Website Technical Health Check

What is a Website Technical Health Check?

Health checks are key to identifying issues, and implementing positive changes to improve your website.

What is a Website Technical Health Check?

Here are some common scenarios where health checks may be required:

  • After a website has been launched and a programme of BAU change is about to take place
  • When helping an organisation make decisions about the future investment for a website
  • When onboarding a new client if they are planning to stay on their CMS

A common reason for a health check is to give a business confidence that their website is stable.  If this stability is in question you then need recommendations for the best route to achieving this stability. This could be a prioritised list of changes and fixes to either: stay on the same version of your current CMS or enable an upgrade.  

Health Checks should be tailored to make sure they answer pressing questions within your business.

Each item in your health check should come with a recommendation based on best practice, experience and any factors specific to your situation. For example, you might be looking to explore moving your hosting from on prem to online, considerations like this should all be brought in to be answered by a health check. As well as recommendations you should ask for the health check to outline the pros and cons of each option open to you. For example what are the pros and cons of:

  • Remaining on the current version of your CMS
  • Upgrading
  • Rebuilding
  • Moving to a different hosting model
  • Changing CMS platform

This nuance is a key as it allows our clients to make a decision in the most fully informed way possible.

Man drawing randoms boxes and technical terms on a whiteboard

We recommend that an initial version of the health check is reviewed so your team can feedback on any areas where more detail might be required. It might be useful to ask for a presentation of the health check’s findings at a high level. This will give stakeholders across the business visibility and they can voice any questions or other avenues of future exploration. If possible this feedback should be incorporated into the final health check.

It is important that any health check follows a clear format and that the report is tailored to the language, and set up of the client. We use a traffic light system to help our clients prioritise issues. Here is an example from an old Sitecore Heath Check exec summary we provided a client with.

Critical 

Three issues: 

·      Windows update process failing on a public web server. 

·      Patches missing on a public web server. 

·      Lack of evidence showing Sitecore security patches installed on web servers. 

Serious 

Two issues: 

·      Incorrect database connection configuration on a public web server. 

·      Incorrect email-sending configuration on an authoring server. 

Moderate 

Five issues, including: 

·      Occasional memory pressure errors on a public web server. 

·      Missing SQL Server Service Pack 

·      Possible errors in security hardening of public web servers. 

·      Rendering issue with “not found” page 

Minor 

Three issues. 

Suggestion 

Two issues. 

 

The table above shows a clear snapshot of priority issues which should be resolved and a high-level summary of what they should be. Of course, the rest of the report goes into more depth on each area of the implementation but our clients have found this high level summary very useful.

Please find out more about our health checks here https://www.clerkswell.com/services/health-check-and-audit/

Thinking your website might need a health check? Get in touch!

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