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Ep. 23 Broken Websites, Plugin Nightmares and Keeping Google Happy
Broken Websites, Plugin Nightmares and Keeping Google Happy
After rescuing hundreds of websites from falling apart, getting hacked, being locked out or disappearing all together Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean talk about what it takes to keep your website up and running. From security and backups to keep Google happy you’ll discover there is much more than just paying for hosting.
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Listen or watch the full episode below:
EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION –
(transcription is auto-generated)SAF 23
[00:00:00] Torie: Like this plugin might update and this software might update, but then this one here, isn’t ready for it. And then your website dies.
Apparently, people don’t understand that a website has to be maintained.
[00:00:32] Sean: I think that’s understandable.
[00:00:33] Torie: You think that’s understandable that people don’t understand?
[00:00:37] Sean: They have no idea. Why would they, why would they assume it’s something they have to do?
[00:00:40] Torie: Like it really, it really does have to be taken care of. You cannot just get a website and expect it to sit there for years and years and years. And expect it to work. Like shit’s gonna fall apart.
[00:00:55] Sean: On so many levels, many levels. I mean, to start your website is going to get buried by Google. If you don’t touch it.
[00:01:04] Torie: Google likes new content. So by updating your website, Google’s like, Hey, you’re still there.
Cool. I’m going to index you. I’m going to, I’m going to deliver you to searches. You never do anything to it. Like you make it varied.
[00:01:16] Sean: And then when you start talking about. To various hosting PHB. Yeah. I get constant updates, WordPress updates, then they’re updating constantly.
[00:01:30] Torie: So these, these updates are kind of like your phone, like, you know how, like you do a, an update on your phone so that you get the new normal. IOS or whatever it is, version of whatever the software is. So that is happening on the back of your website. Also. Now it might just make your website faster. A lot of times it’s for security. Sometimes it’s because all these phones are changing. So it’s making sure that your website’s going to be seen on all these different phones and devices and tablets and computers and blah, blah, blah.
Well, the software update, like, and these software updates come out like weekly, daily sometimes. Like, and you have to usually say, yes, I’m accepting this update or you can turn on automatic updates. But the scary thing about that is like every once in a while, because there’s different working parts on a website like this plugin might update and this software might update, but then this one here isn’t ready for it.
And then your website dies. So you gotta like retreat. And like figuring out, like, where do we bring it back? We got to wait a week or so, and then we can like move forward. So. This kind of stuff has to be like, I don’t expect any business owner to figure this out. Like it takes time. It’s something that we manage. But just knowing that you have to maintain this, this is a working operating the, like, if you didn’t update your phone, your phone, isn’t going to work.
[00:02:51] Sean: It is guaranteed your website will break. Without being updated. Oh, it was like, we changed our business model years ago to ensure that all of our clients that we build websites for, get updated.
[00:03:09] Torie: I say required loosely, but we require that you go on a monthly plan for us so that we can monitor your website and update it. We update all of the security. We do all of the software updates, some of the, like we want premium plugins and premium software on there. So we keep all of those updated. There’s all the updates for the different mobile devices and things like that.
And we take care of all of those types of things. Because otherwise, like we spent all this time and all this money and we put out this beautiful website for a client that it just like, and we’re not going to let that happen. Like you can’t let that happen to what could be like your, one of your greatest opportunities for connecting with your audience, for selling your products, for getting in touch with customers.
[00:04:00] Sean: On the front end of the website, as far as. You have to at least update the backend of it. And it sounds simple to just click update, update, update, it’ll break it. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’ll break it for good and then wind up costing you a ton of money to bring it back. And it, and it, and it is because usually of security, it’s either they’re updating the software because it’s newer technology or whatever the case may be. And, or it’s, it’s a security issue that there.
[00:04:33] Torie: There are so many, like, I don’t know who these people are, but they want to put pornographic and selling Viagra links on your website and they will try to hack into your website to put all of these links so that people go to all these, I don’t know, crazy website.
Don’t ask me why. And don’t ask me who these people are, but it is a constant thing. And if you don’t have your website locked down, it will happen. Like we have had a couple of sites that we’ve rescued from this because the people, you know, the clients were with some other web designer with some other people, they weren’t doing anything. And then it’s just like comments and stuff injected into their pages because there’s, they weren’t keeping up on their security.
[00:05:16] Sean: Recent one. You did. How bad was that website? Sorry, completely read a one-page redo was, was better. Yeah.
[00:05:25] Torie: Like I will never suggest that somebody does a one page website because it’s just not going to deliver what you need, especially for SEO and like all these other things.
But when your website is falling over, When, like, I am afraid to update a word on it because it’s just breaking everywhere. Like this is, it was like a quick fix to make it. And now it’s beautiful. It’s one page, but like, it was so bad that I was afraid of even just changing the smallest things because that is what will have.
