Just like spring-cleaning your house, your website needs regular attention to keep it looking its best and working effectively, so we’ve come up with 10 tips to help you spring clean your website.
A commercial website is obviously one of the most valuable assets a business can build, and can be critical to the make or break of a new brand, or a business that’s under threat from new competition.
Here are some tips for your Site Spring Clean:
- Be consistent
Set a date to clean at least once a quarter – allocate several hours in your schedule for that day, ideally somewhere quiet and away from distractions. This activity is separate from your regular content creation, which should be done at least weekly.
- First impressions
Try and view your site with fresh eyes, notice what your first impressions are, track where your eyes go and what they focus on first. Is the balance of text and images right? Does anything look out of place? If you’re having trouble focusing on any one thing, then you might need to simplify your homepage design. Note down the top three elements that stood out – do these match up with the top three items you want users to notice? If not, then you know something about the design hierarchy needs to change.
- Be your customer
Pick two customer profiles and step into their shoes. View the site exactly as they would, using all your knowledge of how they behave and think – is the information logically arranged? Can they get to what they need quickly and simply? If you don’t trust yourself to be impartial, consider asking a friend or a new team member unfamiliar with the site to do a navigation test and time how long it takes to find a particular piece if information.
- Take a new view
Look at your site on other devices, in other environments. See how your site looks on a Samsung Galaxy; from a library computer; on a friend’s laptop; a brand new iPad Air; a Microsoft Surface; an iPhone; and spot the differences. Is the site responsive to the device? Can you read the navigation items without zooming in? Does it lose something in the transition?
- Broken bits
Check for broken links with a link checker like: validator.w3.org/checklink
- Spell check
It sounds obvious, but almost every website has a typo of some description. Check your spelling and grammar across the site – in headings, body copy and banner images.
- Looking tired
Is your colour palette looking dated? Do your images need updating? Stock photos are often overused, so think about investing in some custom photography to keep your site looking unique.
- Keep an eye out
Check your competitors. Are there design elements or functionalities they are using that your customers are missing out on? Cherry pick the best ideas from other sites and integrate them into your own.
- Are you social?
Don’t just focus on the main content, but check your links to social media are best placed and well integrated. Are you using all your chosen platforms to their full potential? If not, it might be good to rethink where your energies will be best spent.
- Pick patterns
Review your analytics for the quarter and see if any long-term usage patterns have emerged. Are users bouncing off the homepage immediately because they can’t find what they need? Are they giving you clues about the content they find most appealing?