8 Simple Ways To Improve Your Website These Holidays
The holidays are upon us once again but there’s still time to improve your website before then. Whether you’re going on vacation for 4 weeks or 4 days, I’ve got you covered with some handy tips to holiday-proof your website.
I’ve also created a handy checklist for those of you who, like myself, love the feeling of accomplishment that “crossing things off” gives you.
DOWNLOAD IT HERE
Keep your website users happy these holidays [tweet it!]
The user experience is possibly one of the most overlooked observations by website owners. It hardly makes sense to me since a website should be designed for users not for the business owner. Thinking about what they want to do and helping them to do it with minimal fuss is what it’s all about.
I highly encourage you to get a peek inside the mind of your users by signing up here for Peek’s usability test. You’ll receive a 5 minute video of a real person using your site. They’ll answer a few key questions including:
- Their first impression of the web page they land on
- What they think that page is for
- What is the first thing they would like to do on that page
- What stood out the most
- What was the most frustrating thing about the website.
All very important questions that we should all continue to be curious enough to get answers to but before you do, you should read and download my checklist of practical tips to create a website your users love.
Make sure your website is responsive [tweet it!]
This year Google announced that they would be giving priority to sites that were mobile friendly over those that weren’t, a sign that we’ve well and truly entered the mobile age so it’s more important than ever that your website is responsive. Having a responsive website means that your users have an ideal experience while navigating, reading and interacting with your site across a wide range of devices.
There’s a wide range of Mobile Ready plugins available in the WordPress Directory that will help you if your site is not yet responsive. And if you’re ready to re-brand your website, I invite you to check out my web design services. Each of my services includes responsive design while ensuring your branding remains intact.
Improve site speed. [tweet it!]
As we add more and more images to our sites to quench the users visual thirst, our sites are becoming slower and slower. And, since the world entered the mobile age, users have become increasingly more impatient. Fortunately there’s an easy, set & forget way to ease the load on your website.
WP Smush is a free WordPress plugin that reduces your image file sizes without losing quality while improving your site loading time. When you install it, you can Smush bulk images then you can set to auto-smush on upload. How convenient!
Thank your clients & opening hours/days [tweet it!]
Don’t overlook your clients this year for without them, you wouldn’t have a business. Take the time and tell them how much they are appreciated. And if you’re planning a hiatus over the holidays, give them and your followers the heads up. You can send out an email or an e-card. You might also want to add a special note about your holiday hours on your website (contact page). Important things to note are//
- The days you’ll be away
- When you expect to be back in the office
- When they can expect a response to their submission
- Other ways you can be contacted (only if it’s an emergency of course!!)
Set up a vacation response for your email [tweet it!]
This is something we think about doing every year but never get around to doing. Make time today to get it D.O.N.E. It’s a really great way to set expectations for those who might contact you while you’re away. And, while we’re talking about people contacting you…
Make sure your contact forms are actually working [tweet it!]
Has your inbox been a bit quiet lately? When was the last time you checked your contact form was actually working? There’s many reasons why contact forms stop working but the point is, it does happen so go ahead and contact yourself just to be sure. While you’re at it, make sure your site’s contact page or details are clearly visible from each page of your website.
Having to forage around a site for contact details is not one of my favourite pastimes. It’s high on my “biggest frustrations” list at the moment. I’ve visited many sites over the last few weeks (in search of gifts) that have made it so damn hard to find their contact details so I can ask questions about their products. In the end, I opted to stop wasting my time on their sites and seek out similar sites that understand potential customers sometimes have questions.
Protect your website [tweet it!]
While the cat’s away the mice will play…fortunately, I know of (and use religiously) an awesome security plugin that will keep your site from being compromised by nuisance hackers.
Wordfence is a “must have”, all in one security solution with real time monitoring and the best part is, it’s free! What are you waiting for? Go and get it now!
Backup your website [tweet it!]
Before you consider taking that hiatus, be sure that you have a complete backup of your website. There would be nothing worse than getting back to the office and your site is gone. Do not go on holiday without one!
I use and recommend BackupBuddy. It can be run manually or set to run to a schedule on auto and once configured, it can send the backups to a remote location of your choice (ie; dropbox).
So, if there’s only one tip you implement to improve your website this year, make sure it’s backing up your website!
And if you’re ready to take on the entire list, be sure to download your checklist below because these website tips are sure to improve your website for happier clients, customers, website visitors and peace of mind for yourself these holidays.
Download the Checklist
I’d love to hear how you intend to holiday proof your website these holidays. If you’ve got any additional tips (or questions), I’m listening 🙂
Have you downloaded The Essential Website Planning Checklist yet?
I invite you to go ahead and do that now. Anyone with a little know how can build a website but few people are aware of the planning and strategy involved in building a website that actually works to meet your goals.
GET THE CHECKLIST!