Here’s the problem. You have a site, but you never visit it (or maybe you don’t keep it up to date) – so you don’t know that anything is wrong until other people tell you!
Here’s how you can avoid the 5 biggest site mistakes I see all the time.
1. Contact form doesn’t work
It’s this simple. If people can’t contact you, you’re losing money.
Recently I had an issue where a client changed his email service plan. All looked ok from the front end of the site (the plugin was up to date and appeared to send), but he wasn’t getting messages from the site. While his email address didn’t change, there were certain mail records that needed to be modified on the web host. FYI, this is known issue on godaddy servers – so make sure to thoroughly test this if you host your email / website through godaddy!
How to test: Go to your website and submit a contact form. Make sure to test with various email addresses. Do this at least once a month!
2. Analytics aren’t setup properly
I can’t tell you how many times people either don’t have google analytics added or think they have it – but it’s not activated. While there are other great stats programs out there, this one simple (and free) program will give you tons of valuable data about your site.
How to test: Think you have it setup properly? Go to google.com/analytics and make sure you are receiving the latest data! You should be reviewing your data on a weekly or monthly basis.
3. Your domain isn’t set to auto-renew
This catches people all of the time – all of a sudden their website looks like a spammy site and their content is gone. This happens when you don’t renew your domain name and your web host replaces your site with a landing page for their services. If you don’t catch it soon enough, you might lost your domain name for good.
How To Test: Log in to where you purchased your domain name (it may or not be the same service as your web hosting account). Check to see if auto-renew is set to on and how many years you will be renewing for – Auto-renew your domain for at least 5-10 years (it’s the best $10-$15 you’ll spend all year and you can always cancel it later).
4. You aren’t monitoring your site uptime
Have you ever had someone contact you because your site wasn’t up?
And you had no idea? This happens more than you think!
I recommend setting up a monitoring service that will inform you of any downtime – so you can investigate and fix issues BEFORE your site visitors notice.
I like the services from pingdom.com, uptimerobot.com or monitor.us. The Jetpack plugin also has a free notifications feature (though it tends to send a lot of false positives).
Now no site (or web host) has 100% uptime, so don’t be alarmed if you get notifications. If your site has a lot of downtime, it’s probably time to move your site to a better web hosting service.
How to test: Signup for one of the services mentioned above to get site uptime notifications.
5. Your opt-in doesn’t work.
Most people only have one or two places on their website where they’re asking for email signups. But maybe you’ve been doing email marketing for a while and you have multiple signup forms scattered throughout your website from old webinars, blog posts and special landing pages.
Guess what happens when you decide to change newsletter services? Those old links and opt-in forms no longer work.
I’ve seen this happen on tons of sites – maybe you’ve upgraded from MailChimp or switched from Inusionsoft to Ontraport. If you don’t update the links and code for your new service, you’re losing valuable potential leads.
How to test: Do a search on your site (posts AND pages) to find all the places you’re asking for email signups. Make a list of all of these places for future reference. Make sure to test EACH and every signup form and verify that they’re working.