You know that awesome website you put together a few years ago? The one you wrote a ton of copy about yourself or your business for? The one you planned to write a blog post for every week?
The one you haven’t looked at in months? The one the loads super slow now and is full of outdated information and old photos? The one you cringe when a potential contact or client looks at?
This post is devoted to the main things you need to do to unf*ck that website.
I know it sounds scary, difficult, and time consuming, so I’ll focus only on the things that won’t take you too much time and will help you find the burst of energy and success to get to the bigger stuff. Plus, it’ll all be worth it when you don’t feel that deep sense of shame when you think about your website.
1. Log In
That’s right. I’m giving you an easy win here. Just log into your website.
I know you wrote your password on a sticky note that’s long since disappeared, so reset your password if you need to.
Just log in and click around a bit. That wasn’t so bad, was it?
2. Run Software Updates
If your site is built on WordPress, it’s going to have an imposingly large number of updates to run. This is one of the harder tasks in the list, but you’ve got to run them. Not only do those updates add new features, they also help your site run faster and keep it secure.
Yes, it’s possible something will break when you run your updates, especially if it’s been over a year. But the consequences of not running them are far more severe, and take far longer to fix. If a certain plugin is causing a big problem and isn’t absolutely critical to your site’s functionality, just disable it. You can come back and find a replacement for it later.
In the future, you can avoid plugins that break on updates by vetting your plugins carefully. Also check out this fantastic presentation from Dustin Meza on anxiety-free WordPress updates.
3. Fix Broken Links
Phew. That one was kind of hard. Let’s do an easy one now.
Some of your links to other websites probably don’t point to the right place anymore. It’s really tedious to check this yourself. Good thing we have computers!
Enter your site’s URL at DeadLinkChecker.com and it will check your site for broken links. It’s speedy, free, and even tells you which page the broken link is on so you can fix it.
4. Update Your Content
Read every single word on your website. Read them out loud in a quiet voice. Ask yourself:
- Is this true?
- Is this complete?
- Is this easy to understand?
Then fix anything that doesn’t get a “Yes” to all three of those questions. You might need to add new services, staff members, or just update the tone of your copy to match shifts in your branding.
5. Write a Blog Post
Hopefully you’re starting to feel a bit better about your website now that it’s accurate, speedy, and safe. Let’s take that energy and channel it into taking your website one step further.
New content is critical to your site’s success. While it’s best to frequently update and add new content, let’s start small with just one new blog post. Don’t know what to write about? Try thinking about the most common tasks your audience asks you for help with. Still stumped? Check out Content Kite’s free email course for some incredible ideas and tips.
Write your post, give it a quick copy edit, pick out or create some great images to go with it, and send it forth into the internet on your site and social media. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to see if you can hide the dates on your blog posts so no on can tell there was a long gap between this one and the one before it.
No blog on your site? No problem. Write a post on Medium or LinkedIn and link to it on your site. You won’t get the SEO boost, but at least your audience will know you’re alive.
If you’ve completed these 5 steps, I officially declare your website unf*cked. Now that your website is healthy, it’ll be far easier to keep it that way.
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