Is the information still valid and up to date?

Next, you’ll make a list of pages and posts that you don’t have on your website yet but that you should write. Finally, make sure to make a list of outdated content that should be combined or removed (don’t forget to redirect, though).

Design and usability

Is your design modern and up to date? Does it fit the current trends and stand out properly from any competitors you may have? What things need alteration? Are your customers able to quickly find their way around your website? Is your navigation clear and simple to use?

Site speed

Do people have to wait for a few seconds before your site loads? That’s not the best experience! So make sure to check whether the pages of your website load fast enough.

Site structure

If your website is a few years old (or more than that) and you have been adding content regularly, you might need to manage its structure. How big are your categories? What about your tags? How many tags do you have? Did you pay attention to internal linking between pages and blog posts on your website? Can people find all of your content through links, or are some of your posts hidden away?

Your most important pages and posts should have the most links pointing towards them. With a workout in Yoast SEO Premium, you can quickly assess and update your site structure if needed.


Is your website accessible for people with visual impairments or who are unable to use a traditional keyboard and mouse, for instance? You can run a quick scan with a tool like Equalize Digital Accessibility checker. That’ll make it easier to find the issues with your site and add them to your to-do list.

Step 4: Plan those tasks

You’ll probably have a full list of everything you need to improve. Check your calendar and plan time to work on these tasks. Can you find a time in your calendar that is free every week? Perhaps you can work on your website maintenance tasks every Thursday morning or every first and third Monday of the month.

Make a schedule in which you plan the tasks on your to-do list on the timeslots you have made available in your calendar. Make sure to vary between tasks. Mix it up. For instance, update a post, work on a design issue, and fix an accessibility issue. By alternating exciting and more boring tasks, you’ll have a bigger chance of getting those website maintenance tasks done!

It doesn’t matter where to start website maintenance as long as you START

All in all, there’s not one way to start with your website maintenance. The most important thing is that you start all together. Because website maintenance – although tedious- is very important in keeping your website healthy. The key is to get yourself excited about your website again. Once you’re invested, you’ll be more motivated to keep going. Progress Planner is designed specifically to keep you motivated. Because your website matters! You just need a little nudge every now and then to keep going.

Leave a Comment