Man when I started doing websites, like all these people were like, I have all this flash will flash doesn’t work on. Do you remember that? Like flashes and work on phones or anything like that? So people would go to websites and they like someone to all of this money and stuff. And they have this flash website and you go to it on like a phone and it’s just black like nothing happened.
So just because it was the coolest or greatest website, 10 years ago, five years ago. Now it’s like two years ago. You got to keep up with this stuff. Like you wouldn’t let your car run out of oil. You wouldn’t not take it for tune-ups. You wouldn’t put gas in it. Like you have to do all of these things to your website too, which is why when we put our clients on, like these plans, we include updates to the website too because you guys are crappy at updating your website or locking yourself out of your website. So we just like take care of that because your website needs to be updated like right away, whenever you can with new pictures or hours or whatever, these things are. Blog posts, fantastic.
[00:06:50] Sean: Staff changes.
[00:06:55] Torie: Changes person changed these pictures easy. So we take care of that stuff, but none of this stuff can happen if you don’t actually take care of your website. And what do I always say? You need some intention and a little bit of planning. Like you got to figure this stuff out. You can’t just spend five, $10,000 for a website and expect that it’s going to be good to go for the next five years, because that’s not how the internet works.
Because if you want your website to be found on every single different device that all of these different people have, if you don’t want it to get hacked, if you want it to come up on Google, you’ll have to take care of this. Putting all this time and effort, somebody spending all this time to design a website for you half, do you take care of it?
[00:07:43] Sean: So, and that’s the other thing too, is some of these other web designers, if they’re building websites for somebody and then they’re just like good luck with it they, the client doesn’t know that there’s plugins and various apps that have subscriptions to them that, you know, not only are they out of date. But they’re not even functional anymore and they don’t have the key for it.
[00:08:08] Torie: So for example, like there’s a couple of really common form plugins that like, maybe that’s how your, you know, your contact form works or maybe that’s how you get estimates or all these different ways of you collecting data on your website from these clients.
A lot of these are a more premium plugin or it’s something that you have to be registered for. So if you have like one of these design and dash. Website designers that yeah, they hooked it all up for you, but then they’re not there to update it. You don’t have like the key for it. You know, you don’t have the sign up for it.
Like it’s not going to work. So like when you get your website, you need to know what’s on there. If you’re not having somebody take care of it. If you’re not planning on having that company take care of your website.
[00:08:52] Sean: Ask for him to train you right off the bat. Then if they’re not willing to do that, there’s
[00:08:56] Torie: Gary’s already done. Or if they won’t give you logins to it, like that’s a red flag too. Like, I will totally give anybody a log in. Like, I I’m a little concerned that you’re going to go in there and like delete the site because people are crazy. But, but you know what, it’s your site? And if you want to mess it up and you know, I’ll, I’ll fix it and you’ll pay me to fix it.
I’ll gladly do that for you. But if they won’t give you training or they won’t tell you what kind of things are on there and what kind of upkeep that you need. And if they tell you it doesn’t need any up keep then they’re liars like.
[00:09:28] Sean: Like our newer websites, like anybody can update front end content.
[00:09:34] Torie: Like the text or picture, if you want to.
[00:09:36] Sean: If you want to change, you know, hours and like you want to do it yourself, we’ll train you super easy as you.
But when it starts coming to, you know, updating WordPress, updating the theme and updating all the plugins and having all those work cohesively together, not to mention when you’re on the backend of hosting in your, the PHP needs to be updated, like where do you even go for that? That’s not even in your dashboard.
[00:10:04] Torie: If you don’t update, it.
[00:10:06] Sean: Gets to the point to where if you don’t update. Eventually the, the WordPress team and all these other elements are updating to that updated PHP. And now you don’t have that. Then that’s when stuff starts to break.
[00:10:22] Torie: Do you think about, like, if you have a really old phone, you’re like, but I can still make phone calls on it now, but you can’t download any new apps on it because the phone is, you know, eight years.
[00:10:32] Sean: Cause we got kids phones that they can’t play certain games on the old phones that they can.
They went and downloaded on our current phones and play in there. We’ll play that on your phone. Well,
[00:10:41] Torie: it doesn’t work. Because the, the phone, the system, like can’t keep up with the apps and the technology and things like this. It’s not a bad thing. Like things like this are just going to get, I don’t want to say worse, but it, the updates and the level of technology is going to end up getting.
[00:10:59] Sean: Going to make your website faster, which then makes it so that Google wants to show your put website more often when it went to the mobile websites before people were doing, you know, responsive websites and your website. Yeah, you had to scroll over to the left and see, cause it was a desktop website only, but you’re looking at it on a phone. It went to the point to where Google will show that at all.
[00:11:22] Torie: Know, they give you a mobile. Yeah. They, they actually it’s part of like in that it will actually work on mobile and that it doesn’t have any mobile problems is actually something that they score on for showing your website and in your, is it the it’s not in Google my business.
It’s a. Not in analytics, but the other place. So inside of your Google search console, which as you can see, this is Sean’s job. It actually gives you warnings that like there’s a mobility issue on your website, and then you have to go in there and figure out how to fix it. You have too many of those, like Google will not on a phone, give your website as a service option or whatever, you know, search result because your website doesn’t work. Right. And they don’t want people to go to Genki websites. They want you to go to a good website. So if you have all these problems that you’re not addressing, and that you’re not fixing, you are not going to get found. Yes.
[00:12:11] Sean: There’s that, that search console thing, isn’t perfect. Like we get emails constantly saying that stuff’s not right. And you just go in there and you click validate. We’re not even changing anything. Clicking the buttons to verify, which is then going, okay, now it’s all.
[00:12:28] Torie: What are some of the things that like, okay, contents too wide fonts are too big, right? Like you go on there and like the fonts don’t even work or don’t fit on these things.
[00:12:39] Sean: All of our websites, every one that I’ve done. W I’ve never had to go and actually physically fix that on the website. It’s just clicking the button on search console saying validate, and then it goes through its process and it’s like, you’re good to go.
[00:12:52] Torie: I imagine going on some of these people that haven’t done anything to their website, like the one we were just talking about, could you imagine going on their Google search.
[00:12:59] Sean: They might not even be on search. They didn’t have their Google analytics filled out. They don’t have it connected to their search console. They don’t have a Google business and there’s obviously no SEO on the website and it’s super old and outdated and it’s not mobile responsive. Like you might as well not have anything in this day.
[00:13:16] Torie: But all these things are, it’s not like a hard fix. Like yes, you have to kind of know how to do it, or you have to hire somebody how to do it.
And there are these companies that like literally design in dash, like they’ll design you a quick website and then you’ll never hear from them again. And, you know, that’s, that might work for some people and stuff like that. But like for our clients, we really try to stick with them and take care of them and let them know.
We’ll handle all this stuff so that you don’t have to. Because that way, I mean, it’s a lot to keep up with. It really is. And I know like I used to do like all of this stuff, so like half of it, now you do. And so like, that’s like your part, like it’s a lot to keep up with, isn’t it for sure. It really is.
And we have some things that like help us. Paid software that like, there’s no way you’re going to pay for this stuff. Like they give you these different alerts or things like that.
[00:13:59] Sean: Paid software. Isn’t perfect. Because say you pay for the software to update your website automatically for you. Now those, those different elements that weren’t out on the same schedule just broke your website. You might not even know. Yeah. You ever seen a website where it’s just a white screen? That’s usually a bad. And you don’t know until somebody tells you, Hey, your website’s gone.
[00:14:29] Torie: The things that we do, like the backups that we keep and like the, the way that we have everything organized, like it’s, it’s a few clicks and trying to figure this stuff out. If you have never had backups for your website, like your website.
[00:14:39] Sean: Like super we a fade it and it breaks with restored immediately. And you, you wait until the updates all work together.
[00:14:47] Torie: And that’s part of. What you have to do to take care of it is, you know, not just the updates, not just the security, but you need to have backups and you need to have backups that are kept for a certain amount of time because man, these things happen.
[00:15:01] Sean: It’s not expensive. It’s a business expense. It’s like the 3% for the credit cards. Like it’s just, we live in the 21st century. You want your stuff done, right? That’s what it is.
[00:15:15] Torie: And the cool thing about like ours is that we get these, like I said, we have software and we have all this stuff that if something does happen, like we get a notification that a website is down and we’ll usually catch it before anybody else will.
Like some people never go to their own website and it’s usually, you know, somebody else is going to find it like, well, shit, how long has it been down? Like we’re able to monitor that kind of stuff. 24 7 for the most part, and able to get stuff back up and back up that we only have to click a few things and not like redesign a new site.
Cause your stuff’s gone. It’s pretty crazy. So. I just really want people to know that, that it’s, when you get a website, there’s some responsibility and some upkeep that you have to do, and you’re probably going to have to pay monthly so that you don’t have to figure all this stuff out. And it’s probably easier.
It’s like the reoccurring invoices that I was talking about. Like literally I could sit there and do every single invoice by hand still, but do I really need to be doing. No, I have stuff that I need to be doing, and I need to automate that part of my business and this whole thing, like with upkeeping, your business, your website, if you’re not ready to do that kind of stuff, like you need to find somebody to do it for you. It’s important.
[00:16:31] Sean: Do a better, and they can do it faster. So you can do what makes you money.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + to make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
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