Are you involved in the ongoing development of your company’s website?
Does your website just sit on the digital driveway, looking more and more out of sorts as time goes on?
Is it in need of a good service and MOT?
Well, we’ve put together a helpful checklist to give you a jump start. To get your site back on the road and moving through the field into pole position.
OK, you get the idea, that’s enough of the metaphors.
Here then, is your checklist to make sure your website keeps working hard for you and your brand.
At the bottom of this page, you'll see a download link for your free PDF version of this checklist.
The PDF contains the headline points with a checkbox next to each. Print it off. Laminate it even. Try to tick off every box. And then keep coming back to it to make sure your website stays ahead of your competitors.
Domain name and hosting?
Is your domain name simple? Does it reflect your brand identity? Where will your site be hosted? What levels of security, speed and uptime are in place? Shared server or dedicated server? Storing user data securely?
Quality photos and images?
Quality imagery does make a difference. It will lift your website to a new level. If in doubt, ask a designer to show you.
Great for SEO and keeps your website looking fresh and engaging for visitors, who’ll hopefully come back for more. Can you create content for posts in-house or hire a freelancer?
No-brainer. Your site must look great and work seamlessly across all devices.
Don’t bore readers with the same old corporate website copy. Keep it interesting, authentic, easy to read and relevant. Keep your sentences short. Use bullet points. Include well-researched keywords. Who’s going to write it? In-house or freelancer?
Keep checking your ranking on search engines. Ask an SEO company to run an SEO health check on your website to pick up on 404 errors, slow page load speeds etc. They can also offer guidance on site structure, keywords, relevant copy, setting up redirects from old pages amongst many other useful things.
Content management system (CMS)?
Pretty much essential these days. Are you using it enough? Are your news or blog pages current? Does your website content feel fresh, relevant and engaging? If not, why not?
Your site needs to have an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) security certificate to enable it to be viewed over HTTPS, e.g. https://www.mysite.co.uk rather than http://www.mysite.co.uk. Search engines are now flagging any websites without an SSL certificate as insecure.
You need to analyse your site traffic. What pages are users engaging with most? Why? Are your goals being met?
Are you keeping contact form submissions in a database? Storing user account details? If so, make sure the data and any sign-up processes are GDPR compliant.
The little logo or icon used in your browser address bar, tab and bookmarks. These days, if you don’t have a favicon, it just looks a bit naff.
Looking good on different browsers?
You won’t please all the browsers all the time, but make sure you’re looking good on the ones your users are using. You can find out what these are by looking in your Google Analytics account.
Looking good on different devices?
Don’t just rely on emulators, try to test your site on actual devices. You'll be surprised by what you find.
With Google's ‘mobile-first' index, and with most users searching on mobile, your pages now need to load fast on mobile as well as desktop - ideally in less than 3 seconds. Images are the usual culprits for slow loading times, so make sure they’re well optimised.
Grammar and spelling?
nothing looks quiet as unprofesional as typoes and bad grammer espesially when your a businnes trying too sell you’re product or service;
Are they working? Are they going to the right address(es)?
Title and meta tags?
Are these within the recommended character length? Do they contain relevant keywords? Do they provide an enticing snapshot of the page? It’s worth asking an SEO company to help here too.
Get your site linked to from clients, affiliates, directories and professional bodies. The more established and respected they are, the better. It’s good for traffic and Google likes it.
Smooth user experience?
If there’s something that bugs you about your site, however small, then it’s probably going to bug your visitors too. Consciously or subconsciously, this will affect their opinion of your brand. Think of your favourite website. Why do you like it so much? Why does it work so well? Have a think. Then think about your own site.
Time for a redesign?
Research tells us that the ‘shelf life’ for most websites is between 18 and 30 months - 1.5 to 2.5 years. If there’s a problem to solve, e.g. a decline in business, a new competitor or you’re slipping down the search engine results pages (SERPs), then you may need to consider a redesign sooner.
Helpful? We hope so.
We pride ourselves on our friendly and helpful approach.
You can also find out more about our website design services here.
P.S. As promised, here’s your printable PDF version of the checklist.