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No better time than now to make sure your website is up to date and includes some of the basics (and not). Whether it’s a new or old website, one that is under construction, here’s a small list of questions you should ask yourself about it.
How fast does my website load and in general, how well does it perform?
Speed, visibility on mobile, needed code fixes… all are things you should care about in terms of your website. If it loads slow, you lose customers, if it’s not visible well on mobile, visitors lose interest, if the code is having problems, some of the pages on your website might bug.
We created a list of 8 free tools to test your website's performance. If you don’t want to test your website on all of them - we recommend to test it on 2 reliable and important tools: Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. According to the results you get, consider your next move and whether your website needs improvements.
Does my website run on https?
Simply put, the “s” in https is a layer of security that is added to your website. You might say at this point that there are no big secrets on your website or that you don’t have much traffic and therefore security is not a big deal for you. You might be right but one thing you must keep in mind is that Google Chrome lately started marking websites that run without this layer – meaning “http” instead of “https” as “not secure”. That means that users that visit your website get the wrong impression from the first second. Moving your website to https is not a very complicated task, make sure to contact a developer to get it done.
Is the Copyright updated?
Most websites are built on a template, and most templates feature a copyright with a year by default. Commonly this is placed in the footer. The main issue is that the year appearing by default (at least in most templates that don’t include a dynamic year that updates automatically) is the one when the website was created. Many brands forget to update it every beginning of a new year and so it happens that websites feature outdated year in their footer. Another scenario that is not a good one for you - this can also mislead users to think that the year in the copyright is the year the company was founded… Updating the copyright is a few seconds work, and if you ask us about the template that we recommend that would be “copyright year_founded-current_year” making the current year a dynamic parameter that updates itself accordingly.
How’s my business’s location-on-map looking on the website?
As it’s a common way for businesses to show their exact location on their website with their Google maps’ location and as Google updates its apps and software quite frequently, you might wake up one day in the morning, visit your website and see a new error appearing on the Google Maps feature on your website... Check with the person who is responsible for your website which update is needed to fix it.
Are emails sent out from my contact form?
Having a contact form - that’s a no brainer, if you don’t have a contact form on your website, you must make sure to implement one as soon as possible. If you want clients and potential clients to be able to get in touch with you, adding your phone number and email address is simply not enough. There are plenty of contact forms you can easily customize and add to your website. After implementing a form, you must make sure it works and do the test frequently. These forms can bug sometimes and that's not a good idea to not know about it!
Do I have a CAPTCHA on the contact form?
You know that “I’m not a robot”/”how much is 2+3?”/”Choose only the houses in the picture” thingy you see everywhere on websites in general and contact forms in particular? That’s CAPTCHA, which stands for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart”. It might look annoying and unnecessary but the reality is that this small feature is helping to block spammers and bots from your website and preventing a LOT of spam messages from getting into your inbox. Here again, a CAPTCHA is something very easy to add, contact the relevant person and ask them to add it, we recommend Google’s CAPTCHA.
Can people subscribe to my mailing list via the contact form?
It’s always challenging and a long-term mission to build a mailing list. We wrote a bit about leads (which are not exactly the same but from the same world of business goals) in this article, so here we would just like to suggest another way to grow your list: add an option to - actively, not passively due to GDPR regulations - join your list while leaving a message on your website. People who contact you through the website are most likely within your target audience and definitely have an interest in your company so enable them to get on board easily! Contact your website admins and ask them to add above, best will be to connect same with your existing mailing list so it will be updated automatically on your mailing facility (MailChimp or others).
Do I encourage people to join my mailing list while they’re on the website?
In case the user doesn’t leave her/his contact details, that’s no reason to not encourage them joining your list. Make sure you have a dedicated area on your website to enable people to subscribe to your updates. Whether it’s in the footer, as a pop-up just before they leave, in the main menu – make sure this option exists and grow your list with potential customers. There are free plugins or services like AppSumo where you can add a pop up to your website.
For more marketing recommendations for your website – visit Marketing checklist for your website.
Does my website have a Favicon?
Favicon is the small icon you see on your browser when visiting a website. Maybe not many people notice it, but the existence of favicon (or lack of it) does indicate attention to details (or lack of it). It’s usually your logo or part of it, and it’s very easy to implement.
Is my website being backed up?
Just to be on the safe side, and as you wouldn't want to lose your worth-of-years website work - make sure it is being backed up frequently - whether it is via your hosting or a backup tool.
Voila ! These were 10 questions to get your website more 2019-ready. If you need any help with the above, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!
Otherwise, if you have anything else to add, please do so in the comments section below!
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