The new year is here! For most of us, that means focusing on new resolutions, setting new goals and pursuing aspirations that will help us improve. But as we focus on ourselves and our business, we tend to forget our businesses’ biggest asset: our website.
The new year is the perfect time to give your website some much-needed TLC to ensure it continues performing well, and helps you reach your business goals. That’s why it’s time to update your website! We’ll list 10 methods that you can use to update your website.
3 reasons why you should update your website in the new year
Before we get into the how, let’s first discuss why you should consider updating your website. Below, you’ll find three reasons why.
1. It shows people you’re still in business
There’s nothing worse than visiting someone’s website and seeing an outdated look. In fact, it can even make it seem like you’re no longer in business and drive visitors away. If you keep your website updated, this shows that you’re still actively offering services or products. Plus, that you care about how your business presents itself to the world.
2. It helps you stay on top of trends
Most web design trends come and go, or change over time. But some design trends never seem to go out of style. Updating your website and making sure it follows those timeless trends is a good way to ensure it looks modern and polished.
3. It provides great opportunity to improve performance
Lastly, updating your website for the new year is the perfect opportunity to improve its performance. Check your website’s accessibility, work on your search engine optimization (SEO), optimize your website for speed, and fix broken links. All these tasks ensure that your website continues to provide visitors with the best user experience possible.
How to update a website
The methods to update a website listed below are straightforward and don’t take up much time. When you’ve checked them all off, your website will be ready to bring you new visitors, leads, and sales in the new year.
- Update copyright info
- Update any outdated numbers or dates
- Check for broken links and fix them
- Remove pages that are no longer relevant
- Update images if they’re outdated
- Check for any WordPress updates
- Remove unused plugins
- Check your website speed and work on optimizing it
- Review your analytics to understand what website content is popular
- Create a new content plan for next year
1. Update copyright info
One of the first things you should update on your site is the copyright year in the footer of your website. This shows your audience that you’re on top of your website’s admin.
2. Update any outdated numbers or dates
It’s not uncommon for small businesses to list how many years they’ve been in business or how many clients they’ve worked with. But as the years pass by, it’s all too easy for those numbers to get outdated. That’s why it is a good idea to go through each page on your site and update the outdated numbers or dates.
You can also take this opportunity to freshen up or update the copy on your pages. Especially if your business mission or ideal audience has recently changed.
3. Check for broken links and fix them
Another issue that’s pretty common is broken links. Sometimes, you change the URL of a homepage, or delete a page or a blog post. If you don’t add a redirect that points to the new address, your visitors will get a 404 error. Which could result in high bounce rates. Why? Because a 404 error is bad for user experience. Plus, it can negatively impact your search engine rankings, especially if you have more than a handful of broken links.
We suggest using tools like the Free Broken Link Checker to check your website for broken links. Yoast SEO Premium also has a useful feature called the Redirect Manager. It’s super easy to use, because it automatically creates redirects whenever you move or delete content.
4. Remove pages that are no longer relevant
No matter what kind of business you have, change is normal. Maybe there is a service you no longer offer, or perhaps you stopped selling a product. Whatever the case may be, it’s good to go through your website and remove pages that are no longer relevant. And don’t forget to redirect those deleted URLs to prevent broken links on your website!
5. Update images if they’re outdated
While you don’t have to go for a complete redesign, it’s still a good idea to refresh your website at the start of the year. The easiest way? Update your images. This could mean uploading new images of you, your office(s) or team members, and updating any stock photography you might be using.
6. Check for any WordPress updates
Keeping your website up to date is essential. Outdated WordPress files can make your website vulnerable to hacking attempts. That’s why you should regularly check for any WordPress website updates and apply them as soon as possible.
7. Remove unused plugins
Likewise, if you’ve installed any plugins on your site, go through the list and make sure you’re still using all of them. If you aren’t using a plugin, deactivate and delete it. This will lessen the chances of hackers taking advantage of inactive or outdated plugins to access your site.
8. Check your website speed and work on optimizing it
Use a tool like GTMetrix or Pingdom Speed Test Tool to see how fast your website is loading. You should aim for two seconds or less. Why? Because research shows that this is what users expect nowadays. More importantly, slow loading times can negatively impact your conversion rate.
Both GTMetrix and Pingdom Speed Test will test your site and tell you where you need to make improvements. This typically involves optimizing images, having a caching plugin, and using a Content Delivery Network to serve static files.
9. Review your analytics to understand what website content is popular
Keeping an eye on your own website analytics is crucial if you want to know where your visitors come from. In addition, analytics can tell you what content is popular and brings you the most visitors. You can then create additional blog posts or content centered around those topics. This will help you drive traffic to your website and ensure that the content you’re creating actually appeals to your audience.
10. Create a new content plan
Of course, if you know what content your audience loves, it’s good to include it in your plan for the new year. A content plan is super helpful, because a lot of people experience writer’s block when they have to come up with quality content. If you have a plan, you’ll always know what to post. It’ll also help ensure that your digital marketing plan sails smoothly.
Make sure that you map out all your important dates, such as events and launches. Then map out your content based on those dates.
Final thoughts: How to update a website and refresh it in the new year
New year, new you! So take a few days out of your schedule to conduct a website update. Use the new year as an opportunity to freshen up your website’s design and code, remove any outdated information, and improve its performance. Good luck!