If your website doesn’t get a lot of traffic–and sometimes even if it does–you may never know when something isn’t working. Unlike your car, which has warning lights and beeps for every conceivable problem, your website won’t always tell you when something is wrong. Take some time right now to check the following.
- Search. Can visitors find your website search form easily from any page? Does it return appropriate results? Is it searching everything it should be?
- Contact forms. Can you submit the form? Do you receive the notification email?
- Blog comments. If your blog allows comments, can you fill out the comment form successfully? Are you notified that the comment is awaiting moderation?
- Social shares. Do your sharing buttons post the correct info and social media image?
- Email list signups. If you sign up, do you get added to the list? Do you receive the correct confirmation emails and bonus material?
- Links. Go to Broken Link Check to find out whether any of your internal or outgoing links are broken.
- SSL. If you haven’t installed SSL (https) yet, do it now. If it’s configured correctly, you’ll see a green lock that says “Secure.” If you don’t get the green lock, something is broken.
- Analytics. If you’ve recently added SSL to your site, make sure you update Google Analytics (or any other analytics service) to monitor the https version of your site. Otherwise you’ll be sitting around wondering why your traffic has suddenly dropped off.
- Shopping cart. If you sell products on your site, walk yourself through the whole purchase process. Can you add items to the cart, remove them, update them? Is your card payment processed properly? (Remember to refund yourself the money when you’re finished with the test.)
- Mobile-friendliness. If your website has been built at any time since 2011, your developer has no excuse for not making it mobile-friendly. But even responsive websites vary in their mobile usability. Try the Google Mobile-Friendly Test if you’re not sure.
If you do find out that any of these things is broken, make fixing it a priority. Don’t hesitate to call your developer if you’re not sure what to do.
Once you’re sure everything works, schedule your next checkup or ask your WordPress maintenance service to do it. By checking these things regularly, you can save yourself embarrassment and lost business. I speak from experience: I recently discovered that the comments on a client’s blog hadn’t been working for a whole year, and neither the client nor I had noticed.
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