Recently I worked on a website for one of my favourite clients. It was last updated years ago when most small businesses didn’t use “responsive” websites. She decided to hold off back then, but it’s necessary these days.
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 – making it easily viewed whatever the situation.
This project was a good reminder of things that can go wrong or need updating on a website over time, so I took the opportunity to check my own thoroughly. I love reviewing websites, so you can imagine how happy I was to give mine the attention it deserves!
Here are some things to watch for on your site:
1. Check Your Links. I was shocked by the number of broken links I found. But I guess it makes sense – some hadn’t been tested since I first launched my website.
By the way, make sure that when a link leads somebody off your site (e.g., to a resource you mention), it “opens a new tab” in the browser. That way, your website visitors can easily return 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 should work with you?
Check for font discrepancies, spacing issues, and links in different colours than the website palette. It does take some time, but it’s worth it to be confident that every page is consistent. You may even need to take some blog posts down if they no longer make sense.
3. Get Great Graphics. Take a close look at the graphics on your website. Is your logo pixelated or fuzzy? Do you have images with a white background (instead of transparent) on pages with a coloured background? How old is your headshot? Are you using bland stock photography? Time to upgrade if any of this is you.
4. Check Your Phone! More than half of the visitors to your site will do so with their phones – make sure your site looks good and is easily readable in this “responsive” format.
5. Review Your Dashboard. Take a peek at the back-end of your website or get a qualified professional to do it with you. Is your website running on the latest version of WordPress (or whatever you run your website on)? Are there plugins you aren’t using that might be slowing things down? Keep your website running smoothly by paying attention to these critical details.
Remember that, for many people, your website is the first place where they will form an impression of you and your business. You never get a second chance to make a first impression – take steps now to make sure it’s a good one!