Web Development Vector

Have you told your significant other how much you love them today? Have you shown them affection with gifts or by doing something thoughtful? Now that you’ve shown some love to the person you love, is there anything else that deserves a little attention? *Clears throat* Um, maybe… that thing that’s sharing your message with the whole world? Yeah, now you get it.

If you’re trying to think of a few ideas to let that special website in your life know how much you care, check out this list of 10 ways you can show it some love:

1. Back your site up.

If you read our blogs often, then you’ve probably heard us preach about the importance of backing your site up regularly. Generating regular backups of your site ensures that, if something goes wrong (and something always does) you don’t have to start from square one. It isn’t necessary to horde hundreds of backups, but making sure to have weekly backups and saving a month’s worth at a time is a good start. Think of these as checkpoints in a video game. If you die (or, in this case, if your website kicks the bucket), you don’t have to go back to the beginning of the game and start over.

2. Test your site’s load speed.

There are tons of tools out there for testing your site’s load speed. This is important to do semi-regularly to ensure your site isn’t dragging, which would most likely cause your search engine rank to take a plunge. Since the middle of 2018 Google has prioritized site performance along with…

3. Optimize your images.

Several things contribute to your site’s load speeds. If you find a page that is taking longer than it should to load it’s because it is trying to load too much information at once. An easy way to deal with this is to optimize your images.  Do you think the human eye will notice a 12% reduction in image quality? Probably not (your own eyes are a pretty good test of this), but they’ll definitely notice if a page on your site takes 10 minutes to load. Try reducing the file size of your site’s images to ease its burden. If you don’t feel like doing this manually, there are several plugins out there that can help.

4. Check your site’s meta tags.

If you haven’t already set meta-titles and descriptions for the content on your website, stop reading this article right now and get on it! These tags are how search engines are able to catalogue the information on your site, which ultimately influences your ranking in search results. You don’t need to write the next Canterbury Tales here, just be descriptive. These tags are mostly being read by robots, though Image Alt tags are used by screen readers to describe your site’s images for the visually impaired. Even more reason to make sure you have yours filled-out!

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5. Check for broken links.

Nobody likes hitting a 404 error while surfing the web, especially when a website you trust sends you to one. Check your website for broken links, including both internal and external links. Internal links are links to your own website, so if these are broken you may need to redirect them to similar content on your site (or to the content’s new location if it has been moved). External links are links to other sites, updating these could involve doing some research to find another source to link to. Broken external links can also be deleted, if necessary.

6. Refresh old content and generate new content.

You’ve heard the phrase before, “content is king.” And it rings truer today than ever before. Search engines like Google judge your site’s reliability and trustworthiness based on the content you post. Make sure to take some time to refresh old content, both cleaning up old, broken links and updating information as needed. This way you’ll show Google that your site cares about putting the most accurate information out for visitors to find, which, in turn, encourages Google to send more visitors to your site by increasing your ranking in search results.

7. Update your passwords.

The internet truly is a wild, wild west. For every do-gooder looking to keep the internet nice, there are three ne’er-do-wells doing everything they can to hack your website and sow discord across the world wide web. Updating your password from time-to-time is like checking the deadbolt on your door. If you have a strong lock it’s that much harder for the bad guys to get in.

8. Download a security plugin.

If you’ve already updated your passwords and want to take it a step further, you should look into downloading a security plugin for your site. Security plugins act as monitors. Their job is to observe and report. These plugins scan your site for any strange behaviors or file uploads and notify you when anything looks askew. This gives you the ability to deal with a problem while it’s still small as opposed to after it has broken your website.

9. Update plugins, themes and extensions on your site.

So, we’ve been hammering security pretty hard towards the end of this list. Hopefully, you’ve picked-up on its importance. Did you know that not updating your site’s plugins, themes, and extensions regularly could also cause a security risk? In fact, many updates that come out on a regular basis are less about improving a plugin’s performance and more about plugging holes and vulnerabilities that the developers have discovered. Hackers look for any vulnerability that can be exploited to gain access to your website. Don’t lock the front door while leaving all your windows open. Make sure to update your site regularly.

10. Get an SEO Audit of your site.

Think of an SEO Audit like you do your annual check-up with the doctor. It’s always good to check-in from time-to-time to see if there is anything you could be doing better to maintain a healthy website. There are SEO Audit services out there that will crawl your site and generate an issues list. But, if you want some advice to go along with that long list of issues, you could always contact your friendly neighborhood Bean Team. We’d be happy to take a look! And, while this is a bit of a shameless plug for Transformation Marketing, we know this stuff can be complicated and will take the time to make sure you understand why a thing needs to be done.

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