No matter what sort of site you have, and no matter where or how it’s hosted there are some details that need attention.
These tips will help you avoid frustrated users, and the possibility of a search engine giving you a lower score.
1. Don’t upload GIANT images.
Often I see pages slowly loading pictures that haven’t been scaled at all from what the photographer delivered. These images are commonly above 4MB, and to make matters worse they are often forcibly scaled by the styles given to the browser.
The result is that users have to wait, sometimes dozens of seconds, just to see a relatively small image that should’ve loaded in less than one second.
*if you have some sort of gallery on your site, where you link to full-resolution images then that’s fine but the page itself should be quick.
How to tell:
If you have blazing fast internet at home, you may not notice if your site is slow when you check it. Check your site from a public network, or better yet use a site performance tester like: tools.pingdom.com/ (You don’t have to be an expert to use it, even if it seems overwhelming).
Some platforms will automatically save sensible sizes of uploaded photos, but the safest way to do it is to scale them on your own before you upload them.
Many free basic image programs exist. My favorite open-source, and fully featured program is GIMP ( find it at: https://www.gimp.org/ )
2. Check your Social Media Links!
Many systems automatically update your site’s internal links, but external links like social media buttons can get out of date when you change accounts. Plus, many themes already have the social links set to show even if you don’t enter your link!
How to tell:
You’ll likely have to just manually check them when you update them or your social accounts.
*Depending on your system, and theme you might have to check multiple places such as the header social links & the footer links.
Update them if you find a broken one! & When you update!
3. Test your forms!
Many platforms have simple forms included, but it’s easy to skip over settings and forget something critical.
How to tell:
Use your forms yourself! Test them with an alternate email, or even ask a friend to try it.
If something isn’t working right, carefully check your form system’s settings.
If you still have issues this is something that your webhost’s support staff may be able to help with. Or you can ask a web developer like me to look at it!
4. Focus on your Content!
No matter what your site looks like, or whether it has “the latest SEO hacks”, or whatever! You should focus above all else on your content.
If your content is text, then make sure it’s readable and it’s structured in a way that makes sense. That is, use lists when they make sense, use headings and sub-headings in a way that would make sense even in a book (despite what your theme or builder package makes them look like).
If your content is a podcast, or vlog, then work on techniques to make that better!
I’m as guilty as the next, at over-thinking content but some imperfect content is 1000% better than nothing!
Thanks for reading!
Let me know if you have any questions.