6 Steps to Update or ‘Spring Clean’ Your Website
Spring conveys feelings of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and of course spring cleaning.
Fun Fact: DineEngine is named after an Egyptian god, also synonymous with rebirth.
Open those windows and let the sunshine bring in the fresh air. The time has come to tackle those chores you’ve been procrastinating all winter. Just like your home, your website probably needs a good scrubbing and a fresh coat of paint.
For many, updating your website can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Ease your anxiety with these tips for spring cleaning your website.
First Impressions Are Everything
Start by looking at your website through the eyes of your potential visitors. Your homepage is like opening the front door to your home. Are your guests welcomed with a funky odor and a bunch of clutter?
How about the walls? Does the decor look outdated and stale? After a year of wear and tear, you probably have a few stains, surface scratches, holes, and/or wobbly legs.
Make a note of things to spruce up as you work your way through your website.
Repair and Update your CMS
If you are using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, it should be updated before making any content or cosmetic changes. Not updating your software may encourage hacking and other security risks.
Please note: Updating your CMS may require technical skills beyond your level of expertise. You may want to hire a professional company to update your WordPress website. If you are going to update your WordPress content management system yourself, be sure to follow these steps.
Once your CMS is upgraded to the latest and greatest version, its time to update your WordPress theme or template.
Get Mobile Friendly Website with Responsive Design
You must decide if you are simply updating the existing theme or if you are going with a brand-new layout and design. Update your WordPress website to be mobile friendly with responsive web development if is not already.
As much as 50% of your customers are visiting your website with their smartphones and tablets. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, they will leave your business for the competition. Responsive design is flexible and provides a great user experience for your visitors on all devices and screen sizes.
If that is not incentive enough, Google announced that starting April 21st, 2015 their algorithms are going to use ‘mobile friendly’ as a significant ranking signal.
Search for your business via smartphone to see if Google considers your website ‘mobile friendly.’
Just like your CMS, upgrading your WordPress theme can also be tricky. If you lack the technical chops, please consult a professional.
Thinking about mobilizing your business? Contact Us to get a quote and a FREE site analysis.
Clean out the Old to Make Way for the New
Once the website is updated, it is time to get rid of the old and unused to make way for new and improved. Fix any broken images or bad internal and external links. Delete any unpublished articles or pages that will never make it onto your site.
New images are a great way to give your website a facelift. Swap out old images for new ones that have a better pixel density. This will help your website load faster and look better on devices with retinal displays like iPads.
Clear out any old admin users and update your passwords to your login and other 3rd part systems like Google Analytics. Delete or update any staff bios who have been promoted, or are no longer with your company.
Get rid of any old promotions, products, or services you no longer offer.
The R’s – Rearrange, Recycle, and Repurpose
People often rearrange their furniture to create a different mood and invoke an emotional response. You can do the same with your website. Organize your navigation and content around your visitor’s needs.
Your analytics should tell you where people are going on your website. Make the pages you want your visitors to see easier to find. Refresh your overall message and calls to action to encourage your customers to buy your product or request a quote.
Re-purpose your older content to make it relevant again. Turn your old blog posts into white papers for your visitors to download.
Provide an enjoyable user experience and you will increase frequency and time on your website as well as conversions.
Notify and Invite Your Customers
Now that you have did some spring cleaning for your website, its time to prepare a nice meal and invite some friends over for dinner. Enjoy the compliments when they stop by and say,
“Wow! I like what you’ve done with the place!”
Run a promotion or use social media to bring some traffic to your website and show off all of your hard work. If done correctly, they will decide to stay a while and will return time and again. Hopefully this leads to more sales and higher customer loyalty.
Like spring cleaning, you should give your website and online presence an overhaul every year, while keeping it updated and properly maintained throughout the year. At DineEngine we understand you have a business to run and may not have a dedicated person to administer the site.
Still too busy? Hire a Maid!
Contact us today to learn how DineEngine can update your website and provide ongoing maintenance and support.