When was the last time you checked on your business website? Have you committed the cardinal sin of web design and left it alone since it went live?
We share 7 things you should check on your website each month in this infographic.
The key points are below:
- Check your links
- Update your content
- Test on new browsers and devices
- Double check all forms
- Update all hacks and workarounds
- Have a backup plan
Check out the infographic for more detail.
Most website owners don’t think about checking on their site every day or week, let alone every month. But if you want to have a successful site, you need to be making sure your content and design are up-to-date and working well with the latest technology.
Here are seven things you should check on your website every month to keep it running smoothly and attract more visitors.
Check your links
One of your main goals is to have visitors navigate your site, right? So you don’t want them clicking around your site only to find dead ends. On a regular basis, search for broken links or pages that aren’t loading.
If you discover a page that isn’t working as intended, update it as soon as possible. Likewise, if you find links that are out-of-date, update them so they direct traffic where they need to go. This will help ensure all link clicks on your site are worthwhile ones.
Though fixing these problems can be done via manually checking each page individually, you can also make changes more quickly by using program like Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
It crawls through your entire website and automatically detects issues. The program then generates an easy-to-read report, which allows you to quickly fix what needs to be fixed before Google notices any errors.
Update your content
Even if you’re a one-person business, don’t let your website become stagnant. At a minimum, revisit your content every month to make sure everything is accurate and relevant.
Get some feedback from friends and customers who have been on your site recently, too. Are they finding what they need? Did anything change (and if so, how will it affect them)?
Maybe you should also check Google Analytics every now and then to see how people are engaging with your content. It might be time for an overhaul or just something as simple as adding more keyword phrases.
If all else fails, ask yourself: Do I really need these pages? If not, maybe it’s time for an update! Make sure your contact information, hours of operation, location information—everything that describes you—is up to date and easy to find.
Make sure you can easily share new work or special events with your followers; that means choosing social media networks that work best for reaching those groups (and ensuring those profiles and accounts are updated regularly).
Ask yourself if sharing events like contests and giveaways is important; they not only bring people back again and again but remind them why they liked you in the first place.
Test on new browsers and devices
Browsers and devices get more advanced every year, so you can’t be sure your website will look right on them unless you test it.
New versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and mobile browsers are released several times per year—each with their own bugs to hunt down—and mobile phones change almost monthly as new models arrive on the market.
If your website is anything but HTML text and photos, you should check for compatibility between each version.
Even if it’s not a custom design like a theme or site framework, testing should still be part of regular maintenance and standard practice. (If you use WordPress or Joomla, keep an eye out for plugins that may cause issues.)
If nothing else, make sure to double-check that your essential pages load properly in different browsers before making changes to ensure they still work properly afterward!
If you don’t know where to start there are tons of resources online with free learning tools such as Code Academy which provide interactive lessons and quizzes so you can learn as much as possible at your own pace.
Double check all forms
Most people (especially those that run online businesses) know that forms are great ways to get leads. But, they can also be a burden if they don’t work as intended.
Make sure you aren’t losing leads because of your contact form—make sure it is functioning properly and doesn’t crash your site when someone submits it.
More importantly, double check your thank you page, and make sure customers receive an email after filling out a form.
Update all hacks and workarounds
Bad developers (and even good ones) often use short-term solutions to get things done, only to discover later that they’ve left behind a mess of code that needs to be redone.
Unfortunately, most people never think about checking their website for hacks like these—but if you want your website to run smoothly (and you care about its long-term maintenance), keep an eye out for them.
Have a backup plan
When something goes wrong with your website, you want to be able to find a solution quickly. A solid backup plan can save you valuable time and money.
Having a recent backup handy is essential for fixing any damage that has occurred—and taking preventative measures against similar incidents in the future.
So how do you back up your website? If your website’s hosted with us, it comes with built-in backups to make sure that all of your hard work is safe and sound.
The same principles apply if you run your own server; an offsite backup will help ensure that none of your content is lost forever.