Tips to improve your site for free

These are difficult times. We face enormous upheavals. Many businesses are doing it tough. Many are pivoting to being online. Here are some things you can do for free to improve your website.

Make sure your site is mobile friendly

Most sites are already mobile friendly. You can perform a simple test by shrinking your browser down to a small size to see how it looks.

Google provides a useful service where you can enter your website URL and it will test your site.

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Add Alt Tags To Images

Alt tags provide descriptions for images. These are used by screen readers to assist those who are vision impaired. It also helps with your Google rankings. In WordPress, go through your media library and check each image. If it doesn't have an alt tag, then add a short description.

Update your blog posts

Blog posts are important for your site because they are a way of showing you have knowledge. They also help with search rankings because search engines love fresh content. If you can't add new posts, then the next best thing is refreshing what you already have.

Make sure it has a good title. Good titles entice users to look more and click on the link.

Have an introduction. The first paragraph should introduce what your post is about. Give a broad overview of what you will discuss.

Break your post in to sections with titles. Ideally these titles should be H2 or H3 tags. This helps the visitor.

Add a conclusion. People will often scroll down to the bottom to see conclusions before reading the article in full.

Update your site

Most content management systems such as WordPress make it easy to update security patches for themes and plugin. Check for updates in your dashboard.

We recommend exercising caution when you do this. In some rare cases, updating a plugin or theme can break things.

The safest way:

  1. Backup your site.
  2. Update one thing
  3. Test your site
  4. Repeat

If anything goes wrong you can always go back to your latest backup.

Audit your plugins

WordPress plugins are great. They extend the functionality of you site. Howewver, each plugin often results in a new database call, a new stylesheet being loaded. This could be a cause of your site slowing down.

Go through your plugins and make a note of each one. Give it a score from 1 - 5 where 1 is not useful to absolutely essential.

Make a note of which plugins are turned on and what settings they have.

Tread carefully. We strongly recommend you make a copy of your site as a testing site. There is a strong possibility things could break.

With your copy, try turning off 1 plugin that gets a score of 1. Test your copy and see if it works. See if it improves your user experience. If it does, thank it for its service and leave it off.

Once you have done this with all the 1's, test your copy again. Get someone else to test it too. If things are ok, then you can apply it to your live site.

Mental Health

These are stressful times. Take time out. Read a book. Watch a movie. Listen to music. Be creative. Exercise. Talk to people

There are services that can help.

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Conclusion

Take the time to go through your site. There could be opportunities for you. More importantly, we are all in this together. Remember to look out for each other and be kind.

Posted in Tips on Mar 28, 2020