Umbraco Audits and Website SEO Health Checks
Is your Umbraco website running sluggish or not performing as it did when you launched?
When did you last have an Audit of your Umbraco website? From our experience, the answer most will give is: “never”, yet you are not alone. As a result, we’ve seen this lack of this care and attention become a major problem and cost lots of money for some businesses. Auditing your website ensures the best bill of health possible and gives you peace of mind to expect a continued smooth running of your investment. Despite this, we also see a lot of businesses give website audits a very low priority. The logic itself seems sound on the surface, if something isn’t broke, why fix it?
For many CMS systems including Umbraco, the picture isn’t nearly this simple, These are very complex web applications and like a vehicle, inspection and testing can reveal ‘under the hood’ issues with the engine or components which won’t yet be visible to the driver. In some cases invisible issues can continue for years before finally either becoming chronic enough to take the website offline or having created a series of new, ‘run-on’ problems which suddenly become visible that then need separately fixing – our Umbraco Website Audit service can help.
Here, we will detail many of the common situations we’ve seen, the types of symptoms you can expect and why even a single Umbraco audit of your website now is a no-brainer for every business, even if this is the only one you’ve ever considered!
How Do I benefit from an audit of my Umbraco Website?
One of the more common problem with neglected Umbraco websites, particularly those running for a year or two, is the lack of housekeeping and maintenance of page data.
Each time you make a change to a page in your site, a new version of that page is created and the old one also kept as part of Umbraco’s audit trail. This means that every single change you have ever made to your Umbraco website, is still there and has resulted in an entirely new version of the entire page being added to your database. As you also add new pages, you can see the growth of the size of your data is exponential and can quickly spiral out of control leading to some catastrophic consequences.
A reasonably active website with a few thousand nodes, running for a couple of years typically can have tens- if not hundreds-of-thousands of entries in Umbraco’s database within this timeframe. This will make the entire site and cache rebuilding take much longer. If you have never had an Umbraco audit and this situation is left unchecked, this can actually take your website offline, as Umbraco will be unable to rebuild it’s XML cache in time needed to serve the web pages to the end visitor. This then cannot be solved right away without a careful manually cleanup of the database.
Even if you never have a serious outage like this, having an Umbraco audit that helps remove data you don’t need will ensure a much faster page load speed, and even give your better rankings and visibility in search engines like Google which now use the speed of your pages as a ranking factor.
When did you last empty your recycle bin?
Likewise, every node you delete goes into the recycle bin – but is kept, with all their revisions in their entirety. When was the last time you emptied your recycle bin? This is also something we see many businesses neglect. In most Umbraco versions prior to 7, after the first few hundred nodes are added here, it may no longer be possible to empty your recycle bin, because Umbraco will actually ‘time out’ trying to do this for you, (i.e. the operation takes so long that it gets aborted). Your only option now is to take your website to your Umbraco developer for them to manually clean these up via the database or custom written code, which takes time and will likely cost money that could have been avoided!
Have you checked your Umbraco site is security patched?
In some versions of Umbraco, security flaws are discovered and will need ‘patching’ to close them off from being exploited by malicious attackers. Umbraco typically will release upgrades to fix bigger, long term issues, but in some cases will release ‘hot fixes’ to quickly patch suddenly discovered vulnerabilities. These need applying right away – each day this is not done, is another day your website could be taken down and your data stolen by a ruthless and grubby competitor or just a hacker looking to make a quick bit of cash. An Umbraco audit will not only help identify any out of date code and packages that might make your website vulnerable.
Umbraco SEO health check
Another great advantage to your business of an Umbraco audit is to ensure the best health of your Umbraco’s SEO. This ensures your business gets optimum visibility in search engines and that no technical SEO issues are hampering your climb up the rankings. Huge benefits can be reaped by making even a small changes such as ensuring the keywords and page titles are displayed correctly. Ensuring page names and URL structures are optimal. Many businesses we work with enjoy extra opportunities by exploiting some of the quick wins relating to Umbraco SEO and careful tweaks that ensure better overall performance from your Umbraco websites SEO.
Are you keen on unlocking the full potential of your Umbraco site to your business? Why not get in touch and request a website audit today.