23 Sep Five website checks you should do this week that will only take 20 minutes
It’s easy to remember the big yearly dates in business like submitting a tax return.
But when tasks don’t have an expiry date on them it can be hard for them to make the top of your to-do list.
While, in an ideal world, we should be adding regular content to our website and updating clients on our latest news it’s not uncommon for business owners, like yourself, to put off these updates.
Excuses, sorry reasons, come in all forms – no time, lack of technical confidence, fear of breaking the website, or sometimes you just have no idea where to start.
In this blog, we have rounded up a list of five WordPress website checks that any DIY website editor can do to help spot potential issues – or potential areas for growth in the future, if and when you are ready.
1) Are your security and WordPress updates running?
Inside your website there are lots of things going on to power your site and make it do what it does. Possible updates may be required for the theme, plugins and the core WordPress platform itself.
The best plugins and WordPress themes are constantly updated by developers that you have never met. When they are left to age it can leave your website open to security floors.
When updates are needed you will see a red dot with a number in it in your WordPress dashboard. This leaves a big red dot on your admin dashboard showing you the number of updates that need running.
As part of your website hosting your site should be getting backed up on a daily basis – but if you are unsure it is always best to check before hitting the update button.
Once the updates are all done, take a few minutes to browse your website and ensure nothing has broken in the process.
2) Do your social media links work?
A really quick task – but well worth doing.
Sometimes businesses forget that they have changed their page name on a social platform, or the way platforms work may have changed meaning that the links from your site no longer work.
Find all the places social media links appear on your website and click them all to check they land where you hoped.
Begin by looking at the header, footer and contact page on your website – if they are not in these locations consider adding them.
If you have icons for social platforms on your website that you do not post to then ask yourself if they should still be on there.
3) Does your contact form work?
There is no-one better placed than you to press the submit button on your contact form and check that it actually drops into your inbox.
Fill yours in and press the submit button. If you can’t see it in your inbox head over to your spam or junk mail. Still can’t see it? Then it’s time to flag it up with your developer who will be able to help.
4) Is Google seeing all your pages?
This is a task that will take you 30 seconds – but if you don’t see results then you know you need to take action.
Visit your website, when the page has loaded enter ‘site:’ before the http of your website address (e.g., site:http://www.yourwebsite.com) and press return.
What you should then see is a Google search page with all of your website pages listed. Unless you have a one-page website you should see multiple search results displayed.
If there are no search results then you need to speak to your website developer ASAP to ask them to take a look into why.
5) Ensure you have access to Google Search Console and Google Analytics
This is where thinking about the future comes in.
If you are reading this blog then it is likely you are not investing that much time into your website at the moment. However, when the day comes that you are ready, it is so much better if you have some data to help you decide what to do on your website.
Search Console can be a great tool for inspiring blog posts while Google Analytics is great for monitoring how much traffic comes to your site and where it comes from. Both tools can be invaluable resources for this information as well as 1001 other things.
Carrying out these five WordPress website checks will give you peace of mind that your website is doing ok. Or, in the worst case, you will flag up some issues that will be easy to fix by your website provider.
If you do need any help with these website checks, or it gets you thinking about other website changes that you would like to make, book in for a quick chat to discuss embarking on a TukTuk discovery journey.