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5 Things Every Webmaster Should Be Doing

Published on 7/20/2010 by

As a webmaster you're in charge of writing and updating content for your website and promoting it. Think your responsibilities stop there? Wrong! Here are five chores that every webmaster should be doing on a regular basis.

1. Check your site status

If you're online, make sure your website is also. Too often we get so caught up in daily activities and surfing the Internet that we forget to check the health of our own domains. Automate the process by using a website monitoring service like Host-Tracker or Basic State. Both programs are free and will periodically check on the health of your website and notify you if it ever slips offline.

2. Read your logs

You know all those traffic logs you skim weekly? Stop glossing over important data and sit down and go over every log and report you have available to you. These logs contain vital information that will you tell you who's visiting your website and where they're coming from.

If you don't have logging tools already installed on your web server or with your web hosting account, check out WebLog Expert or AWStats.

3. Check your stats

At least once a week you should be studying statistical information related to your domains. Website statistics will show you how people found your site, which keywords are working for you and what your audience is reading. Google Analytics is free of charge and will give you detailed daily data or you can use an alternative web based stats program.

4. Test your links

Bad links are bad for business. Every week you should be going through each page of your website and not only making sure that your links are working, but that they're also accurate. Do not rely on an automated tool to do this. While programs like Link Checker, the popular Firefox add-on, will tell you if links are active, they cannot verify that links are going to the correct website. If you've linked to Google, but your link instead points to Yahoo, you're losing credibility.

5. Backup your website

Even if your web host guarantees they're taking daily backup images of your site, backup anyway. In the event of data center power failure or weather related issues, you won't have to scramble to get your site back online if your host or network goes down long term. If your website doesn't change or update daily, you can get away with backing up weekly or even monthly. If you're operating a blog or online store, daily backups are a must.

Preventative maintenance and a little housekeeping will keep your site online and running smoothly no matter what roadblocks present themselves.