For most people who operate websites, their focus is on one or two main sites, and they are constantly working on those sites. Some people may have more sites than that, but ultimately, they spend their time working on their websites, so if something goes wrong, they know very quickly.
For domain investors who operate websites, their main focus may not be on their websites. Even if sites are generating tens of thousands of dollars a year in income, the sites may not be the primary focus. That means when there is a minor (or even a major) problem on a website, it might not be noticed right away.
One of my least trafficked websites is one that I haven’t done much with in a couple of months. Every now and again a new advertiser pays for an advertisement and I add an article or two for the blog. It’s sort of a “set it and forget it” type of directory website I built. This morning, I was approving an advertiser’s new listing when I did a couple of searches on the site. Nada. For some reason, the site isn’t returning results. Big problem in my book.
Fortunately, somewhere around 90% of the traffic is from search engines and goes to internal pages so the search functionality isn’t critical, but losing 10% of the traffic to a malfunctioning website is not good at all. It doesn’t leave a good impression on visitors and certainly advertisers. Unfortunately though, nobody emailed me about the issue and I didn’t notice it over the last month or so since the last update was done.
When you operate a number of websites and your primary focus isn’t those websites, you need to make sure you visit every week or two just to check on things. The sites may be fully functional on their own, but things happen, plugins break, and other issues come up that need to be resolved.
Luckily for me, this isn’t as embarrassing as it could have been had an advertiser noticed, but it is an important lesson for me and for those of you who passively operate websites.