I know, we’re all thinking about Christmas still and about to break up for the holidays. We picked our turkey up this morning and my decorations went up over the weekend so it really is starting to feel festive in the Crunch Net/Flaming Paper offices. The thing about being in business, of course, is that you rarely get a chance to live in the moment and we all need to be looking to the future, both in terms of cashflow and jobs. I’m sure many of you have already thought about what you’ll be doing in 2016. As we wind down over Christmas, do spare a thought for your poor old website, however. Your site probably hasn’t had as much love as it deserves. Unless you have someone managing it, they rarely do. So, just before Christmas, here are 5 tips that you can use on your website to make sure it’s ready for the new year.
1. Replace Out Of Date Photos
Have you got any photos (especially on the homepage) that have been hanging around for a while? Believe it or not, just refreshing these could bring a little new life into a website. Changing these photos also lets you think about the direction of the company and your target market. If this has changed over the past year but your website hasn’t, now is the time to really focus on who your main market is and choose photos that appeal to them.
2. Check Your Links
You would be surprised at the amount of websites that go offline or have broken links. In my yearly review of this site, I found several links that I had to other websites that had since closed their doors. Check both your internal and external links so that Google doesn’t get angry with you for linking to nothing. This is as simple as clicking on each link on your website and making sure there is a page at the end of it but that can be a bit of work. Instead you can use http://www.deadlinkchecker.com to find those missing links.
3. Update Company & Team Pages
We’ve all got about pages, right? Perhaps you tell people about your team? What have they achieved this year? How has your company changed? This is all great information to update now. Has one of your partners or employees broken a world record? Has a new venture pushed your business in a new and exciting direction. Tell new visitors to your website all about it. Updating this section also lets you prune anything that isn’t useful anymore. It’s a great use of your time, doesn’t take long but can have an impact further down the line.
4. Update Passwords
It’s always a good idea to be on top of usernames and passwords. If you have control of your CMS system, this might be a good idea for everyone to choose a new password for the new year. You never know, sometimes just by changing this you will close up a security hole you didn’t know you had. I’m always a little pragmatic with passwords. Security is one thing but it’s no good being too overzealous or you forget how to log in to any of your accounts. A yearly password change, however, probably won’t hurt and should allow you to increase safety a little without too much hassle.
5. Update The Blog
Yes, aren’t you all very bad at writing blogs? I am too but it’s a really great way to increase the reach of your website and it’s content that you can share around as well. It’s Christmas now, write about it and what your company is doing over the festive season. Not only that, it’s New Years in a week and another perfect opportunity for your to schedule a blog post about where you’re going in the new year. Remember, content is king and the blog is the way of increasing your content. Don’t miss the opportunity.
These are just a few of the many things that websites need in order to stay fresh and relevant. A website should be a living, breathing thing but all to often we get one and then think “that’s it, I’ll not look at it again until I want to change it”… well, we might not think that but that is what happens. Keeping your website neat, tidy and relevant will increase its life and its usefulness. These little audits could mean the difference between a stagnant site and one that people trust. Get to it now, because it will, all too soon, be time for your website spring clean!
What will you be doing to clean up your website this year?