Chop Chop! 5 Website Tweaks to Make Before the Holidays!

Website Planning, Working with WordPress

I know it seems a bit early to be talking about “next year” but seriously, why do we wait for January 1st to start making plans for the New Year?

Why does everything have to wait until the clock strikes midnight to become motivated enough to throw away the habits that no longer serve you, commit to lose that last 20lbs, resolve to make some drastic changes or set in place your business plan for the coming year?

This year I’m resolving to make October the new January.

I want to hit the ground running in the new year. In my experience, when planning is left for the new year, I find myself running around like a headless chook trying to tie up any loose ends so I can relax with my family for the festive season.

Then, when it’s time to get back to work, I can’t even call it a fast-walk…I do more of a crawl to the starting line simply because I have no plan. No definite place to start. And not even a small goal to begin the year because it’s always been the “done thing” to set new goals for your business in the new year.

Included in my business plan are website tweaks that keep working for me even if I’m not there.

when planning is left for the new year, I find myself running around like a headless chook trying to tie up any loose ends so I can relax with my family for the festive season. Then, when it’s time to get back to work, I can’t even call it a fast-walk…I do more of a crawl to the starting line simply because I have no plan. No definite place to start. And not even a small goal to begin the year because it’s always been the “done thing” to set new goals for your business in the new year. Included in my business plan are website tweaks that keep working for me even if I’m not there.

Here’s my top 5 website tweaks for you to get cracking on before you take leave:

1. If you don’t have a website, there has never been a better time to get one.

Imagine being on holiday + coming back to fresh new leads. I don’t know about you, but that’s my idea of a great start to the new year!

2. Does your current opt in offer convert as well as you’d like?

If not, keep plugging away at it. Growing your list on auto is not just a smart move but also; nothing says “you’re on the right track” better than acquiring a healthy list of subscribers – Ok, I lie. Having your subscribers write to tell you that themselves is pretty amazing too!

Your lists growth should be motivation enough to get you churning out more awesomeness when you get back to the office.

3. Sign up to your list – Yes. You.

You’ll want to be sure that your forms are working as they should. And while we’re on the subject, check in with the copy of your email sequence. You’ll be surprised at what you might find as you re-read it. Broken links, spelling mistakes or maybe the tone no longer feels right?

Another form to check {or triple check} is your contact form. Now would be a brilliant time to prepare an autoresponder so the sender doesn’t think this is another one of those websites that’s been left to collect dust.

4. Install + run Broken Link Checker.

Broken links aren’t just a real bummer to the people clicking them, they can cause real damage to you in the search engines. Worst case scenario, your site stops being indexed by the search engines.

Broken link checker scans your site regularly for any dead or broken links then notifies you via email so you can get on to it immediately. How’s that for convenience!

5. Secure your WordPress Website.

The last thing you want is for your website to be gone when you get back. Here are 4 bonus tips you can implement yourself to minimize the risk:

  • Don’t use “admin” as your username. It’s the default for WordPress and is the first word hackers will attempt to use. While you’re at it, if your password is weak, it’s probably time to change that too. Go to Strong Password Generator to randomly generate one or just strengthen the one you currently have.
  • Update to the latest version of WordPress. WordPress provides updates with security fixes often. Don’t ignore them. It’ll take less than a minute and could be the most valuable minute you spend this year.
  • Create a full back up of your website. I use BackupBuddy. It’s a premium solution that runs on auto (once configured) and sends the backups to a remote location of your choice. Well worth the investment for peace of mind. A free alternative which I’ve used is BackWPup.
  • Install the Login Lockdown plugin. This will limit the number of failed login attempts made by a single user.

Here’s a double bonus tip!

Depending on how long you’re going to be away from the office, schedule posts for at least 2 weeks after you come back. That means, have enough fresh content going out for the time you’ll be away plus an additional 2 weeks after you come back. This should give you enough time to get your head back in the game to avoid falling behind.

So whaddaya say?

Are you with me in this crusade to hit the ground running in the new year + make October the new January? Do you have a New Year planning ritual that works for you? Tell us in the comments below.

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