Adding new website services or functionality can often cause a knock-on-effect on something else
so we show how to protect your website from the changes that hurt.
Frequently the issues that some changes cause go unnoticed because the change wasn’t thoroughly
tested before going live.
And then there are the website changes you don’t even make but your web host or a hacker
It is all too easy to assume a minor change doesn’t need testing. In my experience that’s
exactly when things go wrong, because it wasn’t tested again, when it should have been.
How to protect a website from changes that hurt
Sometimes things work OK when tested locally on your PC but fail to work when uploaded to the
Sometimes changes cause other things to go wrong due to an oversight, but it also happens
because of a lack of knowledge or experience by the webmaster.
Over time as more changes to a website are made, the problems tend to accumulate usually because
they go unnoticed or unreported.
But does it matter whether a site has broken links, pages not found and missing images ?
Does it matter if the site is not search engine friendly ?
Does it matter if the site is not visitor friendly ?
Well, I hope you would say yes it does !
Why fixing problems with your website matters
- Too many broken links and missing images scream of a broken and un-maintained site to both
visitors and search engines.
- If a site looks un-maintained and neglected visitors are less likely to do business with
- Search engines don’t like sites with broken links because their spiders (bots) get trapped
in link loops trying to find things that don’t exist.
- If your site is slow to crawl because of broken links, poor page coding and slow page load
times, this will eventually affect your site’s ranking with the major search engines.
Google in particular has stated site speed is becoming a more important factor. Slow pages and
slow sites take up more of Google’s resource time so they tend to get crawled less often and less
deeply and that will affect a site’s ranking.
So, I hope you can see why you should be careful when making changes to your site that you don’t
create other problems which add up over time and can hurt the site both with your visitors and
Then there are the problems caused by changes you don’t make, but you web host does. These
generally happen when your web host does updates to their servers that cause one or more of your
hosted site scripts to stop working correctly.
The changes you don’t make
Then there are the hackers who install scripts on your site, hack your contact forms, guestbook
and exploit known security weaknesses in common platforms like drupal, joomla, wordpress and many
well known shopping carts.
You're probably not aware of it but hackers are probing your website every day for weaknesses
they can exploit. And if you think it’s up to your web host to protect your site, you'd be
Let me give you an example of what happened to a real-estate agents website. The client
maintained a property database on a well known platform which was hacked and also infected with a
Trojan virus. This was discovered during an audit of the site.
The web host rather than help, shut down the site until the client had the database removed. The
loss of the site's property database was a major economic blow to this real-estate business.
To see if your site is being probed by hackers check the 404 error logs on your web hosting
account. If there are lots of listings for files and locations on your site that don’t exist your
website is being probed by hackers for weaknesses.
A website audit much like a financial audit can uncover wrong doings and bad practices that
if uncorrected, can over time lead to significant losses of search engine traffic and lost sales.
Carry out a website audit
The best time for a website audit is within 6 months of a site first going live and ideally no
later than 12 months after launch.
An early website audit benefits a new site the most because it can reveal and correct
shortcomings in the design that will put the site on the right path with the search engines and
To your Success
Website Audit Expert