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5 Ways to Smarten Up Your Website for 2017

Even if you’re not ready for a brand new website, there are some things you can do for your existing site to give it a quick makeover for 2017 – both customer-facing and behind the scenes.

1. Install an SSL Certificate

This is becoming really important – Google has even made it one of its search result ranking factors. It means that your website address in the browser will show the little padlock beside it and ‘https’ instead of ‘http.’ When that padlock appears, it means whatever information goes back and forth between the user and the server (like credit card or other personal info in a form or payment page) is not just plain text that’s easy to hack, it’s encrypted.

Google will begin showing a warning on sites without SSL certificates in January 2017, so it’s time to do this now. If you need help getting this done, feel free to contact me.

2. Speed Up Your Site

Sites that take more than a couple of seconds to load are increasingly being abandoned by impatient users. Often there are a few items of ‘low-hanging fruit’ that can be improved fairly easily. If your site isn’t as fast as you’d like, check out GT Metrix and it’ll show you what the problems are.

If you’d like to have your WordPress site’s speed improved for you without lifting a finger, we’re having a special on WordPress Performance Tuneups booked by January 31. It typically results in loading time improvements of 24-50% or more. Sign up here.

3. Make it Look Great on Mobile

If you’re still holding out with a non-responsive website, it’s time to do something about it. Google is already penalizing sites in search results when they’re not mobile-friendly, and you’re also losing credibility and potential customers. Do yourself and your visitors a favor and make your site look as good in a phone as a does on a desktop. Contact me for a free consultation if you’re ready to take the plunge.

4. Improve Your Site’s Security

Are the plugins and themes on your site all up to date? Are you running the latest version of any CMS software? Have you (and your team, and your customers) changed their passwords lately? Are you using a security plugin or outside security service? Do you have fresh backups? These little things can add up, and need to be tended to. If you’re using WordPress and would like to have these things (except passwords, which you’ll need to do yourself) done for you, check out our WP Minder service.

5. Improve Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

It’s easier than ever to optimize your own content in your blog or web pages. Make your site stand out – and get found more easily – by spending just a few extra minutes on each blog post to optimize them correctly. Here’s a guide to some WordPress SEO tools that can simplify the process for you.

The start of a brand new year is a great time to get your business ducks in a row – take a few minutes this week and give your website some TLC using the tips in this article.