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Spring cleaning for sites and blogs

March 12, 2017

Clean me

Photo: Aimee Rivers (CC)

First of two parts …

For springtime, let’s get our sites and blogs in the best shape possible. That means spending some time on spring cleaning.

Taking time to evaluate and fix our sites can mean a better user experience and more business.

1. Make sure all information is correct. Check staff listings, hours of operation, phone number, email address, job listings, products, services, even copyright info.

You may need to update old photos and graphics. Enlist your web developer and art department if needed.

2. Test the site on mobile. Whether you use a mobile theme or responsive design, pull up as many pages as you can on as many phones and tablets as you can manage. You can also use a free emulator site such as MobileTest.me.

Does the site load quickly and cleanly? Does it show relevant info to the mobile user? Is it easy to navigate and click on links and buttons?

3. Check all the links. Specifically, check links to social media channels, internal pages and external sites.

Use one of the many free tools, such as BrokenLinkCheck.com.

4. Slim down the site. Unneeded pages? Chuck ’em. Same for plugins, code snippets (such as for third-party services), embedded videos, Flash doodads, maps, slideshows, calendars and so on.

Be ruthless. Load time is measured in milliseconds, and users are more impatient than ever.

Check the site speed with Google’s free PageSpeed Insights.

5. Test a few more things. Make sure Google Analytics is installed properly and showing current data.

Test your newsletter signup form and contact form. And your shopping cart. And your live chat feature. And make sure to test them again on mobile.

6. Check for backups. Automated full-site backups is an insurance policy in case of server outages, hacker attacks and other problems. Be absolutely certain that your entire site is backed up automatically on a regular basis (monthly, at the very least).

Also, check the backup files for integrity and access. If you can’t get to them or install them, they’re not doing what you need them to do.

Don’t put off this annual checkup. Getting a spouse or an intern — anyone with fresh eyes — to click through and read your company site and blog will help you zero in on the trouble spots.

A good spring cleaning will help your brand shine online for the months to come.

Part 2: Spring cleaning for social media

• • •

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. natecrowell permalink
    March 13, 2017 2:48 pm

    hey wade, these tips are right on. the amount of spring cleaning my site needs almost feels overwhelming. I’d never heard of the mobile eumulator. Thanks!

    • March 14, 2017 9:18 pm

      You’re welcome — good luck and happy cleaning, Nate!

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