Website Spring Cleaning "To Do" List


 

Is it time to do a little website spring cleaning?  After all, old, stale news, outdated information and images don’t grab a visitor’s attention or build trust.

So if you want to roll your sleeves up, shake off the website welcome mat, clear out the cobwebs and refresh your website – here are some tasks you might want to add to your spring cleaning “to do” list. 

 

Clear out and tidy up:

Review and update:

☐ The copyright date in the footer

☐ The “News” – has it been updated lately, or is it old news?

☐ Your events calendar or events page – are upcoming events noted?

☐ Your newsletter archive – is the latest version available?

☐ Your “About Us” page (have key stats, numbers or staff changed?)

☐ The “Contact Us” and team bios – are these up-to-date with correct names and contact info?

 

Tune-up the working parts:

Check and test:

☐ Forms – e.g., your donation form, membership application form, etc.

☐ Automatic emails – are they working and do they have updated contact info, dates, etc.?

☐ RSS feed (sign up to ensure it’s working)

☐ Social media widgets or links – ensure content is “sharable”

☐ For broken links – you can use free link checker software to scan and identify broken links and error codes (404) (e.g., Link checker from the World Wide Web Consortium
or Broken Link Check)

☐ If you have a blog, are comments working? Should older posts have comments closed (to prevent spam issues)?

 

Content clean-up:

Do a quick analytics review, then…

☐ Determine the pages most visited and check them

☐ Consider adding links to least visited pages

☐ Look at pages that have not been updated recently – is content still applicable?

 

Add some fresh content:

☐ Create or update your content calendar. (And consider developing a content strategy to identify content across your website (including your blog or forum), as well as any other communications channels (e.g., newsletter, social media, etc.)

☐ Check in on your forum or bulletin board – create a new message or thread

☐ Add some new photos

☐ Upload a new video

☐ Add some new donor testimonials or member recommendations (if you don’t have any recent versions, ask for them – via social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook)

☐ Launch a quick poll or online survey

☐ Re-purpose existing content (e.g., write an article or blog post about a recent event presentation or white paper)

 

Shine up your calls to action:

Once you get the visitor’s attention...

☐ Is your call to action clear? E.g., is your “Join now” or “Donate” button easy to find (e.g., above the fold)?

☐ Is it easy for folks to share? (e.g., are social sharing buttons or links – e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. – easy to find & use?)

☐ Is there a clear invitation for visitors to get involved in a conversation, by participating in forums or commenting on blogs, etc.?

☐ Are any polls or surveys well promoted and easy to find?

 

Freshen up your look for spring:

If your website is looking tired and neglected, it may need more than a cleaning – it could need a little refresh. But this is something that will take some planning and forethought.

☐ Get organized: Is key information easy to find? If not, step back and decide if what you need is a re-write or if the problem stems from your navigation.

☐ Check for clarity: Have an objective person read through your content to proof-read (for typos, unnecessary jargon or “sector-speak”) and clean-up or tighten up your key content.

☐ Freshen design: Take some time to think about what your website’s design conveys and whether there are some small changes that might make it more welcoming or easier to use (e.g., a different font or fewer typefaces? A new background colour? Additional images, etc.). Just remember – plan website revisions carefully since some small changes might end up having a domino effect and lead to a major overhaul!

We hope these Spring Cleaning To Do List tips help you freshen up your website so that it entices your donors or members to visit more often and keep coming back.

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Wild Apricot Inc. 144 Front Street West Suite 725, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2L7