So, a little while ago you got a lovely new website for your business.
You invested a good amount of time, money and effort into designing and building it.
And you were thrilled with it when it was done.
But … you’ve not touched it since.
If this is you, don’t stress. The above is pretty much par for the course. Most businesses do it.
Websites need ongoing care, however, to keep working as hard for you as they do on the day they launch. If your website was writing a letter to Santa this Christmas, here’s what it would be asking for:
1. New content
Chances are, things have changed in your business since your website launched. Prices and staff bios might need updating. Product and service descriptions might need expanding. Your much-neglected blog could do with a new post.
If you give your website some updated content for Christmas, it will reward you by letting Google know to, ‘Come here! There’s new stuff to see.’ (Google also ranks sites with fresh, new content higher than those with static content.)
Not just that, it means potential clients/customers are getting the most up to date information possible. There’s nothing worse than seeing a price on a website, and finding out a business has updated their price list since.
2. A speed injection
Website speed has become a major factor for ranking in search engine results and if your site has lain fallow for a while – or if you’ve been doing your own product/content updates – there’s a good chance there are things on there that are slowing it down. Huge images are a common culprit when it comes to websites running slow. If your site is chugging a bit – it’s worth getting a pro to figure out why, and remedy the situation.
Speaking of plugin updates …
If your website is built on WordPress, (and all the websites we design certainly are), it’s essential that you keep your plugins, theme and WordPress installation up to date. If you don’t, you’re making your site vulnerable to hackers.
Updates are just one way to make your site more secure. I’ve outlined four other security considerations in this post.
4. Back ups
When was the last time you backed up your website? Chances are it was … never.
Most people rely on their website hosts to keep backups, and yes, they do. But you should always have your own backups of your website, and multiple backups at that.
This is particularly important if your site is not secure and it gets hacked. Often hacks take a few weeks to show up. Most web hosts keep only the most recent backup copy of your site, and this backup is usually 3-5 days old. If your site was hacked and two weeks ago and the backup your host can access is only three days old, that backup version of the site will also contain the hack.
I share the best way to back up your WordPress website here (your website host needs to use cPanel … happily most of them do).
5. Mobile friendliness
Is your website mobile-friendly? (i.e. Is your website responsive in design?)
If not, it’s now more important than ever that it is. Google recently switched to a mobile-first index and, with more than 50% of users accessing websites via their phones these days, it’s ridiculously important that your website is easy to navigate and use on mobile devices. If it’s not, and your competitor’s sites are, you’ll be losing potential customers at a mad rate.
6. Form checkups
Do you have forms on your site? Like on your contact and services pages? It’s time to check those forms and ensure you’re actually receiving the enquiries people submit via those forms.
People really, really like using forms to contact businesses. If yours don’t work as they should, you can only imagine the work you might be missing out on.
So, there you go. A pretty reasonable Christmas wishlist I reckon. Nothing too dramatic.
Now, be a good Santa.
Deliver your website its six wishes 😉