Ten Tips to Get Your Website Ready for the New Year

A Little Bit of Maintenance Goes a Long Way

10 Key Things to Do to Update Your Website for the New Year

Some of us pay almost daily attention to the maintenance of our websites, and some of us… maybe not so much. With the new year upon us, now is an excellent time to take a break from all the action and invest a few minutes to give your site a good once over to make sure you present your best image to your visitors in the upcoming year.

1. Update All Passwords
Update the passwords not only to your website, but also to your hosting account, cPanel, and any FTP accounts you may have. Ensure that your passwords are strong and unique (no more re-using passwords!) If you struggle with passwords, invest in a simple password keeper/generator such as Dashlane or Roboform.

2. Remove Old Users
Go through your user list and purge anyone no longer needing access to your site. Re-instating someone only takes a few seconds, so it’s best to remove outdated users like old employees, previous web designers/developers, etc… Additionally, be sure to limit the number of admin-level users. Not everyone needs full access to your site all the time.

3. Update Your Copyright Date
This one is easy peasy, but you’d be surprised how many website owners don’t update their copyright date. An outdated copyright date signals to your users that the information on your site may not be accurate, or even cause them to wonder if your business is still active. So, if you do nothing else on this list, at least update your copyright date!

4. Remove Unused Images and Documents
Images have a tendency to get out of control as the years go by. Since images and documents can take up a lot of space in your hosting account (and make your site more difficult to manage), now’s a good time to browse your media library for any images or documents you are no longer using and take advantage of the “bulk” select feature and purrrrrrrrrrrrge.

5. Make a Backup
If you are on a regular maintenance plan, you probably have a nice history of backups at your disposal, but if you are like many website owners that haven’t implemented a maintenance plan, today is a great day to make a backup. Just remember, WordPress sites have two pieces, files and a database. Ensure that you get them both!

If you need help with making a backup of your site, just send us a note in the comments section below and we can help you out.

6. Update Your Pricing and Information
New years are a big time for change, make sure your pricing for the new year is up to date as well as all of the information on your website. Remove/update any outdate images or content, and ensure your products/services list is up to date.

7. Create Some New Content
No one should have to tell you this twice for it to stick – with websites CONTENT IS KING. The days of “set it and forget it” website content is over. You need to ensure your content is fresh and engaging. And guess what? Google monitors how often sites are updated. So, while you may occupy a top spot in search rankings today, without fresh content you will start to slip. This is a great opportunity for a simple blog post or added page.

8. Test Your Contact Form and/or Email
You would be shocked at how many people don’t do this regularly and discover that their contact form submissions aren’t being received, or info@yourcompany.com emails are filtered as junk. This is a great time to ensure your forms and emails are working AND being routinely checked.

9. Check Your Speed
Go to tools.pingdom.com and run a quick free check of your loading speed. This tool checks thousands of sites a day and will give you a grade on how your site compares to others tested. Studies show that website visitors have a tolerance of less than 3 seconds to wait for a web page. So, if your site has a loading time of more than 3 seconds, you’ve got some work to do!

10. Update, Update, Update!
WordPress has lots of moving parts that all need to be updated. If you are on a maintenance plan, this service likely takes care of ensuring your site is up to date with the most recent versions of WordPress, plugins and theme. If you self-maintain you might have a slew of updates waiting for you. A word of caution: Be sure to grab a backup of your site first!

DON’T FORGET: All sites now need an SSL certificate! If your site doesn’t display a padlock in the title bar, be sure to talk with your hosting provider to get one installed right away.

Updating Your Way Into the New Year

Ongoing website maintenance is important for the health and visitor experience of your website. If you don’t have the time or feel comfortable making these updates, please talk with us or checkout one of our Maintenance Plans. We are happy to help!

Jessica Dohm

Jessica Dohm

Founder, Dohmain Designs

About the Author

Jessica is the Director of Digital Marketing and Owner of Dohmain Designs. She is a small business sales and marketing expert specializing in business growth through intelligent website design and sales & marketing automation.

Jessica is a Certified Infusionsoft Partner, marketing automation and CRM expert with over 15 years of professional sales and marketing experience. In 2011, she combined that experience with innovative website design and created Dohmain Designs. She has worked with biotech giants, overseen the digital marketing for a popular Discovery Channel hit TV series, and helped hundreds of clients grow their business. Prior to creating Dohmain Designs, Jessica worked in the fast-paced biotech sector focusing primarily on technical sales and marketing, as well as providing complicated sales-focused CRM training across various disciplines.

Jessica is a member of her local Rotary Club where she has previously served as the Membership co-chair and currently serves as the Public Relations chair. Jessica truly believes in the "Service Above Self" Rotarian philosophy and strives to dedicate her time and talents to helping others, both in her personal and professional relationships.

She is located in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and works with clients all across North America. If you'd like to get in touch with Jessica, simply complete the contact form below.

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