In our fifth week of our mini-checklists designed to help website developers and do-it-yourself website-operators, we are going to focus on your the actual website location and technology used.
#30: Domain Name Registered for 5+ Years
Yes, that’s right, 5+ years. Website domain names that are registered for less than 5+ may be considered “likely not to be around” for any substantial amount of time by Google. It doesn’t cost much to register a domain name for a few extra years, so if you’re serious about having your website succeed, register for at least 5 years at a time.
#29: Web Hosting with TLS/SSL
Google has hinted that it may give weight to websites that are entirely protected via HTTPS. It’s a small point, which often requires a bit of work, but if you’re looking for every edge, then you should invest in what is known as an SSL (although we don’t technically use Secure Socket Layer protocols any longer — the protocols used are now TLS) certificate. It may cost you anywhere from $50-$300/year for the security certificate, depending upon the encryption methods you choose. In addition, not all hosting plans include a dedicated IP address which is required for a security certificate, so you may have to pay an additional monthly fee in addition to your web hosting.
#28: Website Backups In Place
Make sure that if your web hosting provider doesn’t have daily backups in place, that you sign up for a website backup service. Hardware can fail, or you can have an incursion on your website — it’s inevitable, so make sure you have a backup.
#27: Sufficient Server Traffic Capacity
If you’re just starting off, and you expect ~50-100 visitors/day (which is typical for a small local based business just starting a website), then a shared hosting plan is what you should be looking at. Shared hosting ranges anywhere from $10-$25/month. Consider that for your monthly fee you’re leasing computer hard drive space, internet traffic, possibly email, database technology, nevermind the support and technical skills of a human being to make sure it stays working. Don’t cheap out with a free plan — you’re going to get what you pay for.
If you’re going to go big, and are expecting in the area of 1000 visitors per day, then you should look at a Dedicated server.
If you’re expecting on getting 5,000+ visitors per day, then you really should hire a professional IT team to manage your infrastructure.
#26: Website Monitoring Set Up
Having a beautiful and engaging website is great, provided it’s online. How do you know that it’s online? By going to it with your web browser? Are you on it every second of every day? Probably not.
We ourselves use a website monitoring app called Vigil by Heirloom.
Vigil alerts you within seconds of your website going offline. If you know it’s offline, then you can call your tech team to get it back online.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks mini-website checklist. Stay tuned for more tips in the coming weeks!