12 points to improve your website in 2018

12 points to improve your website in 2018

2018 is coming, and right now is the best time of the year to take some time to look at your website and see what could be improved in order to achieve success in this coming year. I've compiled 12 crucial points that every website owner or blogger should follow - I included!

Better content

Whatever your site is about, the key to getting traffic and sales is to offer visitors useful content. Without it, it doesn’t matter how fast, pretty and optimized your site is – it won’t attract any interest.

So if there’s one thing we should all thrive at in 2018, it is definitely making the content of our sites the best we can. How do you define “good” content? Good content is the information that will make people want to read it, share it, and come back to your site for more articles.

Make your SEO on point

A website well optimized in terms of SEO will get Google to drive a lot of traffic to you, so this is indeed something to work on. Make sure that your blog uses pretty URLs, accurate meta descriptions and proper internal linking.
Also, getting quality backlinks from relevant sites will definitely help.

For those working in a WordPress environment, make sure that you have installed and configured an SEO plugin as such as All in One SEO or Yoast SEO.

Install a SSL certificate on your website

Google has now started to favor secured websites (those starting with HTTPS) over the good old HTTP ones. SSL offers encryption and safety for your visitors, and nowadays it will also boost your SEO rankings. Therefore, if your site doesn’t have its own SSL certificate yet, now it’s the time to get one.

If you need help to install a SLL certificate on your WP-powered site, just check out my step-by-step WordPress HTTPS guide.

Refresh your blog look and feel with a new theme

Is your blog or site in touch with the current web design trends? How optimized is the code? Getting a new WordPress theme will not only make your site look refreshed, it will also feature a code in touch with today’s standards, assuming the theme you pick is a quality one.

Amongst the plethora of premium WordPress theme vendors, I definitely recommend ElegantThemes which features gorgeous design and clean, optimized code.

Optimize your images for a faster website

Images are worth a thousand words, but they are also heavy on resources and can slow down your site like crazy. Optimizing your images isn’t a hard process and will make your site load way faster.

Make sure you have installed WP Smush on your WordPress blog, and also take a look at my image optimization guide for further information.

Cache, cache, cache!

Caching is a vital process on any quality website. But as crazy as it sounds, I still see a lot of sites without any proper caching implemented, which slows down the loading time.

On WordPress, many free, quality caching plugins are available. I use W3 Total Cache on most of my sites and definitely recommend it to any site owners looking to boost their website’s performance and loading time.

Make sure your site is mobile friendly

In 2018, most of your site traffic will be coming from handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. Therefore, it is a must that your website displays properly on smaller screens. If you are a serious website owner, I’m sure you already have a responsive website. But if not, don’t wait any longer because a non-optimized site is costing you traffic.

If needed, check out my article on how to make a website responsive in 3 easy steps.

Boost your social media presence

Social media has been around for a very long time now, yet many bloggers and website owners fail to use it to drive traffic to their sites and build up a bigger audience.

A Facebook page and a Twitter account are mandatory companions of a successful website. Depending of your niche, other sites like Reddit, YouTube, Pinterest or LinkedIn can be good sources of traffic as well.

Switch to a quality web host

You can’t have a quality website without having a quality host. Cheap shared hosting will only get you a very basic service which won’t deal well with traffic and will suffer from many downtimes, i.e. times when your website simply can’t be reached at all.

I use VidaHost since 2012 and I’m very pleased with the service and amazingly fast support. I can also recommend Dreamhost which has been good for other sites I work with. WordPress users should definitely have a look at managed WordPress hosting as such as WP Engine, which is 100% optimized for the open-source blogging platform.

You can find discount coupons for many hosting services on CatsWhoCode’s deals page.

Perform a loading time speed test

I’ve discussed quite a few times why loading speed is very important. In order to make sure that your website loads fast enough, you have to use the right tools.

My favorites are Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom. The first one is Google’s, so it’s a great tool to know whether your site fits the quality standards of the most powerful search engine. The second tool shows tons of data about your site’s loading time, allowing you to easily find what’s wrong and fix it.

Update, redirect or remove outdated content

If you have been blogging for many years, there’s probably some outdated content on your website. Outdated content, even if it used to be a valuable resource, is never a good thing since it will provide information that isn’t up-to-date to your audience.

So what to do? Either update the content, redirect those old articles to newer content, or if the resource doesn’t have any backlinks to it, you can also consider removing it.

Also, you can consider warning visitors if a post is older than X years. I’ve written this tutorial to show you how it can be done on a WordPress blog.

Hunt broken links

Broken links are hurting your SEO and provide a negative experience to your readers. But if your site is huge or has been around for quite a while, you can be sure that it contains broken links.

To find out broken links on your site, you can either use this handy tool or even better, the Broken Link Checker plugin which finds broken links and allows you to remove them by a single click.