Just as your teeth, your health and even your car need regular check-ups, so too does your website. Regular website check-ups, ideally once a month, are essential to ensuring that your website performs at its best. Further, because simple errors can readily damage your credibility and professionalism, this will help you to find and fix errors before your visitors find them. When performing your monthly check-up, keep an eye out for the following:
- Broken Links. Broken and malfunctioning links are not uncommon and can occur for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, they can be very frustrating to visitors. As such, link maintenance is very important and should include regular checks to ensure that your links are working properly. Any reorganization of your site’s structure, such as moving a page, can lead to problems with your internal links. If you find any internal links that aren’t functioning correctly, be sure to fix them immediately. Problems can occur with external links for any number of reasons, which are usually unrelated to you and thus even more important to keep on top of. Try to determine what the problem is with any non-functioning external links and either fix them or remove them from your website.
- Slow Load Times. Your check-up should also include a look at the load times of your pages. Quick loading pages are an essential element of a successful website. In fact, slow-loading pages are one of the most common complaints cited by Internet users. Studies have shown that your website’s pages must load within eight seconds or else you’re likely to lose a good amount of your visitors. While you may have ensured that your page’s were quick to load when first designed, many changes and updates that you make can increase the download time, particularly if you’ve added images to a page. Be sure to double-check your load times as part of your monthly check-up and fix any problems that may be contributing to slow loading pages.
- Errors. Like your load times, you may have ensured that your pages were error-free from the start, but changes and updates can lead to new errors. There are two different types of errors: HTML coding errors and spelling errors. New spelling errors may occur if you’ve added new content. HTML coding errors on your page can also occur from changes in HTML standards, like when new versions of tags are created and cause problems when older tags are used. Be sure to keep an eye out for errors during your regular check-up and fix any that you may find.