Does Your Website Need A Refresh?

Recently, I worked on a website for one of my favourite clients.

The last time she updated it was about five years ago, when small businesses and entrepreneurs were just turning towards having “responsive” websites. You may not have needed one back then, but these days it’s a necessity.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, a responsive website responds: it adjusts depending on the device it’s being displayed on, whether that is a desktop, phone or tablet. That makes it easier to view, whatever the situation.

Although the text and images on my site mostly stayed the same when I made these necessary changes, I took the opportunity to review every single page – including all my past blog posts. I love reviewing webpages, so you can imagine how happy I was to give myself the gift of doing it for my own!

It was a good reminder, too, of things that can go wrong and/or need updating on a website over time.

Here are some things to look out for on your own site:

1. Check Your Links. You’d be shocked by the number of broken links you might find. But, I guess it would make sense if some of them were put there years ago.

By the way, make sure that when a link takes somebody off your site (e.g., to a book you mention), that it “opens a new tab” in the browser. That way, the visitor can easily click back to your site and keep looking around. Making this happen is just a simple setting when creating the link.

2. Read Every Page. Yes, read every single page on your site. Does it represent you? Is your message clear? Could someone reading your site understand why they would want to work with you? Is your phone number on your contact page (…yes, really; I saw this missing on a website only today)?

When I relaunched my website, I read every blog post too. Some had font discrepancies, spacing issues, links that were different colours than my website palate. Some just simply needed to be taken down because they no longer made sense. It took some time, but it was worth it to be confident that every page looked consistent.

3. Get Great Graphics. Take a close look (with your reading glasses on, if necessary) at the graphics on your website. Is your logo pixelated (fuzzy/blurry)? Do you have images with a white background instead of transparent on pages that have a coloured background? How old is your head shot? Are you using bland stock photography? Time to upgrade if any of this is you.

4. Check On Your Phone. More than half of the visitors to your site will visit using a phone – make sure your site looks good and is easily readable.

5. Review Your Dashboard. Take a peek at the back-end of your website (or get a qualified professional to do it with you). Are there plug-ins that you aren’t using that might be slowing things down? Is your website running on the latest version of WordPress (or whatever you run your website on)? Keep your website running smoothly by paying attention to these important details.

Remember that, for many people, your website is the first place where they will form an impression of you and your business. Take steps now to make sure that the impression you leave is a good one!

Don’t stop at your website! Keep on top of the other parts of your operation that are key to running a successful business. Check out my blog, “Be Your Own Detective” to check up on other areas that you may be missing.

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