Is your website up and running or are you about to launch it?
Having a website checklist is essential to make sure nothing is missing from your website and you have crossed all your T and marked all your i.
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Let’s cover all the essentials here.
1. SECURITY. As so many people use website building tools to create their website, hackers nowhere to login to your website backend, they then use little evil bots to try and guess your login details and if your website is out of date or you have an easy login username then this can make it easier for them to hack.
The main reason hackers want to access your website is to hijack your website traffic, by adding code that links back to their own websites. Read through my blog post Website security for WordPress and check out our website maintenance packages to help keep your website secure.
2. SPAM PREVENTION. If you have a blog or allow comments on your pages, products etc then you need to have a good Antispam plugin. This is to prevent random spam comments.
Some businesses try to divert your website traffic to their pages so they might add a comment like “Great post, check out…….” And they then link it back to their website, this is called black hat SEO and can lower your search rankings as well by having links to non-suitable websites.
Using an anti-spam plugin adds a hidden field that can tell if the comment is from a real-life person or a bot and filters out these bad bot comments. I recommend any WordPress users use Akismet or anti-spam by Webvitaly plugins.
3. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION. It’s all good to create a website or have one created for you, however, if it’s not optimized for search engines you will never make it to the first few searches for your keywords. For WordPress users, I recommend the Yoast SEO plugin. Also make sure your website is linked to google search console, once this is done then your website will be submitted to Google. You can do this through the Bing search engine tool as well.
4. WEBSITE ANALYTICS. To help improve your website sales you need to monitor your website visitors. Setting up a google analytics account and linking it to your website is required. For WordPress users, I recommend Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights so you can monitor your visitors from your website dashboard.
5. WEBSITE BACKUP. Most hosting providers regularly backup for your website on either a weekly or monthly basis however if something happens to their backup then you want to be able to have access to a backup yourself. Plus hosting providers often charge to restore a backup so you should already have a backup ready. For WordPress users, my personal favourite plugin is UpdraftPlus Backups.
8. FAVICON That little icon that sits on the internet address bar. Normally a smaller version of your website or the image icon. These are great for people that have multiple website tabs open or that have bookmarked your website as it helps to identify your website’s brand.
9.COPYRIGHT Having All rights reserved copyright and the year indicates that the copyright holder reserves, or holds for its own use, all the rights provided by copyright law. Apparently, this is no longer a legal effect, but it’s better to have this then not to I reckon.
10. LICENSING. Have you checked all your fonts, media and images are either free to use or you have a paid license for them. Also, make sure you haven’t copied any website content directly from any other websites or books.
11. BLOG Even if you are not a blogger, all websites need to have a blog. You can call this articles, information etc. It helps to keep your website up to date and fresh and have visitors continually come back and look for more information and potentially then buy your products or services. Also the more visitors you have the better that your website will rank in search engine rankings. We can help you create blog posts to improve your SEO.
12. LOCATION Even if you work at home, having your location listed is essential. Why? This is part of your local SEO and will help you rank in search engines for your town. It’s so easy to start local, most people trust and prefer local businesses. This doesn’t mean you have to put your full address down, just your town, state, and country. If you are a location-based business then make sure you include a map that links to directions, so people can easily find you.
13. SPELLING I was terrible at English and I still am. To help check your website for grammar and spelling errors, I use is Grammarly. Grammarly hold’s my hand and correct any misspelled words and corrects sentence’s for me, whilst editing a word document, website or any other file.
14. SSL CERTIFICATE. Having an SSL certificate is one way you tell if the website is secure, so rather then having the http:// in front of your domain name you will have https:// to state it is a secure and trustworthy website. Having an SSL is essential for all websites. Websites with an SSL certificate are more likely to rank higher in search engines. Talk to us about getting an SSL certificate for your website.
15. SPEED You need to check your website is running fast so your visitors don’t become frustrated and leave. Check your speed on free services like GT Metrix or Pingdom they will not only tell you your website speed but also what is causing your website to run slow from large images etc. If your website is running over 8 seconds and you have optimized (We can help you optimize your website speed) everything then you may want to consider changing to a fast more reliable hosting like Siteground or our hosting website services.
16. SOCIAL LINKS & SHARES. If you are not on facebook then you’re definitely missing out on potential clients, but that’s for another day. I know I like to stay connected and remember businesses so I always follow and share them through Facebook and Instagram. There are other people that prefer Twitter, Pinterest etc So make sure you are on at least have one social media account for your business that is linked to your website and that potential customers have the ability to share your products and services to all social media platforms. This is more free advertising for you if someone shares one of your cool products or services.
17. OPT IN/ CALL OF ACTION/ NEWSLETTER/ EMAIL FUNNEL SEQUENCE. A lot of people don’t buy from you the first time, they might look at your website, remember some awesome product/ services then leave. 6 months later they think about that product/ service but have totally forgotten your business. They search for your products/ services but a similar item comes up and they buy that. That could have been your sale! If you have an opt in/ call of action button for them to get a 10% discount for first time buyers or a free guide, etc and then regularly send them out weekly or monthly newsletters through an email funnel sequence. That means your business will keep popping up in their head so when they are ready to buy that product, they know exactly where to find it from.- You. I personally recommend Mailerlite as email marketing platform.
18. TESTIMONIALS A great way for a potential customer to read what clients already think about you and give them more confidence to buy your product or service is by having testimonials on your website.
19. SEARCH TOOLS- If a person can’t find what they are looking for then they are more likely to leave your website if you don’t have a search tool on your site. A search tool allows customers to use keywords to search what they are looking for.
20. CONTENT– Having a clear focus of who you are, what you do and how you can help your ideal customer is essential so your website visitors get a feel to see if you’re a good fit. Make sure you are talking to your ideal customer through your website content to attract them.
21. ABOUT PAGE. Yes, it’s scary as hell to put yourself out there. I have spent over 9 years being hidden away, not wanting anyone to know my name or what I look like. But if someone connects with you then they are more likely to use and recommend you in business. So add a photo and include how you go started in business, your experience and even a little info about your hobbies, fav food etc. Since doing through, my business has doubled.
22. GENERAL SETTINGS. Check all your settings are correct (WordPress users click on settings and general in their dashboard) from tagline, email address and time zone settings. Also under settings and readings make sure its unticked to Allow Search Engine Indexing.
23. PERMALINKS To make sure your website is user and search engine friendly than not using numbers or dates in your page and post url is a good practice. WordPress users can go to settings and permalinks in their dashboard and make sure the common setting is set as post name.
24. CLEAN UP. A good thing to do to save clutter is to remove all pages, posts that are not being used, from sample and demo content, as your sitemap filled up with unnecessary pages and posts. Check and remove unused images as well, as this will help to clean up your disc space of your website. Also go through and disable and delete unused plugin functions as this will also help to speed up your website.
25. MOBILE FRIENDLY. Test your website that its mobile friendly and looks good on different browsers. Google has a free mobile-friendly test at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and using a tool like Browsershots is very useful.
26. MONITORING. It’s good practice to set up an uptime motoring service. They basically alert you when your website is down. No hosting provider can guarantee 100% uptime so once in a while they may have a glitch that your website is down for a few seconds. downnotifier.com offers a free service to monitor your website.
27. BROKEN LINKS. We often change page names and links so it’s a good idea to check for broken links. Google search console will alert you of these but I also love using https://error404.atomseo.com
28. FORMS You should double check all your forms from contact forms, booking, shopping carts etc work properly.This avoids having frustrated customers.
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I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.
I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.
I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.
If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.