Your website is well built and mostly problem free. But like your car, it needs a bit of tending. It only makes sense to be sure you give your site a thorough look-see every month.
Decide right now that once a month you’ll set aside an hour to look over your website. Make it something that’s easy to remember, like the third Thursday or the 10th of every month. Add the date you choose to your calendar, and your todo lists.
Don’t stop with the date – pick a time too. If you’re like me and love to get up early in the morning, make it the first hour of whatever date you’ve chosen. Not a morning person? No problem. Schedule it for the last thing you do before you go to bed on that date.
Decide too if you’re going to do it at home – or at the office – or even your favorite coffee shop.
As you know, actually scheduling something like this makes it much more likely you’ll get it done.
I get set up with whatever computer I’m going to use, a pen and a notebook, and my favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Okay, a single glass of wine or a beer probably won’t hurt, but you do want to be clear when you start checking.
Start with your home page. Look it over. Keep in mind:
Don’t attempt to fix or update anything yet. Just make a note you’ll understand of what you want to change and move on to the next page. It will help if you add the page name and the page web address at the top of each section of notes. Add this information even if there’s nothing to be done, as a way to double check you’ve actually loooked at each page.
If you’re super organized, you might want to group all the things you can do yourself, and, if there is something you’ll need help with, put in a second group. You could, for example, draw a line down the middle of each section and put your todos on the left and the help you need on the right. You get the idea.
Look at every single page. Once you get started it won’t take you long. For the most part you can just scan for any problems. If you’ve got some time read the articles or blog posts you’ve written. It’s amazing how often I find errors a month or so down the road. It’s the nature of writing I suspect.
If you’ve found things you want to change or fix, and don’t be surprised if you find little or nothing, decide if you want to make the changes in the same session or if you want to schedule another time.
Of course, if you need help, chances are you’ll have to arrange that during normal business hours.
Even if you find nothing or very little several months in a row, you want to continue this practice. Web sites are funny things. I know I can rock along for months with no problems and then all of a sudden have two or three.
The commitment of an hour a month, even if I don’t use it all, has turned out to be a great practice for me and my site. I often spotting problems before they become big or embarrassing. I suspect you’ll find the same thing is true for you.
Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.