Are you currently enjoying a holiday lull and have some extra time to plan some overdue updates to your website? Maybe you’re thinking about ways to improve your online security or improve your web marketing? Or, maybe you’re like me and just binge-watching Netflix and eating too many cookies. Either way, here’s my top 5 New Year’s resolutions you should consider for 2017:
1. Add an SSL certificate to your website. This is rapidly becoming a requirement, not a “nice-to-have”. If your site has a password or credit card field, Google will mark your site as “not secure” in search if SSL is not installed. Soon thereafter it will extend to all forms. This transition begins in January, as in this January. Eventually, this will apply to all sites, no matter what’s on them. So, SSL is a worthy investment for the future.
2. Upgrade to a paid email service. Still using the old-timey email accounts that came with your web hosting so many years ago? Or worse, limping along with AOL or Yahoo? Time to upgrade to a business-class email service! Consider GSuite, Office 365 or Rackspace Mail. Reasons to pay for business email: better deliverability, better security, more space, more searchable, more professional, more reliable.
3. Keep your WordPress site maintained. The tradeoff for the limitless flexibility of a WordPress website is that it has to be maintained properly. Let it go a few months without some TLC (updates and backups) and its open to being hacked, or simply just looking old. Consider beginning a technical monitoring and maintenance plan, like my Help Desk site care plans.
4. Check under the hood of your WordPress website. If you have a WP site that’s a few years old and displaying errors, or just doesn’t look good on mobile, you may need a redesign. The great thing about WP is that it keeps your content in place while a new theme will update up the appearance of your site. So, a “redesign” isn’t necessarily a huge project…simply upgrading to a premium theme framework (such as WooCommerce or Genesis) will not only freshen your site’s appearance, but will improve mobile visibility and site stability as well.
5. Get serious—real serious—about login security. The importance of this cannot be overstated. You should consider good password hygiene a matter of civic responsibility, because it is. Use a password manager (it really will make life easier!) and 2-factor authentication wherever you can. Most importantly, be sure that each of your passwords is unique (why you need the password manager). This is every bit as important as having a long password.
I could make this list longer, but there’s only a few days left in 2016 and I have more Netflix to watch and cookies to eat. :-) Any one of these suggestions will be well worth your time and money to implement, and are worthy investments for you to make in 2017.
Wishing you a very happy New Year!