New Year’s Resolutions for Your Website

New Year’s resolutions: Easy to make, even easier to break. And if you’re the kind of person who makes New Year’s resolutions for other people (you know who you are), maybe you should resolve not to do that anymore because everyone hates it.

Here’s an idea: Instead of the run-of-the-mill resolutions like losing weight, calling your mom more often, and finally getting all that junk out of your garage, try some resolutions for your website. The thing is, your website won’t implement your resolutions by itself, any more than your brother-in-law will. So you will have to do them yourself.

Ready? Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas for your website:

Clean Out the Cobwebs

Granted, keeping your site’s content fresh can be arduous, and therefore it’s low on your priority list. But considering how important it is to your business image, it really needs to have more importance. See what you can get rid of, and replace it with something fresher. And don’t wait until next year to do it again. Make your website maintenance a higher priority, especially if you have a blog or “latest news” section. And if you just can’t find the time to do it yourself, consider outsourcing the task.

Get a Health Check

Chances are good you can’t remember the last time you did a comprehensive test of your site. Just like your body and your car, your website’s health needs to be checked occasionally. Some things to check for:

  • Button functionality: Do they still do what they’re supposed to do?
  • Links: Do they still go somewhere? Do they still go to the right place, or is there a 404 at the other end?
  • Forms: Are your forms still capturing useful information? Is there something more or different you could ask your visitors that could give you a competitive edge?

Don’t forget to check your site with the latest versions of some of the popular browsers. Browsers are notorious for tweaking their HTML rendering code in ways that can trash your site’s appearance.

Change Your Wardrobe

Does your site look dated? It might be time for a makeover. Even if your site looks OK, visitors expect website visual designs to change over time; not changing it every once in a while can make it look stale. Ask your web designer what design trends are hot, and get some ideas for an update.

Re-evaluate Your Goals

Now is a good time to ask yourself some fundamental questions about your site:

  • Is it still meeting its purpose, or have the business needs for your site changed?
  • Are you reaching the right audience? Has your audience changed and with it, their needs?

You might need to do some homework in the form of market research or web analytics to find out if you need to make minor tweaks or implement a whole new suite of functionality.

Get a Security Check

Hackers are insidious, innovative, industrious, and determined, and they are always at least one step ahead of those who would stop them. Especially if you deal with user data (even just email addresses), get a professional evaluation of your site’s security from top to bottom—from the front-end JavaScript code to the HTML server and backend services. And take the recommendations seriously. Don’t be the next victim of a data breach.

It’s time to check with your service providers—web hosting, e-commerce, and what have you—to make sure they are still providing the level of service you need. If your needs have changed, or if they have changed their terms of service or service level agreements, see about getting on a different plan or even shop for a different provider.
If you can keep these resolutions, the new year will turn out to be a great year for your website. And before you know it, it will be time for noisemakers, Auld Lang Syne, and New Year’s resolutions all over again